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The Phantom Paragrapher
Tauranga, New Zealand
5 Stars Out Of 5
Career or Love ?
July 30, 2011
The Phantom Paragrapher
Tauranga, New Zealand
Review: When Strawberries Bloom- Book #2 Lizzie Searches for Love Series- Linda Byler -October 2010
You always wonder when you read Christian Amish Fiction , how often than not -the author has actually lived in or spent time in a Amish community. Reading amish novels and watching Amish films like Amish Grace, Saving Sarah Cain. I've always thought that it would have been nice to grow up in an Amish Village, though of course after spending my whole life as what they call an Englischer -it would be extremely hard to give up things that we take for granted e.g books , tv etc to live their ways. One of the things I love I think most about Amish novels is that they are so peaceful , romantic and godly. They don't read as cults but rather happy religious communities.
Author Linda Byler herself grew up in the Amish community and is still an active member of the Amish church and she writes a weekly column the local Amish newspaper besides her time writing her novels. Reading, When Strawberries Bloom - you can see that the author has put in her own knowledge as throughout the novel, there were parts that felt so real and relatable to all .
In When Strawberries Bloom, we meet Lizzie Glick - all she has ever wanted was to teach school and when the opportunity arises for Lizzie to accept the job, she jumps at it and begins teaching School to Amish and Mennonite children in the Fall. However, it seems that all around Lizzie -people are falling in love , having courtships and marriage proposals. With her sister Emma being proposed to "When Strawberries Bloom" by Joshua and her younger sister Mandy being courted by John, and the one guy who Lizzie thought might have been the one -Amos is now courting somebody else from the community. Enter Stephen, he is Lizzie's best friend, she doesn't view him as anything else but Stephen loves Lizzie. Is Lizzie destined to become a school teacher and spend her life teaching the children or will the dream of one day becoming a wife and mother lead her to choose second best with Stephen ?
Are Lizzie and Stephen meant to be or does God have other plans -greater ones for Lizzie?
Find out all this and more as the author has also placed 10 of Lizzie's favourite recipes for readers to cook and eat at the back of the novel - In "When Strawberries Bloom" and keep on the lookout for Book #1 Running around (and such) and Book #3 Big Decisions.
The Lizzie Searches for Love series is nice light reading. I wouldn't say the literature is sophisticated, no real suspense, but it is an enjoyable story and the differences in the Amish communities is interesting.
When Strawberries Bloom is the second book in the Lizzie Searches for Love series by Linda Byler.
In this book our main character Lizzie seems a bit more mature, we don't hear nearly as much about the things that she hates. Instead she is seventeen and really wants to become the next schoolteacher at the Mennonite school where she had been a student and her siblings still attend. She knows that she would be a great teacher, but she isn't sure what the school board will think, could they possibly give her a chance to prove herself?
Lizzie has always been a worrier and now her dad's health is in question, he has been having some issues with his eyesight and and his health in general is failing some. She becomes worried about what will happen if he can no longer run the farm, her younger brother, Jason, has been taking on more of the responsibilities of the farm but with him not being quite 16 there is no way that he can do it alone. If the health issues with her dad are as serious as she thinks, will they be able to earn a living from the farm?
Emma, Lizzie's older sister becomes engaged and married in this book and Lizzie still hasn't had a date, even though Stephen has shown some interest in her, she just can't seem to figure out the dating thing, will she ever marry or is she destined to become an old maid?
I really felt like this book was much better written, even though the story doesn't always flow as smoothly as it could, with time lines sometimes being a bit confusing, it still was a very enjoyable read. I really felt as if Lizzie had matured quite a bit from the last book, although she still sometimes reverts back to her rebellious ways, once she realizes that her biggest problem is not listening to and submitting to God's will, she starts getting control of her temper. Without giving to much away I felt that there was one issue that was totally left hanging, when she slaps a child at school, I was sure that there would be repercussions from that, but it wasn't dealt with at all, it was like once she told her mom, it was forgotten.
The author includes several more fantabulous recipes in this book as well, and also includes a glossary for the Amish words used in the book. This book really shouldn't be read unless you have read the first in the series, because I think a reader may feel lost with some of the things going on. Even though this is a book is written more for pre-teens and teens, I really enjoyed reading it and can't wait to read the next book in the series titled Big Decisions, due out March 2011.
Even though I was provided a review copy by FSB media, thanks Julie, it in no way influenced my opinion of this book!
I enjoyed it very much. It was very easy to imagine some of the situations she got herself into. Made me laugh and also made me feel bad for Lizzie. It was so down to earth which is a good book for me. I read her first one and couldn't wait for the second, and now can't wait for the third one.