1. The First LoveSALE
    The First Love
    Beverly Lewis
    Bethany House / 2018 / Trade Paperback
    $9.49 Retail: $15.99 Save 41% ($6.50)
    4.5 Stars Out Of 5 9 Reviews
    Availability: In Stock
    Stock No: WW219689
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  1. Canada
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    My favourite Lewis book so far
    December 13, 2018
    KavR
    Canada
    Gender: female
    "Remember to seek the Healer and not the healing. Whether you're ever healed or not, Christ Jesus is by far the most important gift." (p 147)

    Definitely my favourite Beverly Lewis novel to date. Maggie's health issues mirror my own so I was quick to connect with her struggle to understand God's purpose in it all as well as her frustration at not being able to do the things she used to. A coming-of-age story that includes an incredible faith journey. I love how the revival meetings plays a role in her spiritual awakening and how she applies that new knowledge into her life, blessing those she loves in the process. So sweet and hope-filled.

    Lewis also tells the story from Maggie's stepmother's point of view. Rachel struggles to fit into her new husband's family. It isn't easy since the children are still grieving over their mam's recent death. She faces everything from wary reserve to open hostility as she attempts to draw close to them.

    This is Beverly Lewis at her best. There's such a gentle quality to her stories even though they deal with the grim realities we all have to face in this life. Opening one of her books is like listening to a traditional storyteller. The words just flow and soothe and I can actually hear the distinctive voice of each character as if I'm right there. A heartwarming, inspirational novel that gives voice to those of us who live with physical challenges.

    "Honestly, I have to remind myself that physical limitations can actually be helpful -- even liberatin' -- when my deepest longing is to follow close after Christ. It sure teaches me to pray without ceasing." (p 273)

    Book provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc.
  2. Dunedin, FL
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Journey to Lancaster County, PA in The First Love
    December 9, 2018
    The Avid Reader
    Dunedin, FL
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    The First Love by Beverly Lewis takes us to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It is the summer of 1998 when Maggie's reminiscing takes her back in time to June of 1951. Maggie misses her mother every day and it is hard to see her father move on so quickly. Joseph, Maggie's father, married Rachel just seven months after his wife's death. Maggie has suffered from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since she was eleven and the debilitating pain keeps her confined to bed many days. Maggie longs to be like the other women in her community, but she does not believe any man would want to be burdened by her. Maggie could talk to her mother about her concerns and she misses her warm, understanding presence. A tent revival meeting is coming to the area for six weeks and Maggie asks permission to attend. The minister's messages are meaningful and have Maggie thinking about God and his saving grace. The future is filled with possibilities and hope. Join Maggie on her journey in The First Love.

    I have read all of Beverly Lewis's books and was looking forward to reading The First Love. I found The First Love to a slow paced story, though, it does pick up slightly in the second half. There are numerous characters in The First Love and it is hard to keep them all straight. Maggie comes from a large family with aunts, cousins, siblings plus there are her friends, the tent revival preacher, and so many more. There are two intertwining storylines in the book. At times, though, the book was disjointed (lacked a good flow). There is Maggie's storyline plus her family adjusting to a new stepmother. I could understand what Maggie was going through with her painful disease. The pain gets to a person and affects their mood as well as outlook on life. It can be difficult to get up and do things during the day. I thought the author dealt with the topic respectfully and realistically. The ending wrapped up too quickly and felt unrealistic. It seemed the author had reached her word limit and quickly wrapped up Maggie's story. The Christian elements are predominant. Relevant scripture verses are sprinkled throughout the story that help Maggie on her faith journey. We are also reminded the importance of prayer (anywhere and anytime), God's grace, leaving our worries with God, reading the Bible, and having faith. I liked to see Maggie grow in her faith and become closer to God. I am giving The First Love 3 out of 5 stars. While this is not my favorite book by Beverly Lewis, I am still a fan of her work who looks forward to her next story.
  3. SW MI
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Lewis Explores Emotions-Juvenile RA, Blended Family, Camp Meetings
    December 1, 2018
    Becky
    SW MI
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Packed full of emotion and Biblical truth, this latest novel by Beverly Lewis explores young Maggie's struggle with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis as she comes of age. The First Love also reveals Maggie's family's struggle to accept their father's new wife, less than a year after their beloved Mamm dies.

    The reason I enjoyed the book was that it helped me see life from the perspective of people who have had a very different experience than myself.

    Lewis carefully brings out the details of a disease like Maggie's. Life is never predictable, health-wise, from day-to-day. Others may or may not understand the inability of one with RA to do tasks one day that they could do the day before. Bad health can make a romantic future uncertain. I learned to love Maggie and was especially glad when she takes a risk that changes her life.

    I also really enjoyed the wisdom of Aunt Nellie. I am fortunate to have a godly person in my life with that kind of wisdom.

    The camp meetings are an integral part of the narrative, yet I was torn, wondering if there was a way to get this most important message across without being preachy. It felt like the book was only a vehicle for the message at that point.

    On to more positive. Having survived my own kids' teenage years, I can identify just a pinch with Rachel who feels she is desperately trying to find her place in her stepchildren's lives, let alone hearts. What a tough journey she undertakes, so courageously!

    Quotables I loved:

    Aunt Nellie's goal: "Her goal is to make one person smile every single day. "Definitely one of my goals.

    "God won't guide his footsteps unless he's willin' to move his feet." God works best in those willing to obey.

    And lastly, a prayer for my adult children: "I pray you never disdain prayer. It's the simplest way you can serve our Lord, and suffering won't hold you from it..."

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. All opinions are my own and no review was required.
  4. Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    God First
    November 28, 2018
    GrandaddyA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Beverly Lewis is a wonderful storyteller who makes the Amish people in her books come alive. I enjoyed the way she began the story in 1998 as Maggie is preparing to celebrate her birthday alone and then goes back to 1951 as she approaches her eighteenth birthday. On the back cover, she refers to it as "the summer of [Maggie's] first love." Maggie and her siblings were all dealing with the loss of their mother about a year prior to this and then their father's remarriage seven months later. But Maggie was struggling with a much greater burden. She suffered almost constantly from debilitating pain. Because of her physical issues, she turned down an invitation to go riding with Jimmy after the Singing a short while before this. What a difficult choice it was since she had admired him for a long time. Was she going to have to live with awful pain and suffering for the rest of her days? Did this mean she had to give up on her dream of getting married and having children with her husband? When she hears about a tent revival in the area where people are getting saved and being healed, what does this mean for her? Can God heal her? Will He? I love the theme that runs through the book. God must have first place in our lives. Each one of us must make the decision with which Maggie is faced as she reads her Bible and prays faithfully.
  5. Dunedin, FL
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    A trip back in time with Maggie Esh
    November 14, 2018
    The Avid Reader
    Dunedin, FL
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    This review was written for The First Love - eBook.
    The First Love by Beverly Lewis takes us to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It is the summer of 1998 when Maggie's reminiscing takes her back in time to June of 1951. Maggie misses her mother every day and it is hard to see her father move on so quickly. Joseph, Maggie's father, married Rachel just seven months after his wife's death. Maggie has suffered from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since she was eleven and the debilitating pain keeps her confined to bed many days. Maggie longs to be like the other women in her community, but she does not believe any man would want to be burdened by her. Maggie could talk to her mother about her concerns and she misses her warm, understanding presence. A tent revival meeting is coming to the area for six weeks and Maggie asks permission to attend. The minister's messages are meaningful and have Maggie thinking about God and his saving grace. The future is filled with possibilities and hope. Join Maggie on her journey in The First Love.

    I have read all of Beverly Lewis's books and was looking forward to reading The First Love. I found The First Love to a slow paced story, though, it does pick up slightly in the second half. There are numerous characters in The First Love and it is hard to keep them all straight. Maggie comes from a large family with aunts, cousins, siblings plus there are her friends, the tent revival preacher, and so many more. There are two intertwining storylines in the book. At times, though, the book was disjointed (lacked a good flow). There is Maggie's storyline plus her family adjusting to a new stepmother. I could understand what Maggie was going through with her painful disease. The pain gets to a person and affects their mood as well as outlook on life. It can be difficult to get up and do things during the day. I thought the author dealt with the topic respectfully and realistically. The ending wrapped up too quickly and felt unrealistic. It seemed the author had reached her word limit and quickly wrapped up Maggie's story. The Christian elements are predominant. Relevant scripture verses are sprinkled throughout the story that help Maggie on her faith journey. We are also reminded the importance of prayer (anywhere and anytime), God's grace, leaving our worries with God, reading the Bible, and having faith. I liked to see Maggie grow in her faith and become closer to God. I am giving The First Love 3 out of 5 stars. While this is not my favorite book by Beverly Lewis, I am still a fan of her work who looks forward to her next story.
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