1. The First Love
    The First Love
    Beverly Lewis
    Bethany House / 2018 / Trade Paperback
    $9.99 Retail: $15.99 Save 38% ($6.00)
    4.5 Stars Out Of 5 5 Reviews
    Availability: In Stock
    Stock No: WW219689
4.4 Stars Out Of 5
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  1. 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.
  2. Spokane WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Beverly Lewis Delights Once Again
    October 2, 2018
    Mardell
    Spokane WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I was inspired after reading The First Love by Beverly Lewis. Maggie is such a wonderful young woman. She doesn't wish to be defined by her illness although she could be if she weren't so determined to be thought of as whole. Her faith is strong yet when she is offered a chance to attend the tent revival meetings there is a turning point. Her Old Order Amish faith is accustomed to silent prayer, not the exuberant prayer she encounters. It is intriguing and she is led to learn more about prayers for healing. Once she begins to seek healing scriptures she is surprised at who reveals their own discoveries of faith and healing. When she begins to feel stronger it is a wonder...did her faith heal her or was it the new herbal supplements that were recommended she try?

    Maggie is one of my favorite Beverly Lewis characters. She is pivot-able in this story not just because of her health issues but because she is a magnet for her family. They are drawn to her for her wisdom. In our story she celebrates her 18th birthday but she is mature beyond her years. She is patient to her elderly aunt, kind to her stepmother, while acting as a buffer between her and the other children. She listens first and offers advice only when it is sought. She is a glue that bonds deep. I appreciate how her family respected her and helped her on her bad days with patience and love. I think we have all had a Maggie in our life. I recommend this story for those who enjoy a story rich with faith, hope and love. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Fiction in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own.
  3. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    The First Love
    September 10, 2018
    JenGalaxy4 Christian Book Reviews
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The First Love is the latest heartwarming novel from Beverly Lewis! This book is told by a master storyteller through her warm and gentle voice. I truly felt like I was in Lancaster County alongside the sweet characters of this story.

    Seventeen year old Maggie Esh suffers terribly from severe rheumatoid arthritis. She has her eye on Jimmy Beiler and it seems he's interested in her, too. However, Maggie is convinced no healthy young man would ever want a sickly girlfriend, and begins avoiding Youngie fellowship and singings. She doesn't want to get her hopes up for love, only to be let down because of her chronic condition.

    When the Mennonite tent revival visits Lancaster County, Maggie learns new things about the God she already loved so much and how important it is to trust in the miracles of His Son, Jesus Christ. Maggie prays, studies her Bible like never before and holds on tight to God. Maggie stays faithful as she hopes God's plan for her is the one she's praying for. She also encourages others with her faith. Her sweet spirit is an excellent example for us all.

    I also really enjoyed the point of view from Rachel, Maggie's new and very young stepmother. Rachel's hesitant voice showed how much she respected her new, instant family. I was happy with how her role in the story played out!

    I enjoyed this book very much! I enjoyed Its warmth and its heart. I loved seeing people genuinely care for each other. I loved most its wholesome, prayerful and lovely story. I highly recommend this book!

    The First Love by Beverly Lewis is available now!

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers though NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
  4. Syracuse NY
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Real Page-Turner
    September 4, 2018
    MaureenT
    Syracuse NY
    Gender: female
    What a story the author has given us, one that affects many people, not always with the same illness, but we can put faces on this Amish family.

    A young woman about to join her church and a longing for a family of her own, but with her limitations and days of non-movement, she is sure she will never wed and have her own family.

    We also meet another woman who has given her heart to a man who is a widower and has a ready-made family, but she seems to put her wishes and desires aside to make his family happy.

    I loved that we get to experience revival meetings, and our Amish girl is so in love with the Lord, and you want to be with her, but will her family and church allow her going to these meetings? Will she want to go out into the English world because of this?

    This is a sweet read, and so many characters are brought to the fore front, and we get to meet and be with each of them and enjoy the time spent.

    You will find this one a compelling page turner, and you won't regret spending time here!

    I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House and was not required to give a positive review.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    First Love
    September 4, 2018
    Nancy
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    First Love is a wonderful Amish story. It takes place during the 1950's. The main character lives with her family. Her name is Maggie and she lives with a bad case of arthritis. Her mother dies before the story starts and her dad remarries within a year. The family goes through a real adjustment with a new mother . Maggie goes through lots of ups and downs to cope with her arthritis. It is tough to be Amish and have a health problem. She was invited by her Mennonite cousin to attend a tent meeting .Her father was not completely open to her attending these tent meetings. She went to get prayer for healing and also learned about a personal relationship with Jesus. The story is very inspiring. What will happen to Maggie with the challenges of arthritis in a Amish society? How will she overcome her challenges? This book is bound to be a huge success! Thank you to Baker House for letting me review this book and netgalley.
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