Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Beverly Lewis welcomes us back to Hickory Hollow. PA !

   "The Last Bride"
  By Beverly Lewis

As I picked up this book to begin reading, I felt a sense of regret and loss. It is the last of the Hickory Hollow Series. Each book was a stand alone, although, they were bound together through the community and the faith. This series was a hit with me immediately, as it dealt with things rarely addressed in the Amish fiction genre, problems, events , that are very real . The Amish people are not exempt from these problems, however how they are dealt with, is unique.

Tessie Miller, the main character, is the last of the five daughters of Old Order Amish parents. She has her heart set on marrying the love of her life, Marcus King. BUT... a problem arises! Her Daad violently opposes this match. The puzzling refusal to allow them to court confuses this young couple, and as all young people seem to do, make them even more determined to tie the knot.

With a bit of thought, Tessie and Marcus elope to the English world, returning to Hickory Hollow to live a secret life. They remain single, in the eyes of their community, each living apart, thinking that in time Tessie's parents will come around to their way of thinking and approve the marriage. But, the unthinkable happens, and Tessie faces an almost certain censure of the Amish community. Can she ever find a reason for hope? Will she allow God to take over and comfort her? 

I do love the Amish genre, but I must admit that I often tire of the trend of the same kind of problems occurring over and over again. This book grabbed my attention immediately because it was very different from the norm. Beverly deals with a subject about which many are unaware. The health issues that face the sect as a result of inter-marriage are addressed in an sensitive, however, realistic manner. In the Amish community, due to families remaining in the faith and continuing to live in the same area, the result is in genetic problems with offspring. Many handicapped children appear due to relatives marrying others in the family. I must say that this made me really think of the Amish community and how they would deal with this kind of problem. 

The plot was very well developed and drew my attention away from my surroundings. I became part of the Amish world! The twists and turns glued me to my chair, eager to read the next chapter. 

When I can identify with at least one character in a book, I can honestly say it is a GREAT book. Beverly's book met my criteria without a doubt. I felt Tessie's confusion, pain, fears and challenges. Her faith and dedication to doing the right thing made her a wonderful Christian girl. 

I am sorry to see this series end, however, I am sure that Beverly Lewis will present us with another winning book before too long.

A five star book!! 

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.



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