Sunday, December 30, 2012

Book Review: The Bridesmaid

About the Book:
Joanna Kurtz has made several trips to the altar, but never as a bride. The young Amishwoman is a closet writer whose stories aren't her only secret. 

Eben Troyer hopes to make Joanna his bride--if he can ever leave his parents' farm in Shipshewana, Indiana. Yet Eben's hopes to build a life with Joanna hinge on his brother's return from the English world...

My Review:
Beverly Lewis’s The Bridesmaid is a beautiful, engaging story of love, hope, faithfulness, and a hard lesson in keeping secrets. As I said in my previous review on The Fiddler, Beverly Lewis is an outstanding author whose stories weave together a sweet romance between the most unlikely of souls. In beginning this book, readers get to know the character, Joanna Kurtz, introduced in the first book of the Hickory Hollow series.

I admired Joanna's character and personality. She has an incredible talent for writing that is evident in her stories, poems and letters to Eben. I found that an interesting element of an Amish story- that an Amish girl would have an interest in fictional story writing, like me. Even though she bends Amish rules, I admire that Joanna allowed her heart to dictate and convict her. Her charming disposition and caring ways easily make Joanna a cherished character in the hearts of readers. 

The unfolding mystery of Joanna's namesake added another dimension of interest to this story. I was amused at how the two women, though from two different generations, shared many similarities that were almost eery. 

Over and over, I become enamored by the nostalgic location Beverly Lewis chose for this series. The reader becomes familiar with other characters from previous books and locations. Beverly Lewis throws in a German phrase or two that adds to the authenticity of the story. Mentions to homecooked meals, quilting bees, and gardening and canning frolics also added authenticity.

As much as I dislike having to write a negative review on one of Beverly Lewis's books, I spotted a few flaws that weakened the overall story. Firstly, I thought the plot to be overly far-fetched and unrealistic. Secondly, the long distance relationship between Eben and Joanna made the story drag. Thirdly, the ending was predictable and a bit too convenient. The characters didn't struggle to find what they were looking for. 

Beside a few negative marks, I did enjoy reading The Bridesmaid. The relatable characters allowed me to connect with their struggles and lives. The final sentences ended this novel on the right note, as if Joanna was writing the story I just finished reading.

I look forward to reading the next installment to the Hickory Hollow series where hopefuly, Beverly will share Cora Jane's story. She is a bit... erratic so her story will definitely prove to be interesting.

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