A wrong turn in a rainstorm leads Englisher Amelia Devries to Michael Hostetler--and the young Amishman's charming Old Order community of Hickory Hollow. Despite their very different backgrounds, Amelia and Michael both feel hemmed in by the expectations of others and struggle with how to find room for their own hopes. And what first seems to be a chance encounter might just change their lives forever.
I love Beverly Lewis's Amish fiction. In my opinion, no one does the genre better than her, and I've read many other authors impersonations of the Amish. As she does in all of her novels, Beverly weaved together a sweet romance between the most unlikely of souls.
Now, this plot was very different from the other books I've read from Beverly Lewis. The thought of an Amish man falling for an English woman was unusual but piqued my interest. Imagine such a thing! Even though the romantic ending was somewhat predictable, the quality of the characters and unconventional circumstances made it a worthwhile read. And the nickname Amelia goes by, Amy Lee, added a bit of humor too:)
I enjoyed the familiar references to Lancaster County and to the characters from books past. Is it me or does Beverly Lewis mention Katie Lapp in every book? And, the elderly woman, Ella Mae makes an encore appearance in this book as well. The imagery, so carefully created, transported me to the county where Amelia found herself. I could almost feel the slight mugginess and humidity that could rid Amelia's dresses from wrinkles.
I can't quite explain why, but every page left me longing for more until I reached the end and was waiting for the next installment of the Home to Hickory Hollow series.
I loved that in this book Beverly ventures into the touchy territory of Amish faith. She sheds light onto the fact Amish life and faith isn't always quiet, peaceful tranquility as many idolize it. She does this in a way that doesn't bad-talk the Amish but reveals that we are all humans with deficiencies and struggles.
The romance between Michael and Amelia was obvious from the beginning but didn't unfold in the typical overenthusiastic way many authors portray Amish love. It was more of a peaceful acknowledgment of contentment versus flutters and shortness of breath.
The best part, by far, was the level of faith Beverly heavily doused the story with as Amelia and Michael both try to find God. They are encouraged to seek Him in prayer and realize that they can do nothing with Him.
If you're looking to expand your reading horizons, get into the Amish genre of just want a sweet romance read, then give The Fiddler and Beverly Lewis's fiction a try. The heartfelt story, memorable characters and unusual plot will give you something to think about long after you've finished reading.