What a great ending to Beverly Lewis' trilogy Home to Hickory Hollow! To be honest, I was a bit hesitant when I picked this book up. In my opinion, the first two installments, The Fiddler and The Bridesmaid, were too far fetched to be credible so I was dreading another unbelievable story. Yes, there were a few things that I found somewhat unrealistic, but overall, the story was great!
Most Amish novels are about young girls somewhere in their teens or twenties so it was a refreshing twist to read about the thirty-something year old widow, Maryanna. Maryanna and her passel of children all endeared readers, making them reel attached. Jodi, an Englisher and the other main character, was my favorite. Her internal struggles, thoughts and anger toward God because of the death of her sister are interesting to read but the moments when her heart began to soften will bring a smile to the reader's face. Reading of how two stories unfold was an added bonus as opposed to reading just one.
This book takes place in Beverly Lewis' beloved, quaint little town of Hickory Hollow. The descriptors she uses here are so enthralling that on more than one occasion I felt like I was really there. From desserts like warm peach cobbler to the way the Amish dress, I felt like Beverly covered all facets to fully submerge the reader into Amish-like living, if only for a few days.
I don't like when books are unrealistic. I understand that the books I like to read are fictitious but I'm looking for ones that are at least credible. I felt that the way Jodi just happened to stumble upon little Sarah was out of whack and so was the fact that Sarah had taken off her dress in the night. It seemed weird that a little girl of four years old wouldn't have screamed when she fell out from a moving buggy. These elements were out of place for me but I guess they added another... dimension to the book.
I'm so glad that I ordered The Guardian; it proved to be a book that tugged at my heart's strings and even though it isn't a mystery, young Sarah's disappearance was quite mysterious. Both Maryanna and Jodi discover that God has different plans for their lives and the journey they both take is moving. The one minor fault I found didn't ruin or rob from my reading experience. I found it to be a satisfying ending to another Amish series, but the Rose Trilogy still remains my favorite Beverly Lewis book. I'd rate this book 4 out of 5 stars for overall experience.
I received a complimentary copy of the Guardian from CFBA in exchange for my unbiased, honest review.
Want to know more about the book? Here's the back cover:
When Jodi Winfield comes to Lancaster to house-sit, the last thing she expects to find is a disheveled little girl alone on the side of the road. The young teacher is mystified when she learns there have been no reports of a missing child, and the girl herself is no help, since she can't speak English. It's as if the child appeared out of nowhere.
Then Jodi turns her attention to Hickory Hollow--and the cloistered world of the Old Order Amish--in search of answers.