One of the things I liked a lot about the book was the realism. It did not paint an idealized picture of life as an Amish person. But, in the same vein, it did not paint an idealized picture of the life of a veteran and his family. These truly were flawed people who were doing their best to survive day to day. I felt that the author did a good job of showing that both families dealt with issues. Life was both good and bad at times.
The author also did a fabulous job of portraying life with an injured veteran, with the added complication of PTSD. I felt like I was there, in the midst of their family, wanting Joel to get better and to realize that he needed help! It was painful to see the journey that this family had to take, but so very interesting and rewarding by the end of the book.
The journey for Eve and her family was just as touching and I applaud the author for the excellent way she brought the characters through their story, as well. I felt that the loose ends were tied up nicely and that there was a sweet and hopeful ending. However, there was still pain and judgment that certain people had to go through that added the realistic feel.
This was such a good story and I definitely recommend it to those who enjoy Amish fiction. (5 stars)
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
When Joel and Shani Beck arrive at their new home on Juneberry Lane in Lancaster, PA, they’re looking for peace. Joel’s recently returned from Iraq and is recuperating, and Shani is just happy to have her family back together. They can’t imagine any trouble with their Amish neighbors, the Lehmans, but things get off to a rocky start when their son accidently hurts Simon, one of the Lehman boys.
Timothy Lehman, a widower, is the family patriarch and demands the Beck boy work in Simon’s place. Tensions escalate, but Shani can’t help but be drawn to Eve Lehman, Timothy’s sister, who runs the household. The two begin to form a strong friendship forged on faith and family, and things seem like they’ve quieted down until Joel’s single and handsome army friend Charlie catches Eve’s eye. Suddenly, life for both families becomes more complicated than any of them could have ever imagined.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
About the author: Leslie Gould is the coauthor, with Mindy Starns Clark, of the #1 CBA bestseller The Amish Midwife, a 2012 Christy Award winner; ECPA bestseller Courting Cate, first in the Courtships of Lancaster County series; and Beyond the Blue, winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice for Best Inspirational Novel, 2006. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Portland State University and has taught fiction writing at Multnomah University as an adjunct professor. She and her familyl live in Portland, Oregon.