Book Summary: Eva Esch and her sisters are in a predicament. With the passing of their widowed mother, Eva's older brother Menno plans to move his growing family into the Eden Valley farmhouse where they all grew up, leaving little room for his three single sisters. Surely, Menno reasons, at least one of them will marry this coming wedding season. Eva does hope to marry, but she isn't sure she wants to give up her sweet shop for the life of a farmer's wife, and she has no other prospects. When younger sister, Lily, disappears in the night, leaving only a brief note, Eva fears she has been wooed away from the People by an outsider. And when Jed Stutzman, a young Amish buggy maker from Ohio, shows up in Lancaster with a photo of a Plain young woman, Eva's world begins to tilt. She feels powerfully drawn to the quietly charming stranger--but the woman in the forbidden photograph is no stranger at all. . . .
Review: I read Ms. Lewis’ newsletter where she made some comment about this was one of her personal favorites. I can honestly say that there is good reason for that. This story was riveting and I read it in one extended period of time. I found the characters to be so real I almost would expect to meet the if I were to go to the Lancaster area today. The time period was the 80’s and yet it could be today. I loved the main characters Eva and Jed while almost too perfect they were believable and lovable. The story was so seamlessly woven that I found I almost had to read it in a day to do the story justice. There was no long extended period of time occurring and things came together so effortlessly that I would have thought Ms. Lewis wrote it quickly, although from her newsletter it would seem the story was a long time coming. I am so glad that she was willing to share this story. It truly was ordinary and special all in one. The theme simple and magical. There is real tragedy all around both main characters and they do not down play the healing process, yet despite the tragedy this is not a story about weeping. There are many elements to the plot (loss of life, a wayward sister, uncertainty, and misunderstanding) and through it all I wanted the story to never end. I could go on and on but the best advice is dive in and see for yourself.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.