Some books are slow starting out, but once you actually get into the plot, you just don’t want to put the book down; that’s the way Amish Sweethearts by Leslie Gould was for me. The book seemed interesting at first, but the end of the novel seemed predictable, which for me, when I think I can predict the ending of the novel, I start to lose interest because I feel I know what is going to happen. Well, let me just tell you that I was wrong and had no idea about 2/3 of the way into the novel how it was actually going to end. The end actually enticed me to wishing there was more to the novel so I could see the full outcome instead of assuming, and I am actually hoping that there will be a third novel in the series that goes into that. I also need to read the first novel in the series soon too because now I am curious as the description of that particular book at the end of this book seems like it sets the precursor to Neighbors of Lancaster County Book Two, although you could just as easily read Book Two without reading Book One, like I did, and it still makes sense.
In this particular book in the series, we meet Lila and her family, Zane and his family, and their church district’s bishop’s son, Reuben and his family. Lila and Zane are childhood friends who were neighbors and always met up at the gate so they could go down to play together in their fort. Then they grow up and realize they are from two separate worlds- Lila is Amish and Zane is Englisch. Zane expresses that he cares for Lila and to deter him from continuing his feelings for her, she encourages him to go off and join the Army when he mentions he is toying with the idea. Three years go by without any communication and the friendship feels lost.
In the meantime, Lila is busy with her own life. She is pledged to be married to the bishop’s son Reuben, which thrills her dat (dad) and then she works at a restaurant waitressing and has also agreed to help out at her mammi’s (grandma’s) quilt shop after she finds out that her mammi has breast cancer. Everyone is convinced that Lila and Reuben will be the perfect couple and that they will be happy together and have a large Amish family. Lila finds herself conflicted because she doesn’t exactly love Reuben, but believes that love might come along after time with the commitment. The person she truly does love she is forbidden to love because he is not part of her church and is in the Army.
I’m not going to give away any spoilers, but I will say you will just have to read it because it is interesting and this is the first novel I have read that has dealt with an Amish/Englisch relationship. I had no idea how things would turn out, but I really appreciate how Leslie Gould put an actual human perspective into the novel because many times it’s almost as if the novel characters live in their own perfect worlds. This book is a book I would recommend for anyone to read who enjoys an in depth chapter book. I would say that the younger readers should read it with caution though (or after a parent/guardian pre-reads it and can discuss it with them) because it does deal with some sensitive military issues that might be hard for them to comprehend.
For a preview of the novel or to purchase, please click here.
I received this book free courtesy of Bethany House Publisher’s Blogger Review Program in exchange for an honest review.