At some point in our lives, we feel we that we mess up real bad- to the point we think where others, much less God, can see past and love us beyond our past mistakes; maybe even to the point where we push people away. This is how Lucy feels in The Atonement by Beverly Lewis. Lucy grew up in an Amish community surrounded by faith and family, but in her youth years when the Amish community allows for their children to go out and experience the world and decide if they want to become “Englisch” or stay Amish, she chose to go out and make some choices that keep haunting her. Lucy pushes away her family and friends and God because she feels like those mistakes are too bad to be reconciled or atoned for.
While Lucy is still dealing with her grief from her youth and throwing herself into charity work to help her forget her past, her best friend who has been her friend since childhood asks her to court him and eventually be his bride. Lucy does not feel she is worthy of his love and refuses his offer because of it, against what her heart really wants. In the meantime, her dad befriends an Englischer who is interested in living a simpler life and seeking his help. The Englischer starts to befriend Lucy and the community is all the buzz with rumors about Lucy and the Englischer dating and being seen here and there on dates, especially given Lucy’s past. Lucy knows she does not want to leave the Amish church and she also feels that she is not worthy of any love that would be given to her as someone’s wife.
At a point of complete surrender of her past and her future to God and acceptance of his grace, Lucy eventually finds a way to accept love again. This book is another clever book by Beverly Lewis that is based on the Amish faith and intermingled with a message of hope and grace and love that can only come from God. Beverly also has a way of drawing the reader into the story so it almost feels like you’re right there living in the heart of Lancaster County and walking alongside her characters. She is one of my favorite authors and I have read so many of her books that her characters are like family (even though the names are different from novel to novel). She always manages to draw out a plot that is interesting and keeps you turning page after page because you want to know more about what happens in the novel. If you’re someone who enjoys Amish fiction, you will enjoy this book.
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I received this book free courtesy of Bethany House Publisher’s Blogger Review Program in exchange for an honest review.