Leona always wanted a sister. Until she was in 6th grade, it was always just her parents, her brother, and herself; then a new family moves to the community and brings with them a girl Leona’s age, Gloria. From the very first moment they meet, they hit it off well and do practically everything together, to the point where they know each other’s homes and family as well as their own. As they grow through the years, Leona falls in love with Gloria’s brother and Gloria falls in love with Leona’s cousin and they both hope that one day they might be married to the men and truly be family.
Then mysteriously, one day Gloria’s family packs up and moves away without telling anyone. Years go by and Leona never hears from her friend. She is saddened, hurt and not quite understanding why her friend left without a goodbye and hasn’t written letters, especially since they were such close friends. Three years come and go and time lessens the hurt little by little and Leona moves on with her life and finds love again in a deacon’s son named Tom who has always loved Leona. Tom proposes to Leona and they start making plans to be married in the Amish church’s fall wedding season.
One day, out of the blue, Leona receives a letter from Gloria pleading with her to reach out to her. Curious and wanting to make amends for the past and the “sister” she lost, Leona hesitantly calls Gloria’s number. Things haven’t only moved on with Leona, but with Gloria as well. Leona finds out after a time that Gloria’s family decided to leave the Amish church, at her father’s bidding, and start of life in the Englisch world, forbidding anything Amish… even communication with Leona. Desperate, Gloria jumps at the opportunity to have Leona visit her in her Englisch world so that Leona can help her straighten out some things in her mind, including if she would be doing the right thing by marrying her worldly boyfriend because then her future would be sealed and she would be stuck in the Englisch world forever.
On a whim, at the end of Leona’s visit, Gloria decides to drive Leona back to her home several hours away and take a short leave of absence from work so that she can stay with the Amish community that she grew to love during her time as a youth. Once back, Gloria is faced with a whirlwind of memories and nostalgia and the longing to be part of the community once again. Leona’s prayers are answer when Gloria makes plans to talk to Tom’s daed, the deacon, about becoming a baptized member of the Amish community, but he is not sure her heart is in the right place to come back, based on the unforgiveness she holds towards her father for pulling her family into the Englisch world. When her father unexpectedly shows up to ensure she comes back home, are her dreams and wishes doomed forever? Will she be stuck in the new worldly life that has been created for her?
The Wish by Beverly Lewis is a good novel about friendship that spans the years and distance and hope that continues to endure. Typical to Beverly’s style, it is a book based on the Amish community, but there is always a little bit of a twist that is thrown in each novel she write so the reader doesn’t fully know what to expect until the end. This particular book leaves an open ending so the reader can imagine what might happen next, and even though at that point in the novel, you pretty much know what will happen, I am one of those people who still like to read the details on it, so the openness left me wishing for just a little more. Beverly is an author whose books in which I can feel safe letting my children read too. This is a good read and I thoroughly enjoyed the Amish/Englisch aspect that was brought into it.
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I received this book free courtesy of Bethany House Publisher’s Blogger Review Program in exchange for an honest review.