Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Thorn

Is there anything better than watching a Packer game (especially when they are winning) on a bright but chilly fall afternoon with not one, but two dogs curled up and sleeping on your lap? Charlie and Cooper are the picture of contentment, although I have to keep moving Charlie's head off of my laptop so I can type! My dogs drive me crazy sometimes, but I really do love them. Somehow they've made our house more into a home. Today, they are keeping me warm and happy.

The Thorn by Beverly Lewis is the first book in the Rose series. Rose Ann Kauffman has always been the good daughter in her Amish family. The youngest of several children, at twenty-one, she' responsible for caring for her disabled mother since her brothers are all married with families of their own and elder sister Hen left the community to marry her Englischer husband. Rose's long friendship with the bishop's foster son, Nick, may be the only thing keeping him from leaving the Amish, but what she sees as good friends, Nick may see as something more. Hen, who now has a nearly five-year-old daughter Mattie Sue, suddenly sees all that she gave up when she married Brandon and turned her back on her family. Brandon doesn't understand her desire to begin dressing Plain and spend time with her family, and their fighting causes a fissure in their marriage that may be irreparable. Lewis who is well-known for her Amish novels, isn't resting on her laurels with this new series. I know that a book is engrossing when at night I find myself almost praying for the characters because I've been so completely pulled into their world. Her writing captures the beauty of Amish life, as well as the struggle its young people face to choose the Plain lifestyle. Hen's return to the life she left accurately renders the stark differences between modern culture and the values of the Amish. Rose, as a young woman who doesn't know her own heart, is fresh and thoroughly likable. I'm fascinated to see where the next book, The Judgment, takes these characters.

Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with a copy of this book for review.


The Book Nut said...

This is interesting to me since I live in the heart of the worlds largest Amish community, Holmes County Ohio. We actually have a young couple next door to us that left the Amish about 3 years ago. I asked them one evening why they decided to leave and they said that they knew that there had to be more to being a Christian than trying to follow the plethora of sometimes senseless rules that the Amish try to enforce. They now have found personal relationships with Jesus and are very happy. Their family hasn't supported them completely but some of them have also left the Amish as well. They said that though it has been hard, it has been worth it.