Archive for February 2012

Review: The Shunning

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Shunning
The Shunning by Beverly Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

‘The Shunning’ is book one in The Heritage of Lancaster County
trilogy by Beverly Lewis and is inspired by the true story of the
Author's grandmother who left her plain community.

Katie Lapp is a 22 year old Amish girl who has lost her first love,
Daniel, in a tragic boating accident. Katie doesn't fit in; she's
unhappy with her plain life and feels drawn to a "fancy" way of life.
However, she's already made her vows to the faith and is set to marry
the local widowed bishop and become a mama to his children, more-so
out of duty to being an upstanding member of her society instead of
marrying for love. She feels trapped but is determined to go through
with things and become a good Amish woman.

When Katie finds a satin baby garment in the attic she begins to
question herself about her love for fancy things and her love for
music. This puts her in a bad place with her parents, and with the
bishop she is set to marry. Eventually her rebellion leads to her
shunning. The shunning is a practice that is observed by Old Order
Amish and some Mennonite churches. In a society that is very social,
the shunning is particularly painful for the individuals who must
endure it. The entire community is forbidden to speak to or have any
contact with the Shunned. The Amish call the act of shunning- Meidung,
which translates from German, avoidance.

The book wraps up with Katie leaving her plain community and leaves us
with a surprising cliffhanger which I am sure will be explored in the
next installment, The Confession. Unlike other authors, who shy from
addressing issues of shunning or religious practices of the Amish,
Beverly Lewis writes about these issues and gives a realistic view of
what the Amish believe and not just a look at their lifestyle.

View all my reviews

Review: Eragon

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked up ‘Eragon’, being a fan of the fantasy genre, I thought this was a book I would really enjoy. This book, as the title suggests, tells the story of Eragon, a young boy who has found a mysterious stone that turns out to be a dragon egg. After his uncle is murdered, Eragon sets off on an adventure with Saphira, his dragon, and the ever mysterious storyteller from Carvahall, Brom. ‘Eragon’ is suitable for young adults, but is still enjoyable by adults who take pleasure in a light read. I could have sworn I saw brief similarities to Tolkien and perhaps a bit of Goodkind, as though
the author drew inspiration from these authors. You can definitely tell the book was written by someone who reads a lot of the fantasy genre. So, while the story wasn't completely original, it was still enjoyable. I give it 5 stars and I do plan to read the rest of the Inheritance series.

View all my reviews

Review: The Scent Of Cherry Blossoms: A Romance From The Heart Of Amish Country

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Scent Of Cherry Blossoms: A Romance From The Heart Of Amish Country
The Scent Of Cherry Blossoms: A Romance From The Heart Of Amish Country by Cindy Woodsmall

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

'The Scent of Cherry Blossoms' by Cindy Woodsmall was a fantastic read! The story revisits a couple of characters from previous Woodsmall books, Roman and Aden Zook, as well as introduces us to Annie Martin, a 'horse and buggy' Mennonite. One thing I simply love about Woodsmall is that while her books are a series they can also be
read as standalone novels. If you're an avid reader, you start to get a feel for the characters in her community and it's really nice to revisit them when new novels hit the shelves.

I truly enjoyed the characters in this book. My own daughter suffered from a speech impediment, luckily, therapy has worked for her. Because of the extensive therapy we've been through with her, I felt a closeness to Aden and was pleased with how his character was written. So many times people look at someone with a speech difficulty as "slow" and Woodsmall respectfully showed that many times that is not
the case. I was glad he was able to find someone who could love him for who he was, regardless of his speech problem!

I anticipate seeing a future installment that explores more of Roman's story. I felt his part of the story was tied up a little too soon, but hope that in doing so it will mean a new story to read in the future!

A fantastic book, and a lovely little romance!

Special thanks goes out to Waterbrook Multnomah from whom I received this book as a gift for reviewing "The Christmas Singing"

View all my reviews

A Simply Enchanted Life Giveaway: LoveSpell Gift Set | One Day of Peace

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Simply Enchanted Life is working together with "One Day of Peace" to bring you this giveaway! Click the following link to find out how you can win!
A Simply Enchanted Life Giveaway: LoveSpell Gift Set | One Day of Peace

Review: The Longing

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Longing (The Courtship of Nellie Fisher, #3)The Longing by Beverly Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"The Longing" is the final installment in "The Courtship of Nellie Fisher" series and I absolutely cannot wait to read more from Beverly Lewis!

In this book we see more of the struggle of a community as it comes to terms with conflicts of faith and church division. The community is also devastated to hear about a near fatal injury of one of their own. Much of this book explores how God can use any situation to open our eyes and our hearts to Him, and also to our friends and family that we may need to make amends with.

We see Rhoda's struggle with her self-worth, her longing for love and acceptance, her disappointment in herself at turning her back on her family as well as her struggle with finding herself yet still keeping her family and her values. Her desire is to simply be loved while still loving and being true to herself.

The book also continues to explore romances for Nan and Nellie Mae and continues delving deep into the heartache and loss that has settled over Rosanna and her husband, Elias. One thing is for certain - through happiness, love or loss we see one important message shining through - the importance of prayer and putting our trust in the Lord, not only for our salvation but also for all the trials that may come our way.

I really enjoyed this book series and learned more about the differences between the Mennonite, Old Order Amish and New Order Amish. I suggest it to any fan of Christian, Historical and Amish fiction.

To read my review of The Parting click here

To read my review of The Forbidden click here

View all my reviews

Review: The Forbidden

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Forbidden
The Forbidden by Beverly Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"The Forbidden" is the second book in The Courtship of Nellie Fisher
series and I'm quickly becoming a Beverly Lewis fan. As you know, if you've read my review of "The Parting", this is my first series that I have read by Lewis and it has been a joy.

"The Forbidden" continues to explore the romance between Nellie and her beau, Caleb. His father has completely forbidden any contact with the Fisher family due to their recent turn from the Old Order Church and embracing salvation. Nellie is torn between her family, her heart and the love of her life. I won't say which she
chooses, as to not ruin the story for those that haven't yet read it, but I was happy with her decision.

I have to say, I simply couldn't put this book down. Not for the main character, but for her friend Rosanna's character. Rosanna feels like a real person and my heart broke for her and her husband at the trials that they are facing. I absolutely can't wait to pick up book three to find out how their story ends.

If you're looking for a more realistic view of the Amish views and their faith then I strongly suggest this book series. Though it is set in the 1960s it does give a really good look at what they believe as well as their lifestyle.

A fantastic read. I look forward to the next installment!

View all my reviews