Saturday, March 6, 2021

THE STONE WALL by Beverly Lewis, Reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

Beverly Lewis is the author that first introduced me to Amish fiction years ago when I discovered her Abram's Daughters series from my library. She hooked me with that first book and I've since found many other wonderful authors who write in this genre. I'll always credit her to falling in love with my first Christian Fiction stories!

So it was with great pleasure and anticipation that I read The Stone Wall! What I loved about it is that Anna is a young Amish woman who's trying to find her way in the world. When an opportunity comes up to visit distant family, she eagerly embarks spending time with her Old Order Amish relatives. The promise of a new direction for her life renews her spirit and refreshes her heart. I also love the mysterious memories her elderly grandma shares that involve a stone wall and a long ago forbidden love. Lastly, I enjoyed the developing love interests from two different men and couldn't wait to find out which one Anna would end up with. I normally don't care for love triangles because they can be frustrating for me to read, but Lewis wrote this in a way that was interesting without all the angst. Now, I'd really like to see a book featuring the one that didn't get his happily-ever-after! I'm a hopeless romantic like that.
I loved getting to know Anna and her extended family, the community she quickly feels a part of, the friendships she'd made, watching how her strong faith guided her every step, and the depth of love she had for her grandma. Someone described this as classic Beverly Lewis and I would have to agree!
“Tis a waste of time to look back with regret,” Mammi Eliza Slaubaugh once told me. “Though we might fret and stew, the past simply can’t be changed,” she’d added, leaning closer, as if to share a secret. “Besides, if we could change our past, Anna, would we want to?”

*I received a complimentary digital copy from Netgalley and was not obligated to leave a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *
BackCover Blurb:
Anna is eager to begin a new chapter in her life as a Lancaster County tour guide in the picturesque area where her Plain grandmother once stayed. Anna wishes she could talk with her grandmother about those long-ago days, but the elderly woman suffers from Alzheimer's, and beyond a vague hint about an old stone wall, much about that time is a mystery. Thankfully, Martin Nolt, a handsome Mennonite, takes the young Beachy Amish woman under his wing for her training, familiarizing her with the many local highlights, including Peaceful Meadows Horse Retreat, which serves children with special needs. The retreat's mission so inspires Anna that she returns to volunteer, and she quickly strikes up a friendship with Gabe Allgyer, the young Amish widower who manages it. 

As Anna grows closer to both Martin and Gabe, she finds herself faced with a difficult choice--one in potential conflict with the expectations of her parents. Will Anna find true love and the truth about her grandmother's past in Lancaster County? Or will she find only heartbreak? 
Bethany House Publishers, September 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

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