Friday, 2 October 2015

The Photograph - Beverley Lewis

Months after the loss of their Mother, Eva Esch's sister Lily, disappears. She fears that she may have been charmed away from the People.

With their father having also died, Eva and older sister Frona find that their elder brother Menno may want to take over the family farmhouse a lot sooner than they thought. He's probably expecting one to marry soon enough.

Fraught with worry, Eva prays for guidance and to see a light at the end of a dark tunnel.

Jed Stutzman is slowly coming to terms with the loss of his fiancé, just over a year ago. Will he ever meet someone who was as in-tune with him as Lydiann? His uncle encourages him to travel to Eden Valley (from Ohio) to learn more about the buggy making business - and perhaps meet someone new? On the train down he comes across a well-read copy of Little Women. From it falls a photo of a beautiful Amish woman.

Forbidden to take such a thing, the cryptic - "the best and worst day of my life" written on the back - echoes in his mind as well as the notes that the owner of the copy made. Thoughtful, thought provoking comments; comments that make the young man become enamored.

When Jed and Eva bump into each other, the attraction is immediate; yet he wonders what made Eva take the photograph. Does he say something? And if he does, how does he say it?

Lewis' novel about family and faith is endearing. Her characters are solid, lightly complex and appealing. Whilst fairly slow moving, the growing affection between Jed and Eva is sweet. The author has created a Plain world which shows the deep family and friend loyalty as well as frictions that can occur when someone sees the 'outside world' as exciting and different.

Whilst I enjoyed the story, I found Lewis' writing style a little stilted and disjointed. Because of this I couldn't get into the story immediately as I felt I was being swapped from who was telling the story a little too frequently. But once I got used to the style, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's an utterly romantic tale told in a subtle way. Overall, it's a good story and worth reading.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House as part of their blogger program. The opinions expressed are my own and I am not required to give a positive critique.

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