Book Review: The Photograph

Read on to learn more about Beverly Lewis’ The Photograph! A great read to cozy up with this fall/winter! 🙂

Read on for a #review about the #book The Photograph by Beverly Lewis!

A description of the book from the publisher:

Eva Esch and her sisters are in a predicament. With the passing of their widowed mother, Eva’s older brother plans to move his growing family into the Eden Valley farmhouse where they all grew up, leaving little room for his three single sisters. Unless they marry within the year, the only apparent option is for two sisters to go to Indiana to live with an elderly great aunt. Eva hopes to be married, but she isn’t sure she wants to give up her sweet shop for the life of a farmer’s wife. And she can’t see how her prospects would be any better in Indiana.

When younger sister Lily disappears in the night, leaving only a brief note, Eva fears she has been wooed away from the People by an outsider. And when Jed Stutzman, a young Amish buggy maker from Ohio, shows up at Eva’s market stand in Lancaster with a photo of a Plain young woman, Eva’s world begins to tilt.

As usual, my five point review:

  • About a year ago, I received The River by Beverly Lewis to read and review… and I think that was the last Amish fiction novel I’ve read. I used to be allll over Amish fiction but somewhere along the way I started reading other genres. But this fall, when I saw that Beverly Lewis had a new release, I decided to check it out–and I am so glad I did. This was another wonderful book. Whether it’s your first Amish novel, or the latest in your favorite genre, this is a book not to miss.
  • Though the overarching plot–Lily’s disappearance, Eva’s romance options, Jed’s search to find the woman in the [forbidden] photo–has suspense and romance, it is just a pleasant and relaxing read all around. I’ll be honest; if you have read one of these types of novels you can probably predict where this book is going, but the journey to get there is just fabulous.
  • Since I do have the “predictability” element of these books down to an art, I was expecting to find something disagreeable about Jed, the [as you guessed it] main love interest here. But really… I didn’t get that vibe from him. No jerky moves, no heart-breaking decisions… just a nice, honest, hard-working guy. He was my favorite character by far! Even the female leads had their issues at times, but Jed was just great and I wish there could have been more of his presence throughout the pages.
  • My other wish for this novel was that we would have learned more about Lily–WHY she left, WHY she decided to go against her community’s teachings and have her picture taken, and so many more questions along that vein. Yes, they were answered–somewhat–in the wonderful ending pages of the book, but I thought they could have been discussed more thoroughly. But perhaps the author left that a bit vague for another book!
  • Though I haven’t read many of Lewis’ books, she is renowned as a wonderful storyteller. This book is no exception! The plot, the characters, the setting… all are so well done and just enchanting. To be honest, a lot of Christian fiction or Amish fiction is not that way so it is refreshing when you come across a book that is all-around a winner. 🙂 I highly recommend this book!

What are you reading lately?

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Bethany House for the chance to read this great book!


Book Review: The River

Bethany House’s book review program is great. I love that it gives me the opportunity to read books that I normally wouldn’t choose on my own, like The River by Beverly Lewis. I hope you check it out!

The River by Beverly Lewis, reviewed by
Here’s a description of the book from the publisher:

She looked once more at the dreaded river. Since Anna’s death, it had been such a barrier…a place and a moment she could not seem to move past.

A line I can’t move beyond…

The River

Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents’ landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn’t entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau.

Past meets present as Tilly and Ruth yearn for acceptance and redemption. Can they face the future in the light of a past they can’t undo?

My five point review as usual:

  • I know in the fiction world, the Christian fiction world especially, Amish novels get a bad rap. I know they aren’t REALLY representative of the Amish and I know they can pile on the cheese quite high at times, but I can’t help but like them. They’re great “escape” novels, for real. So why did I say that I probably wouldn’t have read this novel on my own? Well, because the author has written SO MANY novels… over 90, in fact. She’s an established author and has a lot of series, and sometimes with those sort of authors I get overwhelmed and lazy and don’t want to figure out where to start. Or I want to find THE BEST novel/series to start with and just get bogged down. But this standalone novel is totally worth the voyage to a new [to me] author and has encouraged me to seek out more of her work.
  • The best word I could come up with to describe this book is bittersweet. There’s so much love, yet so much tension in this family. So much good, yet so much bad. Isn’t that true of most/many families? The family is the main focus in this novel, and this family’s story is oh so bittersweet. So if you go into this novel looking for a happy-go-lucky novel with a bit of drama, change your expectations and then start reading. You’ll be sure to enjoy it.
  • I thought it was interesting that the story took place in 1977. It seems like most Amish novels are either timeless or present-day, so that was different. But since the author was so specific about when the story was set, I think it would have been helpful to have more dates in the story because it seemed a bit unrealistic all that took place over a period of a few weeks/months. Not a huge deal, but still worth mentioning.
  • The theme of forgiveness was quite prevalent throughout the story… and played a role in almost every character’s relationships with each other. The complex [and often conflict-filled] relationships were handled well, something that could have easily been confusing wasn’t.
  • Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It handled tough subjects tastefully, was well written, and was engaging. I could hardly put it down! I liked that the ending wasn’t [too] predictable. 🙂

What are you reading lately?

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Bethany House for the chance to read this great book!