Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Amish Sweethearts (Neighbors of Lancaster County #2) by Leslie Gould
Can These Two Friends from Opposite Worlds Find Love?
They've been best friends for years, but as high school ends, Zane Beck can't help but look at his Amish neighbor, Lila Lehman, with different eyes. Her controlling father sees only one future for Lila, though, and arranges for her to be courted by an upstanding young Amish man. When Zane sees the two together, his plans for the future crumble, and he impulsively enlists in the Army, following in his father's footsteps.
However, the passing of years and the distance between them isn't enough to halt their now hidden feelings for each other. If being together used to be difficult, it's now impossible, especially with the Amish opposed to war. Zane's service takes a dramatic turn when he's sent to Afghanistan. Being on the front line and the reality of taking a life has him questioning whether he can continue to serve or not. But all choices have consequences--both his and hers. With Lila preparing to marry another, will these one-time sweethearts ever find the life together that they both still long for?
About The Author
Some of my strongest memories from childhood include stories—and how those stories connected me to my family and friends. As a preschooler, I remember playing Island of the Blue Dolphin with my three siblings and the neighbor kids, my father reading A Street of Flower Boxes to us before bed, and my mother reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn on long car trips. I also soaked up Bible stories and accounts of grace and redemption during Sunday school and Good News Club. Along with my love of stories, my love of writing began in those early years with my very first written word—S-K-Y.
Even though I knew I wanted to write fiction by the time I was in the sixth grade, as I grew older I pursued other things instead, such as majoring in history and communications, and then working as a museum curator, then a public relations specialist, and finally as a magazine editor. Once I finally started writing fiction, it was another ten years until I sold my first novel. By that time I’d been married for nearly 20 years and had four children of my own to read to.
In the decade and a half since my first contract I’ve written twenty-one novels, from Beyond the Blue, a story about international adoption set in Vietnam, to Courting Cate, a retelling of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. No matter what I write, I aim to reveal truths about God’s love, beauty, and redemptive work in our lives. My goal is to connect more deeply to God, family, and friends through my writing. My hope is that my stories encourage readers to deepen their own connections too.
Amish sweethearts brings to mind two, probably baptized members of the Amish church, and maybe a courting buggy, and going to singings, That would be the furthest from the truth of this young couple.
Lila and her family, her mom is deceased, are Amish, and her neighbor, childhood friend, and man she cares about are English. What is even more startling is the fact that said friend Zane is in the military and ends up in Afghanistan.
Lila knows that she can not leave the Amish faith and has an Amish boyfriend, for over three years, he has wanted to move forward and marry her, but Lila knows something is missing, and you will immediately think of Zane.
This story takes us through a lot of happenings in this small community, we stay with Lila’s Mennonite grandmother, and what a sweetie she is along with her grandfather. We get close and personal with Zane’s family, and how much they are accepted by their pacifist neighbors, even though both Zane and his dad are or were military. We spend time in Lila’s home, and meet her siblings and as usual we find the squabbling that goes on in all homes, but there is respect and love in this house.
There are a lot of struggles along the way and we meet them head on, but wonder how this is all going to resolve itself. God places the right people in the right place and at the right time, and we feel his presence here.
I really enjoyed this story, and loved my visit in Lancaster County.
I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House and was not required to give a positive review.