Tuesday, September 8, 2020
The Stone Wall by Beverly Lewis
nna 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?
About The Author
Beverly Marie Jones (Lewis) was born in the heart of Amish country—Lancaster, Pennsylvania. At the tender age of nine, she began writing short stories and poetry. Prior to that, she made up lyrics to the "little fingers" piano pieces she learned, at the age of five.
"My mother saved everything I wrote, even the stories I dreamed up during my grade school years," Beverly says. One such tale is semi-autobiographical, about a young girl whose parents can no longer afford to give her piano lessons. The manuscript was 77 pages long and titled "She Shall Have Music," penned under the shade of a lone willow tree. "Reading, writing, and playing piano have been top three on my list of favorite things," she says.
Not until her own children were well into middle school did Beverly seek to publish her work, first in magazines such as Highlights for Children, Dolphin Log, and Guideposts for Kids. Her first book followed in 1993—Mountain Bikes and Garbanzo Beans—presently retitled Big Bad Beans (book #22 in the popular Cul-de-Sac Kids series of chapter books—see list of Bev's children's books).
Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, The Heritage of Lancaster County, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."
Asked if she is surprised by the popularity of her work, Lewis says, "The sales response for my work is astonishing, but even more heartwarming are thousands of letters a year pouring in from readers." Fans describe how her books have "touched a nerve, creating a curiosity about the Old Ways of the Amish... a yearning for a simpler life and return to traditional values in the mainstream society, where an impersonal, high-tech lifestyle reigns paramount," she explains. Beverly still takes time out of her busy schedule to answer her readers' letters.
Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Beverly's tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, "Beverly's books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don't run across writing like that every day. I hope she'll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time."
A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and spending time with their family. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."
I found this book to be a very enjoyable read, and it kept my attention from beginning to end. You will learn a lot about the Anabaptist faith and the different sects here as we follow a young woman, Anna, from her home a few hours away to the Lancaster area.
There is a parallel to this story, Anna's beloved Grandmother also spent time with a Great Aunt when she was a teenage, and fell in love with an Old Order Amish man, now that doesn't sound bad does it? Her parents are like most, and the want their children raised in their faith, and their is a difference between this different Sects. Anna belongs to the Beachy Amish.
Now our girl is recovering from a failed romance and is staying in the Lancaster area with her Old Order cousins, and living without electricity, but she is still using her car, and we watch her bloom.
You will be wondering if she will end up with the fellow who has shown her the ropes at her new job, or the widow with the little girl. Both seems wonderful, and although they both worship differently from her, they would make great matches. Watch or read and see whom she ends up with.
Enjoyed how the title of this book plays such a great part!
I received this book through Net Galley and Bethany House Publishers. and was not required to give a positive review.
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