** I was given a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. No other compensation was received. **
Excerpt from Bethany House Publishers:
He studied the picture more closely, finding it curious that the young woman looked so boldly into the camera while wearing a white prayer Kapp shaped like a heart--the characteristic head covering for the Lancaster County Old Order Amish.
Why would a devout girl have her picture taken?
When her sister Lily disappears only months after their widowed mother's passing, Eva Esch fears she has been wooed away from the People. Yet Lily's disappearance isn't Eva's only concern: She and her sisters must relocate once their older brother takes over the family farmhouse. Then Jed Stutzman, an Amish buggy maker from Ohio, shows up in Eden Valley with a photo of a Plain young woman. Eva feels powerfully drawn to the charming stranger--but the woman in the forbidden photograph is no stranger at all. . . .
My thoughts: I must confess that at first I found this book a little slow and perhaps not my favorite "cup of tea" so to speak. I debated about saying anything negative because I hate giving a review that might discourage someone from reading the book. - However we are to be "honest" in our reviews so I'm going ahead with my review.
I found this book a little hard to follow with the usage of a lot of the Amish terms and no explanation as to what they meant. I've read a lot of Amish fiction and some authors have a list of the "Amish Terms" in the front of the book which helps you to understand the story better. This one did not.
The plot is interesting though. Eva and her sisters are forced to relocate after their parents die and their brother takes over the family farm. - When this happens Eva's youngest sister, Lily disappears. It is feared that she has left the Amish life to join the outside world or "Englishers" as is the Amish term for others not of their faith.
Eva eventually meets, Jed Stutzman, an Amish buggy maker. He happens upon a photograph of a young Amish woman looking directly into the camera. It is highly unusual for a devote Amish person to have their photograph taken much less look boldly into the camera. Who is this woman and what is the story behind the photograph?
As the story unfolds you are drawn into it more & more. Will Lily be found and return to her Amish roots and family, Will Eva find a new place in her life after she has to leave her family home and the little Candy business that her father had set up for her as a young girl? Will Jed find love again after the loss of his fiance? Will the mystery of the photograph be solved?
It took me awhile to get into the plot of the book but that doesn't mean this isn't an interesting story so do give this book a read if you want to find out the answers to the questions above.