Have you ever not been in the mood to read a certain book? Not because you didn’t love the author, but maybe you just didn’t want that kind of book? That was me prior to reading A Love for Leah by Amy Lillard. I love Amy’s book, but I just wasn’t in the mood for an Amish romancy type book. Let me tell you this – after I read the first few chapters, all of that totally changed!
About the Book
Independent-minded Leah Gingerich has always been outspoken. And even though she is now a progressive Mennonite, she’s rediscovering the joys of family traditions back in her Amish hometown. Yet she can’t help but clash with her handsome new Amish neighbor, Jamie Stoltzfus. He’s too hard-headed and old-line to see that his traumatized young nephew, Peter, needs faith and help—or that a woman who stands up to him may be what he needs to heal . . .
After a devastating tragedy, Jamie moved to Pontotoc with his nephew for a fresh start. Holding fast to his beliefs is the only way he feels he can aid Peter—and himself. But somehow, Leah’s freethinking ways and feisty challenges are sparking a happiness he’s never felt before. Soon, Jamie can’t imagine his life without her. But are their differences ultimately too great to overcome—or can love bridge their way to a future together?
I have been a fan of Amy Lillard for quite some time now, but this is by far the best book I have ever read by her. It is a lengthy book, but I devoured it. I read it in two sittings, and that was only because the first one was during my lunch break. I loved everything about the book – the characters, the setting, the arguing, and the fact that not all the characters were Amish (gasp!). Some were Mennonite, some were Englisch, and some were making their way back to the Amish. Even among their differences, all these characters had one common ground – their love for the Lord and helping others. It was such a wonderful way to showcase that even people who alter in their beliefs ever so slightly can become united and work together.
Leah and Jamie? Yeah, they’ll be a couple that I will be thinking about for a long time. I absolutely love it when two people just argue with each other right from the get go, but you can see that deep down there really is something there between them. Most times it is the reader who can see this way before the characters even catch on. It’s just this exciting tension that I cannot get enough of. Here you have Leah, a Mennonite by choice, who is a little more open minded when it comes to certain things. Mix that with Amish hero Jamie, who is a hero just by the fact that he took in his poor nephew after the rest of the family died in a fire. Jamie has a lot learn – mostly that sometimes you have to think outside the box a little bit and have faith that the Lord will be there every step of the way.
The showstopper in this book however, was sweet little Peter, Jamie’s nephew. Peter had been through so much in his short little life, that I didn’t really blame him for not talking. And while he wasn’t a talking character, the parts he did play in the book put a huge smile on my face. Peter is proof that communication is not just from the lips, it comes in all different forms. I enjoyed seeing him grow with the help of Leah, and the scene where he just climbed into her lap melted my heart.
So how do an Amish man and a Mennonite woman come together? Well, I am obviously not going to spoil that. But I will tell you this – it happens a little differently that I imagined it would. Amy Lillard has managed to write a story outside the box, but not so far outside that it isn’t realistic. Her writing continues to surprise me, and I cannot wait to see what comes next! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author