Amanda Dienner hasn’t seen her Old Order family in five years when she receives word that her mother has passed away and left her Lancaster County’s most popular Amish bed-and-breakfast. Now an Englisher, Mandy is shocked: Her twin sister should have been the obvious choice! What’s more, the inheritance comes with a catch: The farmhouse inn will only truly be hers if she is able to successfully run it for twelve consecutive months.
Mandy accepts the challenge even though it means returning to Gordonville and the painful memories she left behind at eighteen. Still, she’s determined to prove she is more than capable of running the bed-and-breakfast, no matter that its loyal clientele are expecting an Amish hostess!
The inn isn’t Mandy’s sole test, however. Rubbing shoulders with her married twin sister reopens wounds that Mandy isn’t ready to forgive. And an Englisher guest with a difficult past of her own just complicates matters.
Can Mandy fulfill the terms of her inheritance? Or will this year in Amish country prove a dreadful mistake?
I always know I can count on Beverly Lewis to write a book that I am going to love. Now typically it is not an Amish girl who left the community over something secret (you learn later in the story), but I actually liked this approach to a storyline. While it may not be original in concept, I can’t remember reading one recently so it was a nice change of pace.
Let me start by saying that the setting for this story – The B&B – was lovely. I could easily picture myself transported to this quaint little inn, especially when they talked about all the butterflies coming in the spring. It was so realistic to me that I wanted to call and make a reservation, but instead I will just have to reread the story. When Mandy found herself in trouble at the inn, I desperately wanted to jump in and help. It just sounded like such a fantastic place to visit and live!
What I liked most about this story was the way Mandy’s character took her time to become acclimated to her surroundings. Some authors would have made her automatically return to her Amish roots, and I think that really takes away from the storyline. I want to see the character grow, and want to return to her roots. Or give it a try for a while and find out that it really isn’t for her. Beverly knows exactly how to write a story in a way that keeps me reading, keeps me interested, and makes me happy!
Amish fictions fans will love the latest from Beverly Lewis. And I think you’ll find it is one you will want to read over and over again! 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
I’ve had my nose in a book, for as long as I remember. When I was about 9 years old, I started writing my own stories. By sixth grade, I’d hand-written a 66-page semi-autobiographical book titled, “She Shall Have Music.”
After I was married and our three children were in middle school, I began submitting articles and short fiction to various magazines.
My first book (Holly’s First Love) was published in May 1993, the start of a 14-book series for pre-teen girls. Soon after, my first chapter book was published for 7-10-year-old readers (“Big Bad Beans”) which later became part of my 24-book series, The Cul-de-Sac Kids. I wrote another long-running series for girls, titled “SummerHill Secrets,” which was set very close to Neffsville, PA, where I grew up–near the heart of Amish country.
But it was the story of my grandmother Ada Buchwalter’s shunning by her ultra-strict father and subsequently her old order Mennonite community that nudged me toward writing adult fiction. THE SHUNNING was published in 1997 by Bethany House Publishers, and along with its sequels, has touched a nerve in millions of readers intrigued by the Plain tradition of Lancaster County, PA. The Hallmark Movie Channel will air the movie, “Beverly Lewis’s The Confession” on January 19, 2013–the sequel to “The Shunning” movie.
My passion for Amish-related stories continues to keep me up at night, and I’m presently editing the 2nd book (The Bridesmaid) in my new series: “Home to Hickory Hollow,” due out September 11, 2012.
When I’m between writing deadlines, I enjoy hiking in the Rocky Mountains with my husband. Cooking from scratch, playing Mozart at the piano, and making family memory albums, as well as traveling to meet my devoted readers during book tours, are some of my very favorite things. I also adore reading biographies and memoirs, as well as classic literature.