Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Fantastic New Series by Leslie Gould!

           "Amish Promises"
              By Leslie Gould

A statement on the back cover of this book, says it all!! "Journey down a quiet lane in Lancaster County where love and heartache and friendship and healing meet". I have loved all of Leslie's previous books, but this new one is so unique, that I believe it is the BEST yet. It touches on unusual subjects that you usually do not encounter in Amish fiction and deals with them in a sensitive, respectful manner. You certainly don't expect a military family to settle in an Amish community . 

"Amish Promises" is book one in a new series, entitled, "Neighbors of Lancaster County". This is a book that we all need to read! There is an underlying message throughout the book that reminds us that we are all different from one another in one way or another and need to be understanding , loving and kind to all of our neighbors, exemplifying the love that God gives us! 

Joel and Shani Beck arrive at their new home in Lancaster County. Their goal in this move is to find peace and quiet. Shani is thrilled to have Joel back from Iraq, however, he is not the same person that he once was, and desperately needs time to heal, emotionally and physically. The quiet countryside appears to be just what he needs. They can't imagine that they would have any difficulties with their Amish neighbors, the Lehmans, however, things get off to to a bad start when their son is involved in an accident that injures one of the Lehman boys.

Eve Lehman has run her brother's household since the death of his wife. She has accepted her place in life, to help her brother's family thus becoming an old maid. Tim Lehman is a strong willed Amish man who appears stern and does not accept changes easily. He warns her, as well as his children to stay clear of the new  neighbors. After all, Englischers just bring trouble, and try to lure you away from your faith. Despite this, Eve finds herself drawn to Shani and the two women begin to form a strong friendship based on faith and family. Life is quiet and going well, when everything appears to fall apart. Joel's single, handsome army friend, Charlie arrives on the scene!! Daily life is NO longer calm, as Eve finds herself attracted to this kind, goodlooking man. Complications arise!! Battles in between the neighbors arise.  Can an Amish woman keep her faith and lifestyle while pursuing a relationship with an Englischer??

My attention was captured on the first page of the book and continued until the very last page. I found the characters to be realistic and so well described, that I easily identified with them . I felt Shani's hurts and challenges! I lived Eve's life alongside her, as she encountered confusion in her personal faith as well as difficult family problems. I must admit that  two men in the story frustrated me to the point where I wanted to shout at them and shake them to wake them up. Typical men, I thought!!! No patience!! Now, that is true involvement in the story!! 

The plot advances quickly with twists and turns arising at the most unexpected moments. The problems that appeared caused me to seriously think of my own life . Do I accept the differences in others in a Godly fashion? How can I improve? Although this book deals with the Amish , we all encounter the same kind of difficulties with others.  

I applaud Leslie Gould's success in writing a book that is truly different from other Amish books. Addressing PTSD, a military family in turmoil, plus an Amish family experiencing their own difficult life experiences, then joining them together in a relationship takes a special talent. All I can say is WOW!!!

I highly recommend this book to all readers. To those who think that Amish Fiction is predictable, try this one!  Leslie has stepped out of the mold!! 
Definitely a five star book!!

This book was provided by the author and publisher, in exchange for a fair and honest review.