Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Book Review: The Longing by Beverly Lewis

The Longing The Courtship of Nellie Fisher - Book 3

Bethany House Publishers 2008

The Longing continues the story of Nellie Mae Fisher. Her story begins in Book 1, The Parting, and continues in Book 2, The Forbidden.

Nellie is an Amish teen whose life has been turned upside down. Her people are split over assurance of salvation. Nellie and her family have embraced saving grace and joined the new order church that has sprung up. Her beau, Caleb, stays with the old order and his father has ordered Caleb to break up with Nellie.

In this book, she tries to move on with her life after breaking up with Caleb. She finds herself drawn to an Englischer, Christian. Her new boyfriend is a Mennonite cousin of Caleb's but Nellie does not know this. Meanwhile, Caleb's stubborn father is in a life-threatening farm accident. In his last days, he comes to know Christ and reconciles with Caleb. I am not going to spoil the story by telling you who Nellie ends up with.

Other story lines in the book include Nellie's sister, Rhoda. She moves out on her own and goes "Fancy". She has many struggles until she comes to terms with who she really is.

Nellie's friend, Rosanna, is also featured. Her longing for a baby consumes her. Her inability to carry a baby to term and the reversal of the adoption of her cousin's twins has crushed her. Another expectant mother offers to let Rosanna adopt her baby. Then Rosanna finds out she is pregnant again. Should she risk heartache again with a new adoption? Will she finally carry a baby to term? These are the questions that plague her.

I love Beverly Lewis's stories. I live in an area where there are lots of Amish and am somewhat familiar with their lifestyle and beliefs. Mrs. Lewis really brings you into the Amish community.

This series moved a lot slower than her other series. I do think that this last book does a better job of pacing the story. After finishing Book 2, I really did not care if Nellie and Caleb got back together. I am still not sure if I am satisfied with the ending, although I do not see how it could have ended any other way.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

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