In this sequel to The Bargain, Betsie Troyer is back home in her Amish community where she knows she belongs, free from the confusing Englisher way of life. She and Charley Yoder have made promises to each other, and her life is back on track--until Gerald Sullivan shows up with his young daughter, asking for Betsie's help. He's on his way to find his estranged wife, and begs Betsie to take young Sheila in.
When she agrees, Betsie's carefully planned life is shaken up again. Sheila's newfound faith is troubling to Charley--and his attraction to another girl is beginning to be a problem. But how can Betsie confront him when she is still trying to confront her own feelings about Sheila's brother, Michael? Keeping the peace between the Amish man she's always loved, a twelve-year-old Englisher girl, and a draft-dodging hippie is more than she ever thought she'd have to deal with in her simple, orderly life. Still, Betsie is convinced she can keep things from falling apart completely.
Then during her best friend's wedding, tragedy strikes and her world is upended. She has to make a decision: does she love Charley or Michael . . . or is she craving a deeper love that only God can give?
The compelling second novel of the Plain City Peace series,The Bachelor deftly weaves together the strands of a solid, simpler time with the turmoil of an era of change, revealing the strengths of both in its powerful narrative.
A few years ago, I was given the opportunity to read Stephanie's Reed's novel Across the Wide River. I had never read anything written by her before, and I was moved by her writing. I've been a reader of Amish fiction since my teen years when my grandmother introduced me to Beverly Lewis' books, and for many years it was a genre that was my favorite. I don't read a lot of it at this point, due to burn-out, but when I saw that Stephanie's newest novel was available for review, I snagged the opportunity to read some well-written story!
What I love about Stephanie's writing of Amish fiction is that she writes about the Amish people's beliefs accurately, at least in my opinion. That is one of my pet peeves with Amish fiction, and a big reason why I no longer read it like I used to. But that's another story for another day.
Stephanie has a knack for capturing your attention with detail and characters that feel real. She made me feel some real feelings regarding the characters Charley (frustration, anger, appreciation--his character traits ... and flaws ... were evident) and Betsie (frustration, frustration, admiration ... did I mention frustration? lol She just seemed a good bit naive, but I can see how that would be realistic for an Amish young lady.)
Taking place during the 1970s, the story revolves around Betsie Troyer and how she struggles with her mother and father (as well as family members) leaving the Amish faith for mainstream Christianity and moving away. Left as a young adult with her seventeen year old sister Sadie, Betsie is left to fend for herself. Along the way, she struggles with her own standing in the Amish faith and finding a happy medium with an English family in her life. Between Amish fiance Charley and English friend Michael, Betsie has a hard time knowing what's right. Life challenges present themselves and Betsie finds herself at a crossroad, and she has to make a decision.
I highly recommend The Bachelor to anyone who enjoys reading Amish fiction. Stephanie Reed is definitely a name to remember in the Amish fiction world! Check her out!
I received The Bachelor as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Kregel Blog Tours.
My comments and opinions are my own.
My comments and opinions are my own.