What can I say about these books. Once again I found myself drawn into the world of the Amish. So much so this time. There are three books to this series, The Preacher’s Daughter, The Englisher, and The Brethren.
Our heroine is Annie Zook, the daughter of an Amish preacher with a secret. Annie loves to paint and draw and has a natural talent in that area. In her Ordnung though, art is strictly forbidden, so she must perform her art in secret only. When one person sees her artwork, she convinces Annie to enter the painting in a national contest, and much to Annie’s dismay, she wins, with her painting gracing the cover of a magazine popular with the Amish community. The first book deals a lot with her struggle to paint, and the struggle with her father. She has been expected to formally join the church for some time now, and she continues to put it off because she knows that once she kneels and says her vows to the church, that her painting will be lost to her forever.
The second book continues the struggle for her art, as well as introduces a new struggle for her- a forbidden romance blossoms with an outsider and Annie struggles with the choice between her father and her people and the thought of a life with this Englisher. Adding greatly to this story in both books is the English woman Louisa. Louisa has been Annie’s pen pal since they were young children first learning to write. In a desperate attempt to escape her life, Louisa finds herself in Amish country, a guest of the Zook household. She blends in as best as she can and does all she can to learn about her best friend and the world she lives in. Louisa adds such a fun element to the story, I loved reading about her and her learning the Amish ways of doing things.
I loved these books. I won’t discuss it too much more, because there is so much treasure inside. These are such beautifully written novels, and they really swept me away for a time. I’ve said before that I love reading about the Amish, and this was no exception. Beverly Lewis is such a a descriptive writer, I felt like I knew my way around Paradise, and knew how everyone looked and behaved. I felt like I could walk down the road and I would know everyone on sight. These were great books and highly recommended. There is a Christian message to these books, and it is pretty blatant, so take that as you will. Highly recommended, and an excellent idea for the bookworm on your Christmas list.