Growing up, I was always a fan of reading “hand me down” books from my grandmother. I remember being introduced to Beverly Lewis‘ books and falling in love with her style and stories. Lewis’ books are set in Amish Country of Pennsylvania and always have a message threaded within.
The Fiddler, Lewis’ latest book, one in the “Home to Hickory Hollow” series, is no different. The main characters are young adults who are at a cross-roads in their lives, making some difficult choices about what direction to take. One is an Amish man, deciding if the Church is right for him. The other is a concert violinist who is also (secretly) a fiddler. By chance, they meet in a rainstorm and discuss their lives and decisions at hand as if they were old friends.
Photo from Bethany House
This chance encounter takes them down a path of exploration of what is best–to do what their families believe is best or to follow their hearts. Michael takes Amelia back to his hometown, where she is able to reflect on her choices ahead (go on a tour as a concert violinist or do what makes her heart happy–fiddle and teach the love of music). There, Michael is also able to come face-to-face with some tough decisions about his loyalty to the Church and community, as well as his family.
Although the two struggle with their choices, they were able to come together and help out one of Michael’s nieces, a young Amish woman who went “into the world” and fell into a series of bad decisions. Personally, I was touched by their care for her and words of courage. Sometimes it’s easier to see the light in others’ situations when you can’t see the way in your own.
Throughout the story, I was reminded of the choices I made as a young woman. While not all are what others would have wanted for me, I took chances with my heart, and it lead me to the ‘lil family I have today. Stories that allow for me to make a connection are the kind I enjoy best, which is probably why I love reading Lewis’ work.
You can bet that I’ll be waiting for September when the next book in the series, The Bridesmaid, comes out. I have an idea who this is about, but I dare not spoil your reading of the book! 🙂
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Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of “The Fiddler” to review from Bethany House, but my opinions are 100% my own. You can order your own copy through them or any local booksellers.