I have just finished a series by Beverly Lewis. A trilogy, if you want to be persnickety about it. It is Annie’s People, a three book series that delves into an Amish community in Paradise, Pennsylvania. Despite the town name being about the best you could hope for, there are plenty of problems brewing in this community.
A Preacher’s Daughter, book 1 – Annie Zook harbors a serious secret, one that has already cost her her beloved. Painting is like breathing for Annie, unfortunately, it is forbidden. She will have to choose between the pull of her People and the pull of her passion – but her heart longs for both.
Louisa Stratford is Annie’s long-time pen pal in the fancy world. Feeling betrayed by her parents and fiance, she decides to get away from the chaos of her world and visit Annie. But in trying out the simple life, will she nudge Annie back toward the Plain life, or furthur away from it?
The Englisher, book 2 – Trying to respect the promise she made to her father, Annie struggles to stay away from her art and follow the rules of the People. But in the midst of this struggle, another one appears. Ben Martin is an Englisher who is falling fast for Annie, for her though, he is just as off limits as her art.
Louisa can’t seem to bring herself to leave the Plain community, but will a visit from a friend pull her home?
The Brethren, book 3 – Living with her shunned friend, Annie Zook is caught between two worlds. Which will she choose – the People or the Outside? And will she be able to be with Ben Martin?
Her choice made, Louisa struggles with her decision. Her head and heart are one place, while her body is another. Will she adjust?
I didn’t share as much as even the backs of the books have on them to not give anything away. I read these one right after the other, completely sucked into their world! These books touched on different aspects of the Amish world (and just regular old life problems) that I have never seen before. I appreciated it, it brought a bit of the nitty gritty into the story. Obviously one of the main themes is Annie seeking if she belongs with the People or not. Some of the others discussed are : marital longings/needs, abortion, materialistic vs. faith/family focused (outside vs. People) , following the Ordnung vs. faith in Christ, miscarriage, etc. I greatly appreciated how she handled the faith portion. Also, the marital needs was handled very well, nothing skanky in how it was presented but it was consistent throughout the books.
Because of that, I would not recommend them for younger teen girls – I won’t put an age on that because, not having kids of my own, I couldn’t properly judge that. BUT, I will suggest someone reading them first before giving them to a younger teen.
I greatly enjoyed these books – as I said, I read one right after the other! The ending was a bit of a twist than what I had decided it would be earlier on in the series. Because we all do that right? Decide how the book will end three chapters in?