The Rose Trilogy #1
Fiction-Amish, Published Sept 7, 2010
ARC Received from Publisher, Bethany House
Challenges: Series IV, Summer Reading Challenge
Read Sept 2010, 346 pp.
Lancaster County, with its rolling meadows and secret byways, may seem idyllic, but it is not without its thorns. THE ROSE TRILOGY is the stirring saga of two Amish sisters, and the events and decisions that change their lives.
Spirited Rose Ann Kauffman has long enjoyed a close friendship with the bishop’s rebellious foster son. Rose’s older sister, Hen–who knows more than she should about falling for the wrong man–cautions her against him, but Rose is being courted by another, and so dismisses the warnings.
Hen Kauffman Orringer’s impulsive marriage to an outsider divided her from the People, a decision she regrets now that she has a daughter of her own. As Hen struggles to reclaim aspects of Amish culture, her very modern husband pushes back, and the two soon come to an impasse. Can she find a way to reconcile her longing for the Old Ways with the life she has chosen?
This is my first Beverly Lewis book and it seems I am definitely behind the times as she has over 80 books in print. I truly enjoyed this glimpse into Rose’s Amish life. Set in the mid-1980s, before the personal electronics age, life seems simpler on the Amish farms in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
As the saying goes, “every rose has its thorn”, and Rose Ann is no exception. She encounters several thorny situations throughout the book. First she has to take care of her mother, who is now confined to a wheelchair after a horrific buggy accident. Rose’s older sister,Hen, refused her Amish roots and married outside the faith (or any faith for that matter), but now that her daughter is showing signs of her mother’s worldly choices, Hen yearns to return to her Amish heritage, much to her husband’s dismay. Rose will eventually have to make a choice between her best friend, Nick, who has not been officially accepted into the faith and her Amish beau, Silas, who promises her a secure life within the community.
I don’t know much about the Amish community, but I was surprised how much freedom Rose Ann and the other young women seemed to have without supervision. She is definitely one busy girl. Not only does she help take care of her family and do all her barn chores with Nick, she works once a week for an outsider cleaning and cooking for him. She is also allowed to court after church get-togethers, spending a lot of alone time with the boys.
It’s surely a great beginning for the trilogy. With much love and faith, Rose has yet to see what God has in store for her. This was a quick and enjoyable read for me and it won’t be my last Beverly Lewis or Amish-centered novel. The second in the series, The Judgment, debuts in April 2011.