First sentence: ’Tis a waste of time to look back with regret,” Mammi Eliza Slaubaugh once told me. “Though we might fret and stew, the past simply can’t be changed,” she’d added, leaning closer, as if to share a secret. “Besides, if we could change our past, Anna, would we want to?” Mammi’s last question so ferhoodled me, I was unable to grasp her meaning.
Anna Beachy, our heroine, is looking to the Lord for guidance in how (and when) to change her life; she's feeling a bit restless and out of sorts. (Not that she wants to act outside the will of the Lord.) When a distant cousin (an Old Order Amish distant cousin) mentions a job opportunity that may suit, she jumps at the chance. The job is to be a tour guide--to take tourists on tours around the Amish community. What begins as a simple visit--for the job interview--soon becomes a new life. Will Anna remain Beachy Amish or will her attraction to a Mennonite (a fellow tour guide) or a horse rancher (Old Order) change her life's path?
The novel also contains flashbacks--if that's the right word--of her grandmother's visit to this same community. Her grandmother, Mammi Eliza (who is now suffering with Alzheimer's), visited Old Amish relatives for the summer and fell in love... Their love was forbidden...
I liked this one. Would I have loved it more without the flashback scenes? Maybe. Maybe not. Who can really tell? My job is not to review a book that might have been or even should have been--but to review the book in front of me. I enjoyed both story lines. I did. I almost, almost wish that they'd been separate books--if that makes sense so that the grandmother's story could have been more fleshed out. Or as equally fleshed out as the contemporary story.
I am not the biggest fan of love triangles especially when only two of the three within the triangle are fleshed out and the ending predictable. The heroine is never going to end up with the flat, not-fleshed-out, barely present character. Never. He exists as a shadow in the background. Is he truly necessary?
I did like the hero and heroine. (Yes, I know his name, but I don't want to spoil the novel.) I really enjoyed their journey together.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible