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The Brethren (Annie's People Series #3) (Volume 3) Paperback – October 1, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 191 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Annie's People Series

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Return to Paradise: The Coming Home Series - Book 1 by Barbara Cameron
"Return to Paradise" by Barbara Cameron
Barbara Cameron launches The Coming Home Series with Return to Paradise. David leaves his Amish community to escape an overly stern, abusive father, also leaving behind his fiance', Lavina. Forgiveness is the lesson for everyone when David's father is diagnosed with cancer. Will David return and make peace with his father and the woman he abandoned? Learn more | See author page
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Editorial Reviews


"Beverly Lewis continues to give her readers what they have found irresistible in her previous best-selling books." -- Violet Nesdoly, blogcritics.org

About the Author

Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, is the New York Times bestselling author of more than ninety books. Her stories have been published in eleven languages worldwide. A keen interest in her mother's Plain heritage has inspired
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; 1St Edition edition (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764201077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764201073
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (191 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #344,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

I've had my nose in a book, for as long as I remember. When I was about 9 years old, I started writing my own stories. By sixth grade, I'd hand-written a 66-page semi-autobiographical book titled, "She Shall Have Music."

After I was married and our three children were in middle school, I began submitting articles and short fiction to various magazines.

My first book (Holly's First Love) was published in May 1993, the start of a 14-book series for pre-teen girls. Soon after, my first chapter book was published for 7-10-year-old readers ("Big Bad Beans") which later became part of my 24-book series, The Cul-de-Sac Kids. I wrote another long-running series for girls, titled "SummerHill Secrets," which was set very close to Neffsville, PA, where I grew up--near the heart of Amish country.

But it was the story of my grandmother Ada Buchwalter's shunning by her ultra-strict father and subsequently her old order Mennonite community that nudged me toward writing adult fiction. THE SHUNNING was published in 1997 by Bethany House Publishers, and along with its sequels, has touched a nerve in millions of readers intrigued by the Plain tradition of Lancaster County, PA. The Hallmark Movie Channel will air the movie, "Beverly Lewis's The Confession" on January 19, 2013--the sequel to "The Shunning" movie.

My passion for Amish-related stories continues to keep me up at night, and I'm presently editing the 2nd book (The Bridesmaid) in my new series: "Home to Hickory Hollow," due out September 11, 2012.

When I'm between writing deadlines, I enjoy hiking in the Rocky Mountains with my husband. Cooking from scratch, playing Mozart at the piano, and making family memory albums, as well as traveling to meet my devoted readers during book tours, are some of my very favorite things. I also adore reading biographies and memoirs, as well as classic literature.

Book One of my present series: The Fiddler, is available now.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Sometimes it's difficult to come into a series on the last installment without feeling lost. Luckily, finding the subject matter and people to be so interesting with lovely characterizations and references to previous events, I quickly picked up with where the story was at that particular moment.

It appears that Annie Zook, the Amish preacher's daughter was a bit of a handful being somewhat willful for a young Amish woman. Evidently she had committed two very grave things that went against doctrine of the Amish people. One was secretly following her heart and pursuing a friendship with Ben an Englisher or `fancy' person, and the other was her love and joy of painting, something very much forbidden within the Amish community. Having been found out, Annie had obeyed her father and terminated the relationship with Ben, as well as promising to not touch her painting for at least six months.

Along with Annie's issues of adherence to the People's doctrine, there were several secondary stories going on. Prominent among them were after a child's bones had been plowed up, Annie's friend Zeke had admitted to slaying his younger brother Isaac; Zeke's wife Esther is being `shunned' by the People for not fully embracing Amish doctrines; and Annie's `fancy' friend Lou who had come to visit embraced the Amish life then went back to her world and now faced questions of faith. More importantly, Ben had returned to Paradise, Pennsylvania with a surprising truth about himself that could change many people's lives, including his own.

Lewis embarked on a tremendous amount of storylines and as far as I was concerned solved all the mysteries, bringing most to satisfying conclusions.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the first two books in this series and so, when I sat down to read this one, I had all these expectations of what should happen. Well, some of those expectations were met, but when I finished the story, I wasn't completely satisfied. I don't want to get too in detail with the characters so I won't spoil it for other readers, but for me, there were still some loose ends that weren't wrapped up or satisfactorily explained. I don't suppose Ms. Lewis plans another series to continue the story, but it'd be great if she did.
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Format: Paperback
I was disappointed in this book, the pace moved along too quickly for my taste and it was so incredibly predictable. This series lacks the depth and complexities that the Abram's Daughters books had. I was very puzzled by the way this book ended. It left me wanting more and seriously questioning the decisions of the characters. They were just not as three dimensional as the characters in the other Lewis books have been.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The final book in the trilogy Annie's People, The Brethren picks up with Annie beginning her six month agreement with her preacher father to not paint anything. Annie has also moved into the home of her friend, Essie, who is a shunned member of the Amish community for having come to believe in a religious thought different than their own. Also back is Ben, the Englisher of the previous novel, who is trying to grapple with his own identity and his love for Annie.

Lewis is an excellent storyteller and this novel brings the Amish community to life vividly. I could sympathize with Annie and her torn heart, and I could appreciate the mysteries surrounding the appearance of Ben. However, a couple of things really bothered me while reading this one. Lou's role is definitely reduced in this novel and after becoming so emotionally vested in her troubles, I would have liked to have seen more closely how she faced her return to the modern world. Also, things seemed tied up a little too neatly at the end; I needed to know more about Isaac's kidnapping and how he felt about giving up his former identity. The ending to this one seemed particularly rushed and I agree that Lewis should have spread this story out over the course of two books. Finally, Lewis does tend to become preachy at times, but that is a hallmark of her stories and should not bother anyone who enjoys inspirational fiction. Overall this is a well-done book and another fine example of Lewis's ability to share the Amish life and create characters who will live in your heart for a long time to come. Recommended!
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Format: Paperback
In this third book of the series, Annie Zook is now living with Esther who is banned for taking the Lord Jesus as her personal savior and friend. After Preacher Zook found Annie in the front seat with her boyfriend Ben's car, it was too unbearable living at home. Moving in with Esther was a good choice, and besides Annie was there to help with the children.

Ben Martin after having left in the last book back to Kentucky, discovers a horrible secret that he is adopted and his parents never told him. He discovers he was kidnapped at age 4, and left unattended until someone found him alone. This is devastating to Ben, and he wants to know the whole story of what really happened. So he travels back to Annie and Pennsylvania, trying to find his memories from way back then.

Zeke, Esther's husband, is very unwell mentally. He has a breakdown over his brother Isaac of whom he never did know what happened 16 years ago. Zeke is convinced that he himself killed him. So he calls the police to turn himself in when they come to arrest him. That is only until they find out the real story here. Surprisingly, the body of the person that was dug up from the last book was not Isaac's but those of a little girl. After a lot of searching, it looks as though Isaac is not dead, but very much alive someplace. And when this story line draws to a climax, it is a REAL shocker.

Louisa went back to modern life in Colorado, but she still misses the Amish terribly and being with Annie-and Sam her newfound love there. While going back to her art students is nice at home, she still dreams of Sam. Michael, her rich former fiance wants to start over again, and is just begging Louisa to come back into his life.
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The Brethren (Annie's People Series #3) (Volume 3)
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