From Publishers Weekly
Debut fiction author Lodge, a freelance photographer with a background in journalism, enters the popular arena of â€œplain peopleâ€ fiction with a surprisingly funny, refreshing and strong story line. Lodge creates the lovable and always acerbic protagonist Jayne Tate, reporter for Portland's Oregonian
. Forced by her employer to take time off to regain her edge, Jayne goes hunting for a feature in Oregon's Amish country. What this independent and thoroughly modern journalist finds is an alternative lifestyle that keeps her slightly off-balance even while, in good reporter form, Jayne tries to remain coolly objective. Enter Levi Burkholder, formerly Amish, presently a carpenter, and Jayne's heart goes off kilter as well. Jayne joins the household of Levi's estranged parents for some real Amish experiences, learning to respect the hardworking family. Smart, fast-paced and chock-full of endearing characters, Lodge's entry into inspirational fiction is a keeper, plain and simple. (Jan.)
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Jayne left home at 18 and has rarely returned, preferring to re-create herself as a successful reporter for the Portland Oregonian and avoiding any mention of her small-town religious upbringing. When Jayne’s father dies suddenly, her work begins to suffer and her boss orders her to take some of her accumulated vacation time to relax and regroup. At loose ends, Jayne spots a magazine article on the Plain People in a nearby community and her journalistic instinct is piqued. Picking an Amish carpenter at random from the phone book, she convinces Levi Burkholder of her sincere interest in this very different way of life, and as she spends time with his family she learns to slow down and appreciate both their way of life and her own, vastly wider opportunities. Capitalizing on the recent popularity of “bonnet romances” but with a very different focus, Lodge’s debut contemporary inspirational offers a fresh new voice as Lodge explores issues of self-worth, family, culture, and faith in a charming, fast-paced, coming-of-age story. --Lynne Welch