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Plain Jayne (Plain and Simple) Paperback – January 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: Plain and Simple
  • Paperback: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest House Publishers; Original edition (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736926984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736926980
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #850,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Debut fiction author Lodge, a freelance photographer with a background in journalism, enters the popular arena of “plain people” 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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 35 customer reviews
Plain Jayne by Hillary Manton Lodge is an absolutely fabulous read!
M. Vasquez
Jayne is a very interesting character as she visits the Amish to find new life to her career.
Great, funny dialogue that flowed so smoothly throughout the story.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Leon on January 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
A fresh new voice in literature! Hillary Manton Lodge told this touching story with wit and humor, not to mention great skill.

Jayne Tate has walked away from her past, but is confronted by it in the most unexected place--in the midst of an Amish family. Jayne has a lot to learn about who she is, and life's lessons are never easy. Thanks, Hillary, for allowing me to be part of Jayne's journey of self discovery.

We have not heard the last from Hillary Manton Lodge. I'm eager to read her next book.

Plain Jayne will definitely be on my list of best reads for 2010.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Delia Latham on February 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
Jayne Tate lives in the big city of Portland, Oregon. She loves her job as a reporter for a busy newspaper, and enjoys an undemanding relationship with her boyfriend. Shane knows her only as the motorcycle-riding, modern news gal from Portland. Her childhood hasn't been discussed, he hasn't met her family, and Jayne's perfectly fine with that.

Then her father dies, and her boss insists she take a three-week break from her job, based on a pronounced downswing in writing quality. This forced hiatus effectively cuts Jayne out of a prime career opportunity. She responds by heading off to a nearby Amish community, seeking a story that will put her back in her boss's good graces. Being forced away from her desk for three weeks doesn't mean she can't work on her own.

Her first contact in Albany is Levi Burkholder, who arranges for Jayne to stay with his Amish family--a family and a way of life he is no longer a part of. While wrestling with an undeniable attraction to the kind, handsome carpenter who is shunned by his Amish father, Jayne finds herself drawn to the Burkholder family and their simple way of life. Three weeks under their roof changes her, and when she returns to Portland--her job, her lonely apartment, and the handsome suitor who really doesn't know her--they no longer satisfy.

To say nothing of the fact that her mind refuses to let go of one unforgettable kiss she shared with a not-quite-Plain man.

Plain Jayne is not your everyday Amish love story, and Jayne Tate is not your everyday heroine. Hillary Manton Lodge brings a different kind of romance. Dropping a very modern woman into a devoutly Plain community has all the makings of disaster, but the author makes it work, believably and without obvious contrivance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Rayburn VINE VOICE on February 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit an Amish community for a little while? Imagine the simplicity and quiet without the barrage of technology. I'm not sure I could give up my laptop for long, but it would be fun to experience the culture for a few days.

That's what Jayne Tate got to do in Plain Jayne by debut author Hillary Manton Lodge. Jayne didn't exactly find it easy to give up her laptop either, but visiting Amish country gave her an opportunity to do some soul searching. To be honest, when I received my complimentary review copy from Hillary Lodge's publicist, I thought, not another Amish book! They're everywhere and I'm a little burned out on them. But this author has a different slant than so many of the other series that are out there.

Lodge skips all the Pennsylvania Dutch jargon that other authors have in their Amish books. You won't find any "wunderbar gut" or "Rumschpringe" here, and I found that refreshing. Instead, the author focuses on the characters and plot, and she does it without doing an injustice to Amish culture. The other difference is that this book focuses more on a non-Amish character whose encounter with the Amish helps her put her own future into perspective, where authors focus exclusively on an Amish young person struggling to decide whether or not to embrace the Ordnung. Although some of that is sprinkled in the story, it isn't the main conflict.

This was fun to read. I love the wit in this author's writing voice. Her humor and personality come through in a way that make me want to meet her in person. Harvest House Publishers knew what they were doing when they signed Hillary. I enjoyed this book very much, I'm looking forward to more from her Plain and Simple series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christina Lockstein on February 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
Plain Jayne by Hilary Manton Lodge is the first book in the Plain and Simple series. There are lots of titles to choose from in the growing genre of bonnet fiction, or as I like to call it Amish lit, but Lodge takes an unusual approach in introducing an Englischer who becomes fascinated with the Amish lifestyle. Jayne Tate's writing at the newspaper has lost its edge since the death of her father, so her boss puts her on sabbatical to regain her balance. Instead of taking a vacation, Jayne gives herself a new writing assignment of discovering the truths about the Amish community just outside of town. Her contact to the Amish is Levi Burkholder, a cabinet maker who she quickly discovers has left the Plain life that she finds herself so drawn to. Jayne falls in love with the handiwork and quiet life of the Amish but must examine whether the attraction is in part to avoid troubles in her own life. Lodge's representation of the Amish is spot-on with the merits and flaws of the community. Jayne is thoroughly likable and readers will find it easy to relate to her self-discovery and her love for the Burkholder family. I don't want to give away the ending by giving the protagonist of the next book, but I really can't wait to read it!
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More About the Author

Hillary Manton Lodge is the author of A Table by the Window, Plain Jayne, a Carol Award Finalist, and Simply Sara, an ECPA Bestselling book. A graduate of the University of Oregon's School of Journalism, Hillary discovered the world of cuisine during an internship at Northwest Palate Magazine. A storyteller at heart, in her free time she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, watching foreign films, and exploring her most recent hometown of Portland, Oregon. She shares her home with her husband, Danny, and their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Shiloh.

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