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The Parting (The Courtship of Nellie Fisher, Book 1) Paperback – October 1, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Beloved bestselling inspirational author Lewis kicks off The Courtship of Nellie Fisher series, dishing up her usual sort of Amish meal. Amish teen Nellie Fishers grief over the death of her sister, Suzy, in a drowning accident is just beginning to heal. It helps that Caleb Yoder has asked her to be his girl, and wedding bells ring in her imagination. Her baked goods shop also provides solace. But change blows through her Pennsylvania Amish community, threatening to divide families and thwart her newfound romance. Other storylines are set up: Rosanna King seems unable to have children, but is promised a forthcoming baby by a woman who has many; Nellies father reads forbidden scripture and becomes intrigued with salvation by grace. Amish dialect is used judiciously throughout, and although some items (like an old journal) seem like tired clichés, Lewis creates the tension necessary to get the series started. Some Christian readers will wonder about a theology that finds Suzys death and a crop failure part of Gods plan, and there may be confusion for readers unfamiliar with the Amish about the boundaries of Rumschpringe (rumspringa, or the running-around period for some Amish teens). Lewis has a gentle narrative style, however, and her fans will line up for this latest fictional slice of Amish life.
"Beverly Lewis' knowledge of the Amish is compelling and her writing makes the scenes come to life." -- Trudy Smith, onceuponaromance.net
"I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in the series to be released." -- Laura Hilton, aromancereview.com
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Top Customer Reviews
I was really excited when I heard that this book was coming out. First I love Beverly Lewis so of course I was thrilled that she had a new book on the way. But more important was the subject matter of the book. I have always wondered what exactly is the faith of the Amish based on? In one of my past reviews of Lewis's books, I questioned if the Amish are indeed really Christians. They seem to think that accepting Jesus is grounds for shunning. Seeing as how popular the Amish culture is lately, I want to know exactly what they believe in. So I was interested to see that this very subject would be the basis for this new series. And Lewis' came through and answered my questions with this first book. The narrative is very easy to follow, rich in detail. I could picture the characters going throughout their daily lives. I wish I could visit Nellie May's store and buy some baked goods for myself. There are some subplots that seem confusing such as Rosanna and the babies that don't seem to tie into the story at the moment. I was more interested to find out more about the circumstances surrounding Suzy's death and the way the church was going to handle the new wave of believers. I'm looking forward to continuing the rest of this series. If you're a Lewis fan you will not be disappointed.
Once again Beverly Lewis takes us to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and the Amish country with her newest novel, The Parting. Lewis has a warm, inviting style that brings her characters and their lifestyle to life, and in her author's note at the end, she lets us know that at least part of the storyline of this novel is based on the factual schism which took place in the Amish community in 1966, the setting for this novel. Lewis brings the Old Order to a head against the Amish members who are turning toward the theory of salvation, and she doesn't make it easy for any of them.
A few things bugged me while reading this novel, however. While I could understand the Fisher family's search for something more upon the death of their beloved child and sister, I found the conversion of some of the characters less than authentic. I also found it odd that so many of the People could seemingly choose to give up all they'd known so quickly in order to follow a new form of religion. Finally, the side story of Rosanna and the twins must be setting us up for something else in the books to follow in this series; otherwise I could see no point for the seemingly random storyline.
The Parting is definitely inspirational in tone, and well-developed in setting. Lewis can sound preachy at times, but overall this is another fine entry in her Amish books. I look forward to finding out how Nellie Mae's future will unfold.