About the book: A Compelling Story of Friendship from the Top Author in Amish Fiction
Leona Speicher got the “sister” she’d always dreamed of the day Gloria Gingerich and her family moved to Lancaster County Amish farmland. The Arkansas newcomers seem to be everything a devout Plain family should be, and Leona can’t help comparing Gloria’s engaging young parents to her own.
Leona’s cousin shows a romantic interest in Gloria around the same time as Gloria’s older brother expresses his fondness for Leona–it seems likely the two young women will marry into each other’s families, remaining close friends for life. Thus, Leona is shocked when the Gingeriches suddenly pack up and disappear after being expelled from the church for reasons no one will discuss. Despite Leona’s pleas, Gloria goes with them, leaving more than one broken heart behind.
When Gloria unexpectedly contacts Leona after a silence of several years, Leona makes up her mind to persuade her friend to return to Lancaster County and the Amish ways. Leona’s new beau, the deacon’s son, is alarmed when Leona decides to go after Gloria. Will Leona’s dearest wish lead to her own undoing?
Paperback 336 pages Published September 6, 2016 by Bethany House Publishers
My review: In a genre in which stories can seem similar to one another, Beverly Lewis has penned a unique and interesting story of friendship, family, and forgiveness. The Wish was a quick read that kept this reader wondering what was going to happen next.
The characters in this book were realistic. Leona is everything that one would expect of an Amish person. She put others first, was a true and loyal friend and an obedient daughter. She was very kindhearted and I found her to be very transparent. On the other hand, there was an air of mystery and aloofness among the Gingerich family. I often wondered what was really going on with Arkansas Joe and the rest of his family. They seemed peculiar and distant. I found these things added to the story as it made me wonder all the more what secrets this family had. It also helped me connect to Gloria more.
It is evident while reading that Beverly Lewis has spent time among the Amish. Her attention to detail, whether it be in the description of clothing or work on the farm, added to the authenticity of the story and made me feel as if I were there and part of the story.
At times the flow of the story seemed a bit choppy, especially at the beginning. I felt like I was reading snippets of the characters lives instead of really getting to delve in completely. The story seemed to even out and flow more smoothly as the story progressed.
I wished more would have been revealed about Arkansas Joe and the troubles he had with the church. I wanted to learn more about this and why he really pulled up stakes and moved the family without so much as a goodbye. I felt like there were more secrets to be revealed about the family and felt a little let down that this part of the story wasn’t explored more in depth.
Fans of Beverly Lewis and Amish fiction should take the time to read this book. With the realistic characters and strong themes of family and friendship, this book personifies the spirit of the Amish. This is definitely a book for the keeper shelf.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion which I have given.
About the author: Beverly Lewis, raised in Pennsylvania Amish country and both a schoolteacher and an accomplished musician, has been an award-winning author for over a dozen years. Her acclaimed novel, The Preacher’s Daughter, was a 2006 Quill Book Award finalist in the romance category. Her books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including USA Today and The New York Times. She and her husband, David, live in Colorado.