Linda’s Amish life seemed like paradise. Until she found out her family had been hiding a secret since the day of her birth. Josie was just a frightened teenager when she left her baby in the care of an Old Order Amish couple in Lancaster County. Since then, seventeen years have passed and while much has changed, one thing hasn’t. Josie still longs to reconnect with her daughter Linda. But Linda is unaware of Josie—and living an idyllic life within the Amish community. The bishop’s grandson, Stephen, is courting her and she hopes that he will propose soon. When her birth mother comes to Paradise, Linda finds herself unexpectedly drawn to Josie’s world. Meanwhile, her adoptive parents—and her Amish beau—are trying to understand how this interruption in Linda’s life could possibly be God’s will. As new relationships begin and old ones are tested, no one’s life will remain the same. In the process of losing and letting go—Linda realizes whose daughter she really is. And as only God can do, something more powerful and far more beautiful is forged within the Daughters of the Promise community... hope.
Plain Paradise is a riveting story with deep characters and a twisting plot. It is both realistic and believable and the characters come to life as you get to know them through the pages of print or through the sound of narration. I enjoyed the book as a whole even though I have not read the previous books in this series. I give Beth Wiseman praise for creating a book that can be read without having to read the entire collection.
While this book draws you in quickly and takes some unexpected turns, the ending is slightly weak and is not quite as tidy as most readers want it to be. It addresses faith and belief in God in a non preachy way, but it's very traditional to the Amish beliefs which is good for the book, but not so good for the reader. I do wish that the message of Salvation was a little bit clearer.
It was a entertaining read for a change of pace in my normal reading selections and I enjoyed the drama of the book. I listened to this audio and highly appreciated the skill of Renee Ertl as the reader. She did an excellent job of bringing the characters to life through voice.
For someone who highly enjoys Amish fiction and a beautiful story this is a book I would recommend. My one caution is that it does cover some topics and brief scenes that are fairly sensual in a conservative form. I would not recommend this book to a teen girl under 18 years of age. Plain Paradise is a good book within it's genre and I would recommend it as good audio entertainment while doing housework.
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This review copy was courtesy of Oasis Audio.
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