Thursday, October 14, 2010

Book Review: Leah's Choice

Leah's Choice: Pleasant Valley Book One
Author: Marta Perry
Title: Leah's Choice
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: Nov 3, 2009
Rating: 5 Stars
Book Blurb: All of Pleasant Valley seems to think the newcomer from Lancaster County is the perfect match for Teacher Leah. After all, so few new families come to their separate Amish community, and fewer still unmarried men. Daniel Glick is a widower with three young children to look after-clearly he's in need of a wife.

Daniel's past haunts him. Though he cannot miss the beauty in Leah's bright eyes and patient ways, he also sees a reminder of his pain-filled marriage. Leah, too, has a burden to bear. Years ago, she was engaged to Johnny Kile, and she was heartbroken when he decided to leave the Amish community. Since then she has immersed herself in teaching, forgetting any hopes of having her own family. When Johnny returns, seeking reconciliation, Leah must decide between two pathways, either of which will completely change her life.

Review:  Leah's Choice is the 1st book in the Pleasant Valley series and though all of the books can be read as stand alone novels, this one really lets you get to know all the characters in the series. This story is more a saga of families than a romance, though certainly Leah does fall in love, it really is the relationships between her and the many other Amish people that makes this story so great.

Anna is Leah's sister and she's having her rumspringa "running around time" and its becoming very apparent that she's likely to not stay with the Amish and Leah struggles to help her sister, just as she struggles to deal with the return of the man she was once engaged to. Johnny, jumped the fence 10 years before and now he's back, working on a project to help cure diseases that affect the Amish. Then there's Daniel Glick, a widower who just moved to Pleasant Valley.  He's very likable but his determination to keep his problems to himself seems to be a detriment even before Marta gives us an explantion for his actions.

All the characters lives touch whether it be the trouble that Anna gets into, or the problems Daniel has with his children and their grief or Johnny trying to win Leah back and start a relationship with his estranged family.

Leah's happiness was something you long for, all throughout the book. You want things to go right. Yet, they don't. Sometimes they go very wrong, but she soldiers on, helping her students and her family and you love her more for it, because you hope you would do the same.

Marta doesn't sugarcoat the Amish ways and reading this book really gives the reader a better understanding of their way of life and it really makes the characters more real and more likable. They may be different but it is easy to see that the only thing that separates them from the "Englischers" is their religious beliefs.

This was a wonderful read...the other books in the series can't come out fast enough!


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