Sunday, May 26, 2013

Book Review: Beyond Hope's Valley

Author: Tricia Goyer
Title: Beyond Hope's Valley
Publisher: B & H Publishing
Publish Date: Feb 28, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: After an extended stay in Montana, where Amish traditions are different than in her home state, Marianna Sommer returns to Indiana for two reasons, first to help her brother and his girlfriend prepare for a baby and their wedding. Second, to plan her own wedding to Aaron Zook -- a marriage she’s been dreaming about ever since childhood. And yet, although she had missed the idyllic farms and families of her upbringing, Marianna is surprised that Indiana is somehow making her long now for Montana.

As months pass, secrets that were hidden in winter’s frozen grasp thaw and take on a life of their own. The truths about a child, about a past relationship, and about God’s plans are being revealed. Walking through a valley of questions, Marianna must hold on to hope as she decides where and with whom her heart truly belongs.

Review: Tricia Goyer's Amish romances are a little bit different from the stories I'm used to reading. Tricia's books are more faith based than what I usually read.

The story is told through several points of view; Marianna the Amish girl returning to her home state of Indiana to wed Aaron, her mother Ruth, who has had struggles in her younger days with her Amish faith and Ben, an Christian singer with a troubled past.

The book read much like an Amish soap opera, if there were such a thing, with children out of wedlock, and paternity questions that are thought about, but not spoken of. It reminds the reader that though the Amish are plain folk that some may consider backwards, they have the same problems and struggles as the rest of us.

There's a lot of drama between the characters, and a lot deals with the ways each Amish community view the church laws. Things in Montana, where Marianna  had spent the last year were more liberal than the Indiana community. That didn't make things easy for her when she returned home.

I found from the very start, that I wasn't terribly fond of Aaron. It was hard not to feel confusion about his character, especially with some of the foreshadowing that Tricia gives to you as you read. By the time things come to a climax, you really want to take him out behind a barn and knock him around in a most un Christian-like manner.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a unique Amish story, with a lot of twists and turns, and things that make you think. It was also a very sweet love story.

I highly recommend this book and Tricia Goyer, in general, for those that like Amish/Christian fiction.

Rating: 5 flowers


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