Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Book Review: The Proving

Author: Beverly Lewis
Title: The Proving
Publisher: Bethany House
Publish Date: Sept 5, 2017
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Amanda Dienner hasn't seen her Old Order family in five years when she receives word that her mother has passed away and left her Lancaster County's most popular Amish bed-and-breakfast. Now an Englisher, Mandy is shocked: Her twin sister should have been the obvious choice! What's more, the inheritance comes with a catch: The farmhouse inn will only truly be hers if she is able to successfully run it for twelve consecutive months.

Mandy accepts the challenge even though it means returning to Gordonville and the painful memories she left behind at eighteen. Still, she's determined to prove she is more than capable of running the bed-and-breakfast, no matter that its loyal clientele are expecting an Amish hostess!

The inn isn't Mandy's sole test, however. Rubbing shoulders with her married twin sister reopens wounds that Mandy isn't ready to forgive. And an Englisher guest with a difficult past of her own just complicates matters.

Can Mandy fulfill the terms of her inheritance? Or will this year in Amish country prove a dreadful mistake?

Review: I've been a fan of Beverly Lewis for a long time, but more so now that she's started writing more stand alone novels. I wasn't a big fan of her cliffhangers when she wrote trilogies.

The Proving is really a lovely story of forgiveness and coming back home for Amanda Dienner. Its a story of starting over for the Englischer, Trina Sutton.

Both characters have their own problems. I found Trina to be hard to deal with with at times. She was a bit of a perfectionist which can be aggravating at times and when it comes to her patients she was very caring, maybe even too much so, if that's possible.

Then there's Mandy. I struggled with her too. I could understand her feeling of betrayal, but how things got to the point that they were was something I struggled with, especially to the point she took it too and then keeping all her feelings of hurt and anger inside. That's not to say that I couldn't understand why she was hurt, who wouldn't be? It is just the age of the characters that made it hard for me to understand their motives.

I think if we would have had more interaction with Mandy's twin, Arie, throughout the book, that her part of the story would have had more depth. Instead, their relationship, which we are assured was once very close, is shrouded in mystery.

Mandy struggles with the Inn that she's inherited from her mother, but when Trina enters the picture things start to change. Trina is gutsy and well, she opens her mouth and her words aren't always the kindest things, but somehow you know she means well.

I love the romance that blossoms with Trina and one of the other guests at the inn, Gavin. This relationship softens her and helps her heal from the death of her fiance.  It also helps her help Mandy find a way to move forward.

I like that Mandy finds someone in a roundabout way. Karl and his son Yonnie are wonderful.

I expected a little more drama with this book, because that's such a characteristic of a Beverly Lewis novel. This had a more cozy feel to it. The plot ambled along slowly and left me feeling as if there should have been a little something more, especially at the end. Yes, things were tied up and resolved but part of me felt like so much time was wasted over so little, for Mandy and Arie.

Rating: 3 flowers


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