Thursday, December 11, 2014

"the bachelor" by stephanie reed

If you're looking for Amish fiction that's different from the norm, check out Stephanie Reed's Plain City Peace series.

In this sequel to The Bargain, Betsie Troyer is back home in her Amish community where she knows she belongs, free from the confusing Englisher way of life. She and Charley Yoder have made promises to each other, and her life is back on track--until Gerald Sullivan shows up with his young daughter, asking for Betsie's help. He's on his way to find his estranged wife, and begs Betsie to take young Sheila in.

When she agrees, Betsie's carefully planned life is shaken up again. Sheila's newfound faith is troubling to Charley--and his attraction to another girl is beginning to be a problem. But how can Betsie confront him when she is still trying to confront her own feelings about Sheila's brother, Michael? Keeping the peace between the Amish man she's always loved, a twelve-year-old Englisher girl, and a draft-dodging hippie is more than she ever thought she'd have to deal with in her simple, orderly life. Still, Betsie is convinced she can keep things from falling apart completely.

Then during her best friend's wedding, tragedy strikes and her world is upended. She has to make a decision: does she love Charley or Michael . . . or is she craving a deeper love that only God can give?

The compelling second novel of the Plain City Peace series, The Bachelor deftly weaves together the strands of a solid, simpler time with the turmoil of an era of change, revealing the strengths of both in its powerful narrative.

When I finished reading The Bargain, book one in Stephanie Reed's Plain City Peace series, I couldn't wait to get my hands on The Bachelor. The Bachelor continues the story of Amish woman Betsie Troyer as she attempts to lead her family in the wake of her parents' departure to the English.

While The Bargain was fascinating due to Betsie's trying to survive with the Sullivans in the English world, The Bachelor takes place solely in the Amish community in Plain City, and I didn't find that setting to be as engaging. I do think that this book served a great purpose in getting Betsie to the point of making some major changes in her life, but the journey to those changes wasn't as engaging as the events in The Bargain. Part of the issue here was the absence of Michael through much of the novel. His relationship with Betsie was one of my favorite aspects of The Bargain, so while I understand his absence in The Bachelor, I still missed him.

I did greatly enjoy some of The Bachelor--Betsie's interactions with Sheila and Michael's letters were certainly highlights. And a twist near the end of the book sets up the third book, The Bride, to be quite interesting indeed. So while The Bachelor wasn't my favorite book, I'm eager to read The Bride, which is sure to include much more Michael! 3-1/2 stars.

See what others are saying.
Buy the book--on sale for $1.99 through the Dec. 14!
Read my reviews of Reed's The Bargain and Across the Wide River.

Stephanie Reed lives on the outskirts of Plain City, Ohio, site of a once-thriving Amish community. She gleans ideas for her novels from signs glimpsed along the byways of Ohio, as she did for her previous books, Across the Wide River and The Light Across the River. The Bachelor is the second book in the Plain City Peace series.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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