What do we have here? A photograph of a young Old Order Amish girl with make-up? How can this be? The Plain community are known for not taking photographs of themselves and so boldly too. Jed Stutzman is intrigued by this photograph he found on his way towards Lancaster County, PA. When he meets Eva Esch, he is sure it is her, or is it? Eva, along with her family is concern with the sudden disappearance of their youngest sibling, Lily, who might have ran away. Even amidst the fears and uncertainty of her and her sisters' situation with Lily's disappearance and the recent death of her mother, Eva is taken by the new stranger in town. Will this photograph be the reason Jed and Eva find each other, or will it tear them apart before anything begins?
It's been awhile since I read one of Beverly Lewis' novels, and with her latest novel, "The Photograph", I'm glad I'm able to get back into it. Reading "The Photograph" reminds me the very reasons I find Beverly Lewis to be a wonderful author. Her narration allows readers to grasp the very thoughts of her characters, from Jed's loss of his fiancee to Eva's personal thoughts of her family and friends. The plot flows as we interlace the Esch's family and their community. It's not adventurous, but its subtle way of drawing you into the characters' lives says a lot about Ms. Lewis' talent as a writer. The romance doesn't play a big role in comparison to the theme of family, community and most importantly the bond of siblings, but the romance and how God finds the most unexpected ways to bring about love engrossed me. "The Photograph" stoke my curiosity at first, stirred my heart for the tragedy all around, but it completely captured my heart by the end. This is one book, like its cover, boldly looks into you, and before you know it, expects you to look back. You will.
What I also like about is the amount of detail, not only physical but the cultural aspects and how and what these differences are in different Plain communities. Ms. Lewis' knowledge of the Amish has given us a visual and emotional image of this amazing group of people and educate us in the process of reading her novels. The interactions and ideas between the Amish and the Englisch and what it is like to leave or remain with the People was a nice touch. The references to Little Women does add a bit to a sense of nostalgia with a hint of romanticism that made add to the "like" factor as well.
If you enjoy Christian and/or Amish fiction, or you're a fan of Beverly Lewis, this is one you wouldn't want to miss.
NOTE: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Bethany House Publishers for an honest review. Many thanks to Net Galley as well.
Released on: September 8, 2015
TO PURCHASE A COPY: Amazon, ChristianBook
By Beverly Lewis / Bethany House
Eva is reeling from her sister Lily's disappearance. Did an outsider woo her away? Meanwhile, buggy maker Jed Stutzman finds a snapshot of an Amish woman. When he walks into Eva's sweet shop with the mysterious picture, Eva is drawn to the handsome stranger---but the woman in the photograph is no stranger at all!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, has more than 17 million books in print. Her stories have been published in eleven languages and have regularly appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times and USA Today. Beverly and her husband, David, live in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, making music, and spending time with their family. Learn more at www.beverlylewis.com.