Monday, April 11, 2016

The Atonement by Beverly Lewis - a book review

This was the first Beverly Lewis book I've ever read and I was pleasantly surprised! I've always heard about her beautiful Amish based fiction books but I've never taken time to read one. Something about the name of the book made me want to pick it up and dig right in and I'm so glad I did!

Beverly Lewis has such a beautiful, descriptive way with her words. As I began the book, one of the quotations Ms. Lewis used right before the Prologue grabbed my attention. It said, "Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark." The quotation was by George Iles and I knew Ms. Lewis must have chosen that very quote to make a huge statement about the characters in her book.

The story revolves around Lucy Flaud, a very devout, hardworking young Amish woman. Lucy spends her days devoted to service in an effort to atone for sins from her past. Throughout the story, Ms. Lewis creates situations that lead Lucy into letting down her guard and opening up her heart to receive love once again. Hurt deeply in the past, Lucy finally begins to understand God's love and forgiveness and begins to move forward with her life.

Beverly Lewis indoctrinates the reader quickly into the world of the Amish. I found the inclusion of some of the Dutch phrases in dialogue between characters interesting and it helped provide a better understanding of the Amish culture. When Ms. Lewis brings the Englischer into the story, I was able to see and understand the hesitancy of the Amish people to accept outsiders. Ms. Lewis clearly has done extensive research in the Amish world to be able to write her stories with such proficiency and expertise.

I'm not a big fan of fictional love stories whether they be Christian or otherwise, but I wanted to read this book because of Ms. Lewis' fine reputation as a Christian author and to learn about the Amish people. I was happy to find the story was filled with love and acceptance, forgiveness and hope.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading Christian fiction and to those who might enjoy learning about other cultures. This was a beautiful story told through the eyes of a hurting young woman in need of understanding and love. Ms. Lewis managed to provide a sweet ending that addressed both of those needs for the main character.

I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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