My favourite Leslie Gould book yet: "A Plain Leaving"
about the book....
Leaving Was the Hardest Thing She'd Ever Done... Until She Had to Return
Three years ago, Jessica Bachmann walked away from everything: her family, their beloved farm, her Amish community, and Silas Kemp. After clashing with the new bishop and her brother about her role in her family and the future of the family farm, anger and restlessness wouldn't allow her to stay.
When she is forced to return home because of her beloved father's death, her arrival stirs up all kinds of emotions--sorrow, grief, and yearning alike. Jessica knows things can't return to the way they were, but, especially upon seeing Silas again, she can't help wonder what might have been--and what still could be. The stakes grow higher when she learns that her brother, Arden, is still pursuing potentially hazardous fracking on the family's land.
As Jessica wrestles with her next step, she learns the cautionary tale of Ruby Bachmann, a Revolutionary War-era ancestor who faced similar struggles. Will Ruby's decisions motivate Jessica to leave her family, the land, and her community forever? Or is there healing, love, and belonging yet to come for her in Lancaster County?
I picked up "A Plain Leaving" thinking that I would just be reading yet another Amish story about a young Amish woman who has left the fold and struggles returning home, but I can tell you that this is not your average Amish tale!
Leslie Gould has given a fresh voice to Amish fiction and has used a blend of contemporary and historical timelines to craft a truly moving and satisfying novel. I'm not sure which plot I enjoyed more, the contemporary story following Jessica's return to her family and both the joy and trials that accompany it, or the story of Ruby, her ancestor who struggles with similar questions of belonging and matters of the heart. Gould has woven their lives together in a beautiful way, in the process exploring our purpose in life, the role of men and women, and the way that God so often leads us in unexpected ways. I picked up this book planning only to read a chapter or two to start, but then I lifted my head a few hours later and realized I'd read the entire novel from front to back! I just couldn't get enough of the cast of characters that make up this book, enjoying the unexpected plot twists and fighting my emotions as healing and reconciliation and unexpected love blessed the characters' lives.
"The Sisters of Lancaster County" is clearly going to be a series to look out for, and this first novel has set the bar high. The characters are so real that you will feel as if you are walking beside them, and you will leave the final pages of the novel feeling like it was time well spent. I greatly enjoyed "A Plain Leaving" and award it a high 4.5 out of 5 stars. I am looking forward to what lies in store next for these characters!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
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