Uplifting: "The First Love" by Beverly Lewis

Cover Art

about the book....

Jah, that was undeniably a difficult time, one that opened my eyes in countless ways. And my heart, most of all. It was a season of sorrow and searching, of questions and answers.

It was the summer of my first love.

It's the summer of 1951, and Maggie Esh is in need of some hope. Sweet-spirited and uncommonly pretty despite struggling with illness, she is used to being treated kindly by the young men of her Old Order Amish church district. Yet Maggie wishes she were more like other courting-age girls so she could live a normal, healthy life. When tent revival meetings come to the area, the words of the preacher cause her to reconsider what she knows about faith. Can she learn to trust God even when hope seems a distant dream?

my review....

An uplifting story that will leave you pondering the goodness of God, Beverly Lewis' latest story "The First Love" is sure to please her many fans. Maggie's health struggles, and her longing for healing so that she can live the kind of life other girls her age are living, create a situation that will tug at your heart strings. All of us have struggles of our own that we experience, and so will be able to relate to Maggie's suffering. What I most appreciate about this story is the way that her pain turns Maggie to God and to seeking him out, including at a tent revival! Lewis delves back into the past in a fascinating way, into an era when tent revivalists were bringing the gospel near and wide. It was intriguing to consider how the Amish would encounter such a movement, and I enjoyed encountering it through Maggie's eyes.

"The First Love" moves at a gentle pace, much like the rolling hills of the countryside where the story is set, exploring themes of love and loss, grief and grace. While Maggie's story of her first love is a sweet one indeed, I also enjoyed the side stories of how her dad remarries after her mom has died, and how this impacts their family. As with all of Lewis' novels, she does a wonderful job at immersing the reader into the Amish culture until you feel like you are right there with them, enjoying their food, celebrating their traditions, and hearing the sound of the horse hooves and buggy wheels. Reading this novel left me feeling somewhat wistful and longing for that same Amish simplicity, away from the hustle and bustle of life that those of us in the mainstream culture can get swept up in.

Offering up a story that will warm your heart and remind you of true love in all its best forms, "The First Love" is another pleasing Amish novel from Beverly Lewis. I award this novel a solid rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

about the author....

Beverly Lewis
Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, has more than 17 million books in print. Her stories have been published in 12 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.

Buy now from Amazon.com: