Friday, September 10, 2010

The Thorn

The Thorn. Beverly Lewis. 2010. Bethany House. 352 pages.

At times I wonder what might've happened if I'd gone with Mamm that damp, hazy morning eleven years ago.

The Thorn is the novel of two sisters: Rose and Hannah (Hen). Set in the 1980s. In Pennsylvania Dutch Country. The first in a trilogy.

Hen chose to marry an outsider, an Englischer, Brandon; they now have a little girl, Mattie Sue. But after several years away from her community, her family, Hen is having second thoughts. She is saddened by how her marriage has turned out. Frustrated at how her husband wants to raise their daughter. He does not want his wife, his daughter, to have anything at all to do with the Amish. (How could he not want his daughter to know her grandparents?) She wishes her daughter were more obedient, more respectful. Wishes her daughter had never, ever been exposed to Barbie dolls, MTV, or Madonna. So she's struggling to find her place...

Rose, the younger sister, is still part of the Amish community. She's already been baptized into the community, the church. While she doesn't question her faith--her place within the community: she has no desire to see the outside world, the modern world--she doesn't always keep all the rules either. For one, she enjoys spending time with Nick, the foster son of the bishop. Secret time. Sometimes they ride horses late at night. Sometimes they go on walks. She knows that many would disapprove of this alone time, but she considers Nick one of her best friends. Even though he's an "outsider." Even though most consider him a rebel. But just because she enjoys spending time with Nick doesn't mean she isn't interested in courting an Amish man. She is thrilled when Silas Good asks her to be his girl.

Two sisters struggling with love, life, and family.

I liked this one. I liked both Hen and Rose. Nick reminded me of Heathcliff. Not in a bad way. Not in a completely selfish, self-destructive way. Just in his brokenness, I suppose. Silas was a bit underdeveloped in my opinion. And Brandon. I had more than a few issues with him!

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


justpeachy36 said...

I think this looks like a great series. I always think back to seeing the movie, The Witness with Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis when I think about reading Amish stories. I have never read Beverly Lewis, but I'm definitely adding this one to my Wish List. said...

What a fantastic review! I’ve posted a link to it on my own site.

I’ve been reading Beverly Lewis for years and was thrilled to gat a chance to read The Thorn.

I was disappointed that very few (one, I believe) of the plot lines were ever resolved. I guess that’s why there is a book 2. Of course I’ll have to wait until April, 2011, for that.

My own review of this book can be found at


Anonymous said...

Hello, I got here googling for a picture of The Thorn's cover!

Anyway, just wanted to say that I agree about Silas being underdeveloped...let me thinking that maybe Rose would end up with Nick. Then again, I've yet to read book 2, so who knows!