Friday, April 29, 2011

The Judgment

The Judgment. Beverly Lewis. 2011. Bethany House. 336 pages.

Tomorrow holds nary a promise, my dear Mamm often says. But thankfully some things are quite certain--we plow, we plant and harvest. We attend canning bees and quilting frolics. Our wedding season always begins on the first Tuesday in November. And this year there are many couples marrying and looking ahead to starting their own families.

The Judgment is the sequel to Beverly Lewis' The Thorn. It is the second in the trilogy; these books are set in the mid-80s in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. The novels focus on two sisters--Rose and Hannah.

Hannah (Hen) is married, but she's--for better or worse--separated from her husband. He is of the world, and he wants to raise their young daughter to be of the world. He doesn't think it's a "problem" for her to be watching Madonna videos, for example. Hen never knew how much her faith meant to her until she realized how far she'd fallen through the years. She sacrificed her family, her faith, her traditions to marry this man. Now that she's wanting to reconnect with her faith, her tradition, he's saying NO WAY. There is NO WAY he's going to stay married to a woman who dresses plain and frowns on the sinful "modern" world. He does NOT want his daughter to be brought up Amish. He's not willing to compromise. Hannah must choose between her faith--her way of life--and her marriage. If she doesn't give up--or give in--then he'll file for divorce and custody.

Rose should be content. She's engaged to Silas Good a perfectly respectable man in the community. She should be happy that he's courting her. She should be able to ignore the not-so-new woman in town who's been rather chatty with him. But. If Silas has a few secrets of his own, so does Rose. For Rose can't stop thinking about Nick--even though Nick left the community in disgrace. Nick's not around for her to talk to, to confide in. But he's never far from her thoughts.

So this one has some drama. Two sisters trying to make sense of their love lives. But it's more than just a romance. It's a family drama too.

Did I love it? I'm not sure that I did. I enjoyed spending time with Hen and Rose again. And I look forward to the conclusion of this trilogy. But it wasn't quite love, love, love. I liked it.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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