I received this book from Kregel Publications for no charge in exchange for an honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.
In this sequel to The
Bargain, Betsie Troyer is back home in her Amish community where she
knows she belongs, free from the confusing Englisher way of life. She
and Charley Yoder have made promises to each other, and her life is back
on track--until Gerald Sullivan shows up with his young daughter,
asking for Betsie's help. He’s on his way to find his estranged wife,
and begs Betsie to take young Sheila in. When she agrees, Betsie's
carefully planned life is shaken up again. Sheila's new found faith is
troubling to Charley--and his attraction to another girl is beginning to
be a problem. But how can Betsie confront him when she is still trying
to confront her own feelings about Sheila's brother, Michael? Keeping
the peace between the Amish man she's always loved, a twelve-year-old
Englisher girl, and a draft-dodging hippie is more than she ever thought
she’d have to deal with in her simple, orderly life. Still, Betsie is
convinced she can keep things from falling apart completely. Then during
her best friend's wedding, tragedy strikes and her world is upended.
She has to make a decision: does she love Charley or Michael . . . or is
she craving a deeper love that only God can give? The compelling second
novel of the Plain City Peace series, The Bachelor deftly weaves
together the strands of a solid, simpler time with the turmoil of an era
of change, revealing the strengths of both in its powerful narrative.
The Bachelor is the second book in Stephanie Reed's Plain City Peace Series. I had the pleasure of reading her first book, The Bargain, so I was very excited when The Bachelor came out, it had been a long wait. Amish Fiction and Historical Fiction are my favorite genres and this series is both so I LOVE IT! In this next book, Betsie is back home in her Amish community, happy to get back to her plain way of life. Betsie isn't back long before Mr. Sullivan, her English employer, shows up asking Betsie to take in his daughter, Shelia, while he goes to find his wife and try to bring her back to the family. Shelia has nowhere else to go because her brother, Michael, is gone too. Betsie couldn't refuse especially because of her love for the Sullivans especially Shelia. Betsie finds her simple life very complicated again. Betsie is raising her sister and now their brother comes back home after staying with their older brother. Their parents and Aunt Lovina are living in the city as Christians, shunned from their Amish community and happy to be able to believe in Christ. Betsie and her family are being watched by everyone in the community especially Betsie's beau's mom. She is just waiting for Betsie to slip up and has made no secret of it. Charley, Betsie's beau has taken "control" of Betsie's family farm and trying to take control of the Troyer family. Shelia's presence and her faith threaten Charley and he does what he can to convince Betsie Shelia shouldn't be there. As Betsie works hard to keep peace and help Shelia she is also dealing with her torn feelings between Charley and Michael Sullivan. Michael finds himself draft dodging in Tennessee and has written to Betsie and Shelia many times. As Betsie is dealing with all of this she finds out her best friend is moving up her wedding and moving away. While at the wedding, tragedy strikes the Troyer Family and her whole world has fallen apart.
The Bachelor is a great story that combines my two favorite genres, Amish and Historical Fiction. This book takes place in 197, after the Kent State massacre, the draft, the anti war roits and of course the Vietnam war, a time in history that I haven't read many books about, especially about the Amish during this time. This is a very unique story and series. Stephanie Reed writes with authority on The Amish, our country in 1970's, Ohio, and Christian Faith. I loved the way Stephanie Reed starts every chapter with a verse or a saying that Betsie had recorded in her journal or from the Bible. I enjoyed most of the characters in this book, especially Betsie and Shelia. As different as their worlds are they are so much alike and do whatever they can to help each other. They are truly like sisters. Their interactions are deep and their connection is amazing considering the differences in their upbringing. I also enjoyed the letters between Betsie and Michael. Again two people from two different worlds who connect in such a loving way. I found myself unable to put this book down once I picked it up. Stephanie Reed kept me guessing until the end and now I cannot wait for the next book in this series to come out.....it will be a long wait! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish and Historical Christian Fiction, you will not be disappointed! I impatiently await the next book in this series!