Beverly Lewis: The Thorn, A Book Review

Lancaster County, with its rolling meadows and secret byways, may seem idyllic, but it is not without its thorns. The Rose Trilogy is the stirring saga of two Amish sisters, and the events and decisions that change their lives.

Spirited Rose Ann Kauffman has long enjoyed a close friendship with the bishop’s rebellious foster son. Rose’s older sister, Hen–who knows more than she should about falling for the wrong man–cautions her against him, but Rose is being courted by another, and so dismisses the warnings.

Hen Kauffman Orringer’s impulsive marriage to an outsider divided her from the People, a decision she regrets now that she has a daughter of her own. As Hen struggles to reclaim aspects of Amish culture, her very modern husband pushes back, and the two soon come to an impasse. Can she find a way to reconcile her longing for the Old Ways with the life she has chosen?

Beverly Lewis, raised in Pennsylvania Amish country, is a former schoolteacher, an accomplished musician, and an award-winning author of more than eighty books for adults and children, many of which have appeared on bestseller lists, including USA Today and The New York Times. Her novel The Brethren won a 2007 Christy Award for excellence in Christian fiction. Writing memorable stories set in Amish farmland brings Beverly continual joy and inspiration. Her own family heritage is Old Order Mennonite, but she has many dear friends among Amish communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. Beverly and her husband, David, live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. For more information, visit www.beverlylewis.com

My Review: I was recently provided the opportunity to read and review this book by Bethany House. I haven’t read very many books by Beverly Lewis, but I do enjoy the occasional Amish-centered novel, so I thought I would give this one a try. I thought the character of Rose Ann was likable. She was kind and considerate and had a willingness to love those who were different. My favorite character was Nick. I feel like he was really misunderstood and misjudged. I felt really bad for him.  To me, he was the character with the most depth.  Everyone, with the exception of Rose Ann wrote him off as bad and never even gave him a chance. His own brother, who was constantly terrible to him, seemed to me to be the one who had the bad attitude, not Nick. The character of Hen really bothered me. I found her to be selfish and I thought she treated her husband unfairly. I also think he was painted in a very negative light simply because he was not Amish. It just seemed drastic that Hen would completely forsake her faith to marry someone who was agnostic and didn’t want anything to do with her family. She wanted nothing to do with her own Amish roots and family and completely embraced the non-Amish life until 5 years later. Now, suddenly, she can’t stand the “worldly” English ways and wants to go back, and she seems clueless as to why her husband might be confused about this.

I’ve read my share of Amish fiction and I kinda felt this one was a bit predictable. The story moved rather slowly and then felt rushed at the end. The characters just lacked dimension to me.  It all just seemed too typecast. I don’t want to give it a negative review.  I’m sure most Beverly Lewis fans will enjoy it, but this book just wasn’t for me.

*Many thanks again to Bethany House for the review copy.

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2 thoughts on “Beverly Lewis: The Thorn, A Book Review

  1. 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 http://www.tracysbooknook.com.

    -Tracy

  2. Anna

    I totally agree with your view on Nick. Throughout the whole book I felt so sorry for him. It seemed people just dismissed him because he was different than they were. They wanted him to completely embrace their ways, not considering that he grew up English and most likely still missed his English ways and his parents. The lines about him “still waiting for my mother to sober up and search for him” and “you’re my only friend” showed the part of him people didn’t see. He was hurting inside, all alone and unloved, but he just hid everything from everyone.
    The book was a great read though and I’m looking forward to Book 2 and hoping that in that book Nick can find the happiness he deserves, in spite of all the “trouble” he supposedly caused.

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