“The Road Home” by Beverly Lewis

Cover of titular bookBook: “The Road Home” by Beverly Lewis
Published by Bethany House on 3rd April, 2018
Genres: Amish fiction, Christian fiction, Romance
Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Rating: 3/5⭐
Source: Bethany House (received for free in exchange for an honest review)
Goodreads

 Lena Rose Schwartz hadn’t planned to leave her Old Order community in Centerville, Michigan. But then, she could not have foreseen the accident that made her and her siblings orphans. After her parents’ funeral, her younger brothers and sisters are farmed out to various nearby relatives. But when the deacon in charge of the arrangements tells her there aren’t places enough for everyone, she agrees to go live with her father’s second cousin and his family in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Beside the fact that Lena has never been more than a few miles from home, she’s never met the family she will now be living with. But worse than that is the thought of being separated from her siblings. How will they manage without her to care for them—especially eight-year-old Chris? And what about Hannes Lehman, the beau she was sure would soon be asking her to marry him? It was true that he was not the man her father would have preferred for her. Maybe that was what the deacon was hinting at when he said “a fresh start might do you good”.

Although I’ve only read one other book by Beverly Lewis, I’m definitely still a fan of her work. Hallmark has adapted four of her books into movies. Grandmama loves when The Heritage of Lancaster County (trilogy) comes on and makes a point to watch them all. I get the feeling I’ve only seen Saving Sarah Cain, but it definitely would have been closer to 10 years ago that I did.

The Road Home is lighter than The Proving was. I don’t think it’d make a good “first novel” for the Amish fiction genre, because there’s not enough to hook you in unless you already like the genre. It’s too much a slow-burn for that, though the story is sweet. The plot doesn’t rev up until you’re a third of the way in, by which point it might be too late because that’s only around 105 pages and everything before that is world-building. So…if you want to start reading Amish fiction, The Road Home is not the book for that.

I would’ve liked for more drama to be had.

Instead, there’s more grief to be had. I do so understand that drama is not everything and that mourning is completely healthy, but my inability to comprehend death like other people (maybe it’s because I’m autistic) may be what prevents me from understanding the heartiness of The Road Home. Alternatively, it could be that this book is better suited for an older crowd—parents, for instance, or women who feel a longing for children of their own—and I’m just not in that demographic.

And sometimes you just want some drama in your life, but your preference for it is in the form of fiction—not real life—and this is the case for me more often than is probably healthy.

I did stay up for five hours reading this book.

I did not finish it in six hours. See, I was exhausted, right? But also, this book was right. there. I could touch it with my hand as I laid in bed if I wanted to. And it’s not like my eyes were so heavy that they stayed down after I closed them, nor is it like there was any good stopping point anytime I completed a chapter, regardless of each hour that passed.

SO. While this book isn’t a great “first Amish novel” for people wanting to get into the genre, it helped me escape this reading slump I got into after a) carpal tunnel syndrome cramping my style, b) my left thumb injury caused by overuse (because carpal tunnel syndrome), and c) the summer slop.

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