I am definitely going to have to go back and finish
“The Bridesmaid” and then read the rest of the series because… WOW!
“The Last Bride” is amazing!
Beverly Lewis is an exceptionally talented author!
This is not a typical Amish fiction. It’s not even a typical romantic drama.
Beverly Lewis has managed to take several situations you don’t usually find in the Amish world and weave them beautifully into this story of loss and love in a strict old-order Amish community.
The loss… and the love are not what you might be expecting either. There were several things about the book that took me completely by surprise.
Definitely not a predictable story!
It is one I will never forget.
The journey of Tessie and the people around her is crafted into a wonderfully flowing experience – albeit fraught with drama and tragedy. And… it is incredibly easy to find yourself in Tessie’s shoes… however difficult a place that is.
I think this is one of the most endearing and powerful stories about a young Amish girl I’ve ever read. Generally speaking, these types of stories are entertaining and heart-wrenching but rarely does a story about a strict Amish community touch so close to home.
This one does!
And, even though I now feel inexplicably compelled to go back and read the rest of the series, this is not a book that cannot be read out of order. For those of us who have read other books in this series, (or seen the movies made from The Shunning and The Confession – which are not part of the same series but they are written about the same community) it is comforting to “see” old friends from other books by Beverly Lewis. They are woven into the story so well, you don’t feel as if you are out of step because you don’t know their back-story.
It’s just an all-around GREAT story! READ IT!
Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for an honest review from the Bethany House reviewer program.
DON’T STOP READING HERE! SCROLL DOWN FOR A SPECIAL INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR: BEVERLY LEWIS!
And don’t forget to stop back by on Monday to find out who has won a copy of this FANTASTIC book!
Fair Warning: If you have not yet read the book, you may find information in the following interview that you consider to be spoilers.
1- Is there any particular inspiration from your own life for ‘The Last Bride”?
The concept of close inner-marriage among a closed community has captured my interest–and my heart, especially more so lately with many Amish and Mennonited children being born with unique genetic disorders…some fatal.
2- Are you planning more books in the “Home to Hickory Hollow” series or are you moving on to a new series?
The Last Bride if the fifth and final book in this “stand-alone” approach to a beloved and popular series. I just finished the edit for The River, which debuts on September 2, this fall–it is a true stand-alone with no connections to any other character or series. I’m crazy about this story. My readers will love Tilly and Ruth’s story–I promise. 🙂
Also, Child of Mine, a novel I’ve co-written with my husband, David Lewis (best-selling author of Coming Home).releases soon, on June 3rd. If you loved Sanctuary, our first co-written novel, 12 years ago, you will love Child of Mine.
3- Is there anything you can tell us about your next project or is it still hush hush?
The River (my fall ’14 novel) is set in a most heavenly farmland setting in Lancaster County Amish country–“Eden Valley.” I fell in love with this area when I was a young girl growing up nearby…and more recently, while I was visiting there, following the Amish schoolhouse shootings in the fall of ’06. It’s the story of two young Amish women–one courting age, the other married–who left their Plain roots but have returned for their parents’ landmark wedding anniversary celebration. There are serious family secrets to resolve, and several understandings to overcome. And the coming to grips with the younger sister’s first love, who still seems to care for her, even though she has gone “fancy.” I can hardly wait for my readers to take Tilly and Ruth’s story journey with me!
4- Do you still regularly attend conferences? If yes, is it for your own benefit or only to share your advice and experience with others?
I attend as keynote speaker or teacher, yes. Going to writers’ conferences is invaluable and I heartily recommend to anyone wishing to be published traditionally. Or simply to glean and hone their craft of writing.
5- Is there a piece of advice you have for new or aspiring writers?
Read the best literature. Write your heart. Don’t be hesitant to revise, rework, and re-do. Writers are re-writers, if they want to be published. Have a teachable spirit when you do land your contract and start working with editors. Think of yourself as the pencil and the editor as the eraser. Truly. Sometimes what/s on the page just isn’t working. And, oh, did I mention–the best writers are voracious readers?! Also, go to the local bookstore and visualize where your book will land on the shelf, once you’re published.
I hope you have enjoyed my review and Beverly’s interview.
THANK YOU Beverly for taking time out of what I’m certain is a very busy schedule to answer my questions. Your advice is especially inspiring to me and I feel so blessed to have had this opportunity.
I pray God continues to bless your writing and I look forward to many more books in the future!
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