A Life of Joy by Amy Clipston.
Published 2012 by Zondervan
Lindsay Bedford has settled in well with her aunt’s family in the Amish community after losing her parents in a car crash. Her older sister Jessica has chosen to stay in the “ English” world with her Godmother and pursue her dreams of higher education and developing a successful career, and can neither truly understand or accept that Lindsay is very happy working with her relatives in the bakery.
Although they live apart, there is a constant undercurrent of tension on this topic, added to which Lindsay is reaching an age where she has to make some important and life-changing decisions about whether she should accept baptism into the Amish faith at the same time as her friends and relatives. Jessica, meanwhile, is torn between wanting to maintain her relationship with her Mennonite boyfriend Jake, and pursuing her career dreams.
Uncertain of where God is leading her, Lindsay chooses to delay baptism for the time being and ends up being faced with even more decisions than she envisaged when she goes back to all the opportunities and temptations of the English world to care for her sister’s Godmother who has had a serious accident and needs help.
What will each girl decide to do ?
It was possible to easily pick up the threads of the previous plots without having read the preceding books, and it has certainly whetted my appetite to “go back” and read the earlier books.
Added bonuses are the wonderful recipes, helpful Amish – English glossary and extended family tree so the reader can easily identify which member of the family is married to whom, very necessary when a series is set in a community where extended families are the norm and the series is entering its fourth book!
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and hope that there will be more stories about the Kauffman/Bedford family.
You can read a sample of the book here.