Saturday, November 16, 2013
A Daughters of the Promise Novel
By Beth Wiseman
Published by Thomas Nelson, November 12th 2013
I've read all the previous "Plain" books by Beth Wiseman and enjoyed them, also her crossover books in the Land of Canaan series, so I was certainly poised to love this book, number 6 in the "Plain" sequence, too.
But I didn't love it. Certainly parts of it were very well done; I was really pleased to get to know the character of of Lucy Turner better and find out her life story, and to catch up with Dr Noah and his family was also a delight, but the actions of some of the main characters simply did not strike me as believable .
Anna, the protagonist, is an Amish girl who has been brought up by her grandparents. Her grandfather is the uber-strict local bishop and has caused some wayes in the community. Her grandmother is universally beloved and a sweet woman who allows her husband to rule the roost....or does she?
I simply cannot get my head round the dear Marianne deliberately and over a period of many years, sublimating her displeasure at her husband's domineering ways by having a secret basement room where she stores a vast mountain of contraband and very un-Amish goods, which she has spent thousands of dollars buying, all without her husband's knowledge and knowing that he would be very unhappy.
Anna falls for the new boy, Jacob Hostetler, who has moved to Paradise with his family after the death of his sister Leah in an accident in Ohio. Her grandfather does not want her to see Jacob apart from at Church services, so she starts deceiving her family in order to see him, and Jacob's family turn out to be hiding some pretty big secrets of their own too. Jacob's mother, Cora, initially befriends Lucy Turner but then turns against her when she discovers Lucy's previous affair with Ivan Stoltzfus.
The truth does come out, eventually, and there is a "happy ending" for all the characters, but I just cannot see the stern Bishop Byler rolling over and letting his wife keep her cuckoo clock, crystal glasses, pretty dishes and iPhone etc. I just can't......