Review of:  An Amish Homecoming

Rosalind Lauer  

Zebra, $8.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4201-5211-1

The first in this new series set in the fictional Amish community of Joyful River is sure to capture the hearts of fans of Christian romance.  As 18-year-old Essie and her beau, Harlan, prepare for engagement and marriage, their plans are interrupted when Essie’s three wayward English cousins come to live with her family following their mother’s death [p. 1-27].  Lauer’s tale centers on Essie and her cousin Serena, also 18, but the polar opposite of Essie’s steady, unassuming personality [p. 28-40 ff].  Serena’s spirited, prideful ways are quick to get under Essie’s skin [p. 40 ff], though the cousins discover that their values are far more similar than they’d first assumed after Harlan’s mother and sister are injured in a buggy accident [p. 158 ff].  The girls come to trust and rely on each other as they each navigate romances complicated by familial and financial concerns [p. 163-164 ff].  Lauer’s world-building is skillful as the characters and situations are so true to life they nearly walk off the page.  Biblical themes of faith and love echo throughout the work as the young adults learn to appreciate the things that matter most to them [p. 276-277 ff].  Readers will be satisfied with the happy endings and eagerly await the next tale about the community of Joyful River.  [March 2021]

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