Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Guardian by Beverly Lewis - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Guardian
Bethany House Publishers (March 26, 2013)
Beverly Lewis


Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, The Heritage of Lancaster County, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."

Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Beverly's tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, "Beverly's books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don't run across writing like that every day. I hope she'll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time."

A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and spending time with their family. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."


When schoolteacher Jodi Winfield goes for a morning run, the last thing she expects is to find a disheveled little girl all alone on the side of the Pennsylvania road, clad only in her undergarments, her chubby cheeks streaked with tears. Jodi takes the preschooler home with her, intending to find out where she belongs. But Jodi is mystified when no one seems to know of a missing child, and the girl herself is no help, since she can't speak a word of English. It's as if the child appeared out of nowhere.

As the days pass, Jodi becomes increasingly attached to the mysterious girl, yet she is no closer to learning her identity. Then an unexpected opportunity brings Jodi to Hickory Hollow--and into the cloistered world of the Lancaster Old Order Amish. Might the answers lie there?

My Thoughts:

The gift of balancing life’s pain with divine healing – for body, mind and soul … And the gift of love in the innocent eyes of your darling children.”  (p 335-336)

There were many precious gifts exchanged in the lives of Jodi Winfield and the family of Maryanna Esh.  It’s been quite some time since I spent time with Beverly Lewis and her Amish characters, and I found The Guardian to be a very touching and satisfying read.  The concept of the story was found in a newspaper article, and it is an article only Beverly Lewis could use to create a community of characters that will become a part of your heart for a short time – and leave your grateful for the blessings in your life.

There were some elements of the story that were predictable if you’ve read many Amish tales.  The simplicity of the Amish people really doesn’t leave much wiggle room.  However, the way that they reach out to each other within their community seems to have a profound effect upon the Englishers who spend time among them.  Jodi Winfield gains some critical insight into her own circumstances when she becomes involved with the Amish in a very unexpected way!  Likewise, Maryanna Esh is touched and changed by Jodi’s presence as well.  These two very unlikely friends move forward very different people from who they were at the beginning of the story.

And that, my dear readers, is what make a novel very satisfying.  I enjoyed this story.  I enjoyed the change of pace my heart and mind experienced when I allowed myself to become immersed in the Amish lifestyle for a bit – even though it was only fictional.  I look forward reading more of Beverly Lewis! 

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Guardian, go HERE.

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