Thursday, June 05, 2008

Book Review: "The Forbidden" by Beverly Lewis

The Amish Romeo and Juliet

Nellie Fisher and Caleb Yoder are the Amish version of Romeo and Juliet. But instead of their families being at literal war with each other, it's their conflicting views in religion that are driving the two apart. Nellie's family has come to accept Christ and are eager to learn more about the scriptures to the point of breaking away from the Old Order church. Meanwhile, Caleb's father forbids him to have anything to do with Nellie's family or new faith to the point of kicking his own daughter out of his house. The couple finds themselves sneaking around, seeing each other in secret. However the price of secrecy is taking a toll on Nellie and she starts to wonder if she might have to one day make a final decision with a painful choice.

When you pick up a Beverly Lewis title, the reader should be aware that you are going to get lost in the story with characters you feel have become real. The Amish genre has become very popular in recent years, but Lewis has shown that she is the top name when it comes to this style of writing. It was a little tough at first to get back into the flow of the story. There are many characters with similar names so it is easy to get confused by the multiple story lines. Some of the other plots don't seem to fit in with the rest of the story. Rhoda and the automobile seem out of place, while the scenes involving the parental rights of the twins could be a whole other series in itself. These story lines help to make the community become more lively and familiar yet at the same time, it's easy for the reader to get distracted from Nellie and Caleb's story.

Once again this book has really made me question about the belief of the Old Order Amish. It really seems like they are not Christians at all. If this is the case, then it is truly sad because they are denying themselves the true meaning of their faith. What good is it be living simple lives if they won't accept true salvation? Regardless, this book really makes one think about these sort of issues. This book is not a romance, it's instead a character study with lots of detail and historical fact weaved in. With a cliffhanger of an ending, one can hardly wait for the conclusion to this series. I know I'm definitely looking forward to it. Fans of Beverly Lewis will not be disappointed when reading this book.

The Forbidden by
Beverly Lewis is published by Bethany House (2008)

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