Book Review: "The Brethren" by Beverly Lewis

It's not always happy in Paradise

In the third book of the Annie's People series, The Brethren continues the story of Annie Zook and the people of the Amish community of Paradise. Annie has put away her paintings and is living with her friend Esther, who has been shunned for accepting Jesus and is worried about her husband Zeke who has accepted the responsibility of the death of his brother from long ago. Meanwhile Ben, the Englisher that stole Annie's heart, finds a secret about his past and goes back to Paradise to find answers. His discovery shakes up the entire community and brings new meaning to his and Annie's relationship.

I really liked this book yet I felt the book was a little rushed at the end. I want to know what will happen to Louisa and Sam in the future. Her story didn't move that much in this book.
It was interesting to find out about Ben's past, yet it felt somewhat predictable once you found out he was adopted. I did finding out more about the culture and the customs of the people. It's very interesting that the Amish can live in modern America and still have a completely different society. I've enjoyed reading all of Beverly Lewis' Amish books and I had been waiting for the conclusion of this series. The Amish lifestyle has always fascinated me. They had been sadly brought into the limelight after the shooting a few months ago.

The thing that has always confused me about the Amish is what do they really believe in. After reading Lewis' books and especially this series, it seems that to have a personal relationship and admit that Jesus is your savior is considered vanity and grounds for being banned. They seem to only read from the Old Testament and even then only the bishops are allowed to really study it. Another series of Lewis' deals with a form of old medicine that can be considered as witchcraft. I understand most of their views about not conforming to the rest of the world and to keep life simple. What I don't understand is that it seems that the Amish are not really Christians if they don't believe in accepting Jesus into their lives.

The Brethren by Beverly Lewis is published by Bethany House (2006)


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