Beverly Lewis has again selected Lancaster County for her new Amish tale, However, the time period is not the present, but late 1970's. Perhaps, Lewis did not want her "fancy" sisters to have the luxuries of cell phones and computers. No matter the reason because the themes of acceptance and redemption which dominant the story fit any time period. Clearly Tilly and her father have had a rocky relationship even before her decision to leave the Amish way of life. While others assure her of his love, she knows that he has always treated her more harshly than he did other siblings. On her return, Tilly is not subjected to a full out shunning by her father, but neither is he ready to accept her or her new way of life. Ruth seems to be accepted with more openness, but being unmarried and only gone for a couple years, everyone expects her to walk back into her Amish life. When her former beau seems to have reformed his "bad boy" ways and shares that he has always had feelings for her, it appears Ruth may return to the plain life.
Beverly Lewis is one of the only Amish fiction authors that I had read before I started reviewing titles and blogging. I believe she remains one of the best, telling stories that have an authentic feel. I fear too many other authors are writing to fit a market demand. Lewis, I believe, still has a message to tell in her stories. My husband even watched and enjoyed the movie versions of her stories THE SHUNNING and THE CONFESSION. While I felt THE RIVER was a gentle, well told story, I personally did not find it as intriguing as, say, THE FIDDLER, which remains a favorite of mine. If you are a fan of Amish fiction, do pick up a copy of THE RIVER. You will want to meet Tilly, Ruth, and their strong mother.
I found my copy of THE RIVER by Beverly Lewis through the Winnefox Library System. As part of the 26 Books to read in 2015 Challenge (see www.burns-fmailyblog.blogspot.com), I am counting this as A BOOK FROM THE LIBRARY. That is sort of a LOL because almost all my books come from the library!!