I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Rumspringa's Hope by Beth Shriver
Series: The Spirit of the Amish #1
Published by Realms on May 6th 2014
Genres: Adult fiction, Religious, Romance
Source: ARC from publisher
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Torn between the affections of two men, will Emma's time away from home help her choose?
Although promised to the widowed neighbor Zeb, Emma is considering leaving her Amish community to watch over her younger brother Mark when he leaves for Philadelphia to explore the outside world during his Rumspringa.
There, she reconnects with her former beau Caleb, who protects the Amish teens, introducing them to his life evangelizing and helping the homeless. Unbeknownst to Emma, Caleb is glad for the opportunity to spend time with her and hopes to win her back.
Struck by the power of evangelism and outreach, Emma begins to feel a draw to Caleb's way of life. When she doesn’t return home when she promised, Zeb goes to the city to find her, forcing Emma to choose in which of their two worlds she really belongs.
This was a nice, sweet story. The plot was good and it had a few heartwarming moments.
A problem I had was with the characters- they seemed to change their minds a lot, and not always obviously. Sometimes you didn’t realize they changed their mind until a long time afterwards, by which time they’d changed it again. So I never really knew where characters stood on certain issues. That was the biggest issue.
Other than that it was great. The plot really picked up when Emma went to Philly and met Monique. That pretty much catalyzed everything that happened after that. I liked Emma. She always had good intentions and was so sweet and calm and self-assured, or at least she knew how to act like it. I liked Caleb, too.
I confess something about Zeb never really did sit right with me, but I mostly felt how Emma felt about him. I did like Monique, though, and I knew she would come round. She was a believable character.
A lot more happened than I thought an Amish like Emma would be able to handle, but she did a remarkable job with what she had and even if she was just able to help one person before she returned, I felt like it was something she could be satisfied with. So there was certainly a sense of closure there.
The love triangle was an interesting one. I didn’t completely trust Zeb, but I could see Emma’s reasons for wanting to be with him- mostly security. And convenience. But with Caleb, I didn’t even need to know how their relationship was before he left in order to see that they had chemistry. But it was Emma’s decisions- or lack thereof- that kept me on edge in the matter.
The story had a mostly good conclusion- still leaving some ends loose, but enough to give closure and satisfaction. It was a happy ending.
Honestly, this book vacillated between 3 and 4 stars for me, but since the one issue was kinda big, that decided it.
reaction upon finishing
Awww. Happy ending. (:
this book in one word