I love Beverly Lewis’ books! The River* was no different – however, it was a little harder (emotionally) to read because of the strain between family members. I have always found the Amish lifestyle appealing (not perfect, I know every lifestyle has hardships), mostly I enjoy the simplicity. (but I like my electricity & wi-fi too :-D)
This story was different in that it starts off as a reflection in 1977, of a past several years prior – that is a while ago. Even then, the differences between the Amish & English were great. It made me wonder how much more-so this is true now.
The River* has so many truths imbedded – regardless of whether you are Amish, or an Englisher. No matter your upbringing. No matter your age – as daughters, we look to our fathers for acceptance and approval. We look to our mothers too, but I think our fathers even more. I appreciated Beverly’s choice of the sisters to not turn their back on their faith, as much as the organized religion they were raised in. She showed how they still had very personal relationships with Jesus, relationships in the process of growing even in hardship. This story is truly timeless, all the relational issues portrayed are still the same today. Tilly and her sister had to trust they were making a right decision, even though it hurt to follow through and it was hard.
The River touched on family crisis, the resulting hurt, and leaving the Amish ways but not their faith in Christ. The realness of daughters searching for their father’s approval no matter what age you are, or the upbringing you’ve had, was hard. Throughout the book, you feel how difficult it is to repair relationships – even in “simpler” settings.
Beverly has a way of writing about the hard stuff, but keeping each individual’s relationship with Christ as the focus, not their religion or the life choices they make.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers, in exchange for my honest review.**