Monday, April 30, 2012

Leaving Lancaster... a book review

Leaving Lancaster

ISBN-13: 9780781405089
Publisher: David C. Cook

Publisher's Description

Can a splintered Amish family reconcile?
More than anything else, thirty-something Holly Fisher longs for family. Growing up in Seattle without a dad or grandparents, she wonders what it would be like to have a heritage, a place of belonging. Holly is furious when her mother, Esther, reveals a long-kept secret: Holly’s grandmother and uncles are still alive and begging Esther to return. And Holly is shocked when she learns that the family she’s never known lives on a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, farm—as part of an Amish community her mother once abandoned.
Guilt-ridden Esther, terrified to see her mother and siblings, begs Holly to accompany her on a visit to Esther’s mother before she dies. But can their journey to a conflicting world heal their emotional wounds and finally bring them home?
Set in the heart of contemporary Lancaster County, Leaving Lancaster explores the power of forgiveness, family reconciliation, and love where least expected.

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I enjoy the Amish fiction genre; the simple lifestyle and importance of family keep me coming back for more. 

In Leaving Lancaster, the main character, Esther left her Amish roots with  her intended and didn't return until a letter from her mom begs her to return.  Now, over 30 years later, Esther then tells her daughter that she has extended family in Pennsylvania - something she has desired since her childhood.  At this point in the book, neither character seems to act their age.  Both are presented with behaviors similar to teenagers bickering.  Also, throughout the novel, I had to reread sections to make sure I knew who was talking or was part of the action.

I enjoyed the book's storyline as the returning prodigal daughter returns and is accepting into the family / community.  But the writing style and under-developed characters won't have me going back for more.  Leaving Lancaster does not have a neat and tidy ending, so I feel there will be at least one more book with these same characters.

I received a complimentary ebook from David C. Cook Publishing and NetGalley for my honest review.


1 comment:

  1. I feel much the same about this one. Neither Holly or Esther acted anywhere near their age. When Holly was speaking I would often picture a teenager rather than a 37 year old woman.

    I appreciated the unique angle on the Amish lifestyle, but the characters just couldn't draw me in. To be completely honest I was very glad when I finished it and could move on to something else.


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