The Englisher Hardcover – Apr 13 2006
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About the Author
BEVERLY LEWIS was born in Pennsylvania Amish country, is an accomplished musician, and was previously a schoolteacher. Now an award-winning author, her books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times. She and her husband, David, live in Monument, Colorado.
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Top Customer Reviews
Makes one want to learn more about the Amish culture.
Annie the main character is full of life and passion and wants to share her love and gift for the fine arts with those around her in the Amish community. Not everyone including her family are happy with her love of the arts and her abilities as this gift is frowned upon in this Amish community. Annie must learn to deal with her love for art and keeping peace with her family and the community.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Lewis gives us the details that make the lives of her characters vivid and engrossing, and she keeps you reading as you yearn for more information about these People you grow to love.Lewis does have a minor tendency to be a bit preachy at times, but this is easily overlooked as you find yourself drawn into the world of the Amish through her excellent storytelling. The book ends on several cliffhangers which will leave you waiting impatiently for the next installment. Once again, Lewis has written a gripping, involving story. Recommended!
Who is this Ben Martin, and why is he here with the Amish when he is clearly NOT plain? What draws him here, and will he be able to calm his troubled heart as to his early years and his dreams and visions? Or are they real? Will he ever find out?
Lou, the modern Colorado pen pal is still with Annie, trying her best to also find her way in life. She did not consider that she might fall in love with an Amishman....what will SHE do with this new developement? She has currently run back to Colorado and her rich family....
Essie, Annie's best friend, has been taken into protection after her abusive husband, Zeke, refuses to stop the abuse even when she is about to give birth to their 4th child. Julia's home is Mennonite, and while harboring there, Essie has embraced the faith of the Mennonites, leading to a partial shunning....even after she makes a move back toward her husband-- will she denounce her new-found faith in God?
Zeke is one troubled man. He is tormented with the disappearance of his 4 year old brother Isaac, 16 years ago while in the company of Zeke. Bones have been found, uncovered and reburied. Will these bones have any answers? Can the police find answers when they are called in?
Preacher Zook's family is the central one in this book, and Jesse the dad, is losing his children to other ways and interests, but is he able to stop the departing? He is just about to give up on Annie after catching her in a terribly compromising situation for an Amish young lady.
Secrets are many throughout this book, as is the custom of Beverly Lewis. We, the readers, want answers, such as WHO AND WHERE IS ISAAC, REALLY, and what will Lou now do back in Denver while in love with an Amish man? Will Annie ever be able to really, truly embrace the Amish strictness if it means turning her back permanently on her gift of art? And forsaking Ben?
Beverly Lewis has, again, left us looking for book number 3. Thank you Mrs. Lewis.
novels because they bring you right into the Amish communities & the stories are all exciting with questions that you can hardly wait for the next book to find out what happens. Another big plus for me is that the novels are showing how important God is in their lives and there is NO TRASH in her books. This book as all the others also shows human crosses and trials. Many times I feel that I would have made other choices. I bless Beverly for the enjoyment these books bring to me. Dolores Jules
In book one, THE PREACHER'S DAUGHTER, talented artist Annie Zook was torn between familial fidelity, a half-hearted engagement to a local Amish boy, and pursuing her passion for drawing and painting. Now, following a broken engagement, Annie has agreed to give up her art for six months in obedience to her father's wishes while she considers whether she will join the church or not. Her pen pal and best friend Louisa, who also fled a broken engagement in book one and flew out to visit her, is still enjoying her immersion in Amish life. Louisa is attracted to the handsome Samuel Glick, but realizes that if their romance is to be fully ignited, she must decide to join the Amish community. A visit from her friend Courtney Engelman from back home reminds her of what she has left behind, and leaves her more conflicted.
Annie has the opposite problem. Ben Martin, an Englisher who works in the local harness shop, has captured her heart. His kind and gentle ways attract her like a moth to a flame, and step by step she allows herself to open up to him. Soon, she is experimenting with the idea of discarding various parts of her Plain persona. But how can she continue seeing someone who is not of the Plain folks? What future could there be in the relationship? It's only a matter of time before there's a showdown between Annie and her father, which keeps the suspense building until late in the story.
Other plot lines are continued from book one, including the hushed-up death of Zeke Hochstetler's younger brother Isaac, which continues to torment him. The abusive Zeke pushes for reconciliation with his wife Esther and their young family, but his mental anguish continues to manifest itself in his harsh words and erratic behavior. Is he losing his mind?
Esther, resigned to her abusive, mostly loveless marriage, continues her quiet rebellion over her newfound assurance of salvation (something forbidden by the Plain people, who believe this is a manifestation of pride). Until she repents, she is shunned by her family and her community --- even having to eat at a separate table from her husband and children. Kudos to Lewis for tackling the difficult subject of abuse in religious communities; she addresses many of the emotions and wrongful views of those in leadership about the issue.
While THE PREACHER'S DAUGHTER focused on the dilemma of a woman caught between using her gifts and acceptance by her community of faith, THE ENGLISHER centers more on what happens when two people are attracted to each other but fail to share similar cultural and spiritual ties. There is also a nice subtheme about religion and gender perceptions, especially concerning the role of women in the Amish community. Annie forthrightly takes on her father's obvious relaxed treatment of her brother's relationship with a "modern" woman as biased. In one poignant passage, Annie's father reflects, "Women were fine for marrying or birthing babies, but men were elected by the Lord God to lead the community of mortal saints. For Annie to have questioned him at all on this point irked him some, yet he would not allow her to know it." Readers with a somewhat glamorized view of Amish life will be brought up short to see just how conservative about gender roles it can be.
Lewis does a great job letting those readers outside the Amish community get a glimpse of the interior workings of its faith and culture. The pace is improved from book one, and Lewis gets less bogged down in too many adjectives and details. The multiple storylines and points of view are smooth, evidence of Lewis's mastery of the genre.
This novel would be confusing if read as a stand-alone, so be sure to begin with THE PREACHER'S DAUGHTER. Devoted Lewis fans will be delighted to know that the story will be picked up in the third installment, THE BRETHREN, due out in October 2006.
--- Reviewed by Cindy Crosby (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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