Most helpful positive review
A Delightful Read!
on January 23, 2002
The book seems to tie loose ends as well as continue the stories begun in the books The Shunning, The Postcard, and The Redeption of Sarah Cain. In Hickory Hollow, the first of these warmhearted tales, Katie Lapp is ready to celebrate her first wedding anniversary with her husband Dan. In the midst of this happiness though, lingers the sorrow and shame of her shunning from the Old Order Amish of Hickory Hollow where she and Dan grew up. They have found salvation in Jesus Christ and are active and content in their new Mennonite church. However, the couple is forbidden to visit with family and friends due to the "Bann"- excommunication-imposed on them for going "fancy". Katie's biggest regret is the loss of her relationship with her "Dat"-her father. Can she ever repair the damage done to her family?
In part two entitled Bird-In-Hand, ex-journalist, Philip Bradley, must learn the ways of his new faith, with the help of his wife Rachel and the community. Being originally from New York, this is no easy task. He finds that simply dressing the part and believing in the Church is not enough. He must obey the unwritten code of conduct-the "Ordnung", to prove himself truly one of "the People". After a thoughtless blunder he is determined to prove to the skeptical Moses Raber that he is not just another soul-searching "Englischer"-outsider-but has truly accepted "Plain" living.
Grasshopper Level is the last story in this collection. Sarah Cain must, with the help of her newfound faith, learn to cope with her career and the care of her late sister's five children. Raising the children Amish in an English household has not been easy. The oldest, Lyddie, is preparing for her wedding to Levi King but her fears about the welfare of her younger siblings after her marriage and the shadow of her mother's death loom over the happy couple.
The book is a delight. Each story holds you to the end and all end happily yet realistically. They give the reader an insight into a fascinating and often misunderstood way of life, It is fast paced and filled with optimism and good Christian wisdom. The characters are well developed and there is a sense of being right there with them in peaceful Lancaster County, riding horse and buggy amidst the changing autumn colors. Although you can read these stories without having read the others in the series (I did), if you plan to read the other novels, save this book for last so as not to spoil the story.
--- reviewed by Rachel for Christian Bookshelf