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on August 9, 1999
I hesitate to make negative comments about this and the other books in this series since they have been rated so highly by others. However, I feel obligated to my many Amish friends to set the record straight. I read the Shunning, The Confession and The Reckoning, and was very much disturbed by the way the Amish were treated. In some ways it is evident that the author did a great deal of book research because she has many facts quite right; such as the given and family names of the characters. In other ways it would appear that she has had very little actual contact with real Amish people. My suspicion is that the Amish friends she claims to have are actually X Amish who have a lot of criticism and bitterness toward their people. Lewis judges the Amish by modern Evangelical standards and makes them look like heathens with bones through their noses in need of the Gospel. The Amish do have a different understanding of salvation than do Evangelicals and Fundamentalists, but to say they are not Christian is carrying it too far. Lewis would no doubt also have serious disagreements on theological matters with Catholics, most Lutherans and Pentecostals. There are many factual errors in the Shunning and the other two books in the series. The greatest error in The Shunning is the portrayal of the Amish not being allowed to talk to those who are excommunicated. My Amish friends tell me that they are expected to talk to those in the ban in order to win them back to the church. Lewis somewhat corrects this in the other books to make it look like the silent treatment was the individual pronoucement of one particular bishop. Lewis does not mention the Biblical basis for shunning which she apparently does not understand. Really, I think Katie, the main character, would have been shunned by atheists for the trick she pulled at her wedding! Some other errors include the forbiddance to sing any songs other than those in the Amish hymnal. It is true that the Amish only sing the traditional, ancient hymns at their church services, but on other occasions I have heard the Amish sing many kinds of songs, and "Jesus Loves Me" would not at all be out of order. Also the impression is given that one has to be born Amish in order to be a member of the Amish church. I know of a number of people who have joined the Amish were not raised in the church. It is difficult for an "outsider" to join the Amish, because a lot of commitment is required, but quite possible. I could mention many other things in the books that are not true to Amish life, but I don't want this to get too long. The books are well written and hold the reader's attention, but they are more for entertainment than enlightenment. If you want to know what the Amish are really like, these books are not for you.
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on January 22, 1998
I am an avid reader and lover of Amish history. These 2 passions drew me to a display containing "The Shunning" when we were traveling and stopped to eat at a little restaurant-gift shop. I just had to get up from my meal and take a look at the book. I was so interested I had to read it. The characters were exciting people, individual in spite of being identical! Katie especially intrigued me! She was so fiesty, so different, opinionated, yet family oriented. How could she expect to be happy at any one place when the whole world called to her? I felt empathy for Katie's Amish parents because having a daughter like her surely was a test in their community! Yet, I felt Katie's pain...her uncertainty...her desires...what part in her longterm future would Mary play? How could Katie endure without Dan, her soul mate? How could she marry a man she did not love? Why must she be forced to live without the beautiful, soothing music she adored? Was it sin, or simply protocol? It was easy to keep switching my loyalty from one group to the other...they all had some good ideas. I thought I understood Katie and her inquisitive nature, yet I wanted to scold her for being ungrateful and even spiteful to her parents at times. I seemed to have love-hate for one person, then another! I think this author, Bev Lewis, surely must have an interesting else could she think of so many wonderfully surprising events? For a book that led one to think it was going to be about a fairly dull family, living in a fairly dull town, with fairly dull ideals, there certainly was a trememdous amount of excitement nontheless! People DID have feelings, they DID experience emotions, and Katie Lapp was determined to live them in addition to just feeling them! There are issues here that are presented so well, love and marriage, family life, faith, obedience to parents, loyalty, adoption, trust, life and death, grief and mourning, traditions, ways of life...and all of these are wrapped around one tiny, pink satin baby gown! When I saw I was on the last page, I was stricken....NO, THIS CANNOT BE ENDING...there is so much I do not know yet! What will happen to..what if...when will...why didn't....maybe they...if only.... I did not rest a moment until book number 2 was in my hands! I so fully appreciate the author's portrayal of the love of God, His plan of salvation and especially the individuality of each person in spite of their surroundings! Thanks, Bev!
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on May 17, 2004
I picked this book up in a grocery store check-out, and I couldn't put it down. I grew up near Amish, so a lot of the things in the book were familiar to me. WARNING: these books are addictive. This is the first of a 3 part series, so you have to keep buying to find out how the story ends. Then, you move on to the next series...
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on October 14, 1999
When I pick up a book like this, I am looking for good "light" reading to give me a bit of escape and hopefully learn a little. However, I repeatedly find that trilogies of this nature use a "hook" at the end of the story to get you to read the next book. In my opinion, a book (even the first book of a trilogy) should come to some sort of closure at the end. The reader should be drawn to read the next book soley because he/she has become attached to the people and places in the book and wants to find out more about them, NOT because of some gimmick the author created to keep people guessing. But this book leaves the reader hanging. I simply did not want to read through two more books to find out how this story ended.
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on April 15, 1997
I simply couldn't put this book down! Almost every girl, on the verge of adulthood, looks back over all she's been taught and attempts to decide which values are truly hers and which ones she never really accepted as her own. Katie grows up, always feeling like she must be "wrong" for wanting fancy things and never really feeling Amish. Then she finds the reason for her distress and a whole new world of possibilities are now open to her. I learned so much about Amish life from the story. I felt like I was living in the Lapp household. I smiled, I gasped, and yes, I cried for Katie. Beverly Lewis did an awesome job - can't wait for "The Confession"
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on August 1, 1999
This book is about an Amish girl who finds out she is adopted. She has had trouble committing herself to all the Amish rules all her life. When she finds this out, she searches for her real "English" mother.
The book is fast-paced, very interesting. After reading I had to get the next 2 books. "The Confession" and "The Reckoning".
I have visited many Amish settlements throughout Illinois, Pennsylvania and Indiana. Somehow I find them so interesting and peaceful.
This book makes you rethink your life and future.
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on October 15, 2002
The heroine of this book is the most selfish, unsympathetic character I've read in a long time. She has this unabelievably stupid belief that when she learns something unexpected about her past, she's entitled to renege on every promise or vow she's made up until then. Her selfishness causes great pain to people around her, and she thinks she's entirely justified!
I thought this book was just awful, and I honestly can't see why anybody else recommends it. The writing is amateurish at best and the storyline is silly. Ugh! Spend your money elsewhere.
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on October 28, 2002
What if who you thought you were your entire life wasn't who you really were?
That is the question that Katie Lapp faces when she discovers a fancy baby dress in the attic of her parents' house. Katie has been raised Plain, with all of its rules. She faces a life altering decision with this discovery.
THis book takes the reader through the first few weeks of Katie's discovery and then directly leads into the next book of the series. Believe me--I had tears rolling down my face by the end of the book.
I heartily recommend this book!
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on September 18, 1997
I really thought this was an excalent book that to see into the lives and homes of the Amish people and their Culture. If are intrested in learning differnt cultures in a fiction setting this is one the best. I think My favorite parts were at here baptism, the preperation for the wedding, and the ending where Katies sister-in-law get a letter from her "dead" brother and says that he wants to come home for a visit. My droped open 10ft I couldn't belive it.

I can't wait for the Confession to come out.
Beverly Lewis is a exaclent author.
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on January 23, 1998
I read The Shunning about two months ago. I liked it so much, I just had to buy it so that I could let my friends read it. I would(and do!) strongly recommend this book to anyone who has or has not read books about the Amish before. I am reading The Confesion now. I won't spoil it for those who haven't read The Shunning, but I do have to say that I think it would be impossible to only read The Shunning, and not The Confession. I have read about twenty Amish fiction boks, and The Shunning tops them all! Thank you, Mrs. Lewis!!!!!!
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