Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Love Letters {Review}

Marlena needed this summer with with her Mammi following Dawdi Tim's death.  They planned to spend their time together, gardening, canning, and healing.  Marlena had no idea her world was about to be turned even further upside down.

Rocked by her sister's unexpected death, Marlena hesitantly takes on the care of her niece, Anglea Rose.  As time goes on, Marlena discovers she enjoys a connection with her sister and Angela Rose breathes new life into their home.  But what will become of the child when her MIA soldier father returns?

Meanwhile, neighbor Small Jay struggles to connect with his own father because of a unknown disability.  As his father continues to push him away, Small Jay befriends a mysterious stranger, Boston, who can't remember his past.   As Boston becomes more a part of the family, the boy finds not only a friend, but a mentor.  Will Boston ever find his way home?  And will Small Jay find a way to connect with his father before it's too late?

I have long since been a fan of Beverly Lewis' work.  Her Amish/Mennonite books have led the way in this genre.  However, while this book was ok, it certainly wasn't my favorite of Lewis' work.  It was hard to relate to the characters.  Marelena especially felt dry stiff and unrealistic.  Of the two story lines, the most enjoyable part of the book was between Small Jay and Boston.  The boy and the stranger build a beautiful relationship that is quite tender.

My other complaint is that the storylines had very little to do with each other.  Other than an occasional visit between neighbors, the characters rarely interact.  And even then it's detached.

All in all, this was not my favorite of Lewis' work.  Both stories could have been easily separated and further developed.  If you're looking for something from Lewis, I would recommend some of the Home to Hickory Hollow series or Heritage of Lancaster County series.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for review.  All opinions are my own.

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