Greetings! Cake and Punishment by Maymee Bell along with On the Hook by Betty Hechtman come out on May 8 along with Room on the Porch Swing by Amy Clipston.
The Road Home by Beverly Lewis takes us back to August of 1977. Lena Rose Schwartz is eighteen years old and has been courting Hans Bontrager for two months. She lives with her parents and ten siblings in Centreville, Michigan on their farm. Lena is surprised when two police officers arrive in the afternoon to tell her that parents died in an accident on their way home. There is no one relative or nearby family that can take in all of the children, and they are not allowed to stay in their home. Homes are found for everyone except Lena. Harley and Mimi Stolzfus, her father’s second cousin, writes that they can use Lena’s assistance. Lena has never been away from hometown and she has raised her youngest brother, Chris since he was born. It also means leaving her beau, Hans. Lena helps her siblings settle into their new homes and then departs for Leacock Township, Pennsylvania with the hopes that the move is temporary. Mimi and Harley are welcoming to Lena. Mimi has been lonely since their daughter, Tessa married and moved away after a quick courtship. Lena misses her family back home, but her new home has its own enticements. Which path is the right one for one for Lena? She will need to have faith and wait to see what the Lord has in store for her.
The Road Home contains good writing and lovely characters. Beverly Lewis is a descriptive writer. Her word imagery helps me to visualize the scenes and characters. There are good messages in the story. The importance of family, friendship and community for example. My favorite being that we must have faith in God and wait for him to reveal the path he has planned for our life (being patient can be difficult). Lena not only has to grieve for her parents but deal with leaving her siblings and the only home she has known. She then relocates to another state with people she has never met. When Lena is presented with a difficult choice, she must decide what to do (I do not want to say too much and spoil it for you). The Christian elements were nicely incorporated into the story (faith, prayer, God knows what is in your heart, trust in God, God’s will). I especially appreciate the message about using the talents/gifts God has given us to help others. The pace of the book was slow in places (those scenes would take me out of the story) and there is some repetitiveness (could have used editing to tighten up the story). The Road Home has an uplifting ending that put a smile on my face. I am giving The Road Home 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). Some of my favorite Beverly Lewis books are The Redemption of Sarah Cain, The Reckoning, The Sunroom, The Confession, The Shunning, The Postcard and October Song.