Thursday, August 9, 2018

A Simple Singing: The Sisters of Lancaster County

Welcome Back!  Through the Autumn Air by Kelly Irvin comes out on August 14.  Shattered at Sea by Cheryl Hollon will released on August 28 along with Secret at Pebble Creek by Lisa Jones Baker.  

A Simple Singing by Leslie Gould is the second novel in The Sisters of Lancaster County series.  It is December of 2013 and Marie just watched her sister, Jessica marry Silas.  Marie Bachman is one for the following the rules and fully expects to be courted by a good Amish man, to settle down on a nearby farm and have a large family.  When Bishop Jacobs son, Elijah visits from Florida, it seems like providence.  Gordon Martin, their farmhand, likes to sing while he works which reminds Marie of her father who taught her to sing while they worked in the barn.  Gordon has a kind nature and a generous heart, but he is a Mennonite.  Mrs. Bachman informs Marie that she will be going to Pinecraft, Florida with her Aunt Suz for a vacation.  Marie is surprised at how the Englisch, Amish and Mennonite mingle in the community.  She enjoys attending services in a church, the opportunity to sing with others, and to spend time with Elijah.  Their second week in Pinecraft, Gordon arrives on a mission trip and Marie gets to know him better.  While on the trip, Aunt Suz tells Marie the story of their ancestor, Annie Bachmann and the struggles she faced during the Civil War.  Back at home, Marie wrestles with her conscience on her life choices.  As Aunt Suz finishes telling her the story of Annie, it helps Marie make a decision about her future. 

A Simple Singing may be the second book in The Sisters of Lancaster County series, but it can be read alone.  I thought the novel was well-written with two interesting, interconnected stories.  It did take me a little while to get into the book.  Once I did, though, I was engaged.  I was happy to see the pacing improve (it starts out a little slow).  There are smooth transitions as it switches from Marie to Annie.  I actually enjoyed Annie’s story more than Marie’s.  I found it more captivating and wish it had been a book on its own.  Gordon volunteers at homeless shelters in Lancaster County and in Florida.  Ms. Gould handles the subject adroitly as she does the issue of slavery in Annie’s timeline.  It was lovely to watch Marie grow as an individual throughout the story.  The author is a descriptive writer which helps brings the book to life for me because I can visualize the scenes thanks to her writing.  Christian themes present in A Simple Singing are prayer, having faith, and the importance of following the path God has laid out for you (not your own).  Ms. Gould did her research for the Civil War scenes especially the Battle of Gettysburg.  I like how she included President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.  I found A Simple Singing to be a heartwarming Amish novel and I am eager to read Liesel’s story in A Faithful Gathering (February 5, 2019).  My rating for A Simple Singing is 4 out of 5 stars.  

The first book in The Sisters of Lancaster County series is A Plain Leaving. Thank you for stopping by and reading my review today.  I will be featuring Cherry Pies and Deadly Lies by Darci Hannah tomorrow.  May you have a day filled with cooling thoughts (hopefully it will help beat the heat).  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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