Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Bishop's Daughter by Patricia Johns

The Bishop's Daughter
Happy May Day!  A Perfect Amish Match by Vannetta Chapman comes out today in ebook form.  You do not want to miss out on this charming book.  I want to tell you about a recent experience of mine.  I was ready to get my shower, so I opened the shower door and found a long black snake up on the tub ledge (where you set your shampoo bottles). I am deathly afraid of these slimy creatures. The thing started striking out at me.  I quickly shut the door to think how to get it out of the house without getting bit (it is probably not poisonous, but I was not taking any chances).  I came up with a tall box with solid flaps and the grab-it tool.  Thankfully, my scheme worked.  I tossed the box out the front door and slammed the door closed.  My family has gotten some good laughs from my story.  Personally, I am very cautious every time I enter my bathroom.  I have since installed a secure screen over the tub drain (it is an old tub).
Reading and Art: Albert Anker
The Bishop’s Daughter is a debut Amish novel by author Patricia Johns.  Sadie Hochstetler is a widow with a three year old son.  She has returned to the family home to live with her parents and sister, Rosmanda.  As a widow with a child, Sadie is expected to marry again and provide a father for her son.  However, Sadie was not happy in her marriage to the older Mervin Hochstetler, but it is not something she can share with others.  Sadie’s father, Bishop Benjamin Graber has developed a heart condition and his doctor has told him he needs to rest more which goes against the Amish work ethic.  He hires the newly returned Elijah Fisher to help around the dairy farm.  Elijah left their community nine years ago and took Absolom Graber with him.  Elijah was Sadie’s best friend and first love.  He broke her heart when he left, and Sadie was doubly hurt when Elijah encouraged her brother to leave with him.  Elijah did not want to come back, but his parents are suffering financially and need his assistance.  He chafes under the rigid restrictions of the community and the pressure to conform.  Elijah’s time in the Englisher world has changed him.  How he feels for Sadie, though, has not changed, but the Bishop does not feel that Elijah is worthy of his daughter which is why he left their community.  Is it possible for Sadie and Elijah to get their happily-ever-after or are they destined to remain apart?
 Patricia Johns

The Bishop’s Daughter shows readers various aspects of an Amish community.  Sadie Hochstetler was married the much older Mervin for just a year when he passed away.  He did not know she was pregnant at the time and he failed to provide for her in his will.  She is now living at home with her rigid father trying to raise her son following the rules of their community.  Sadie is being pressured to marry, but it is the last thing she wants after the experiences of her first marriage.  She has never forgotten her first love, Elijah Fisher and how he left her with her brother.  Elijah left after being told by Bishop Graber that he was not good enough for Sadie.  While he does not like life in the English world, he is happy to be away from the rigid rules of the Amish community.  With Bishop Graber unwell, Sadie steps up to handle his chores.   Elijah and Sadie are put in daily contact with each other when he begins working on their dairy farm.  The old spark is still there between them but is it enough to base a life on.  I thought the story was nicely written, but the pace was a little slow.  The story addresses various topics about Amish life.  We get to see how hard it can be to follow the rules and how a Bishop can bend the rules to suit his purposes.  I know I would chafe under the restrictions and the lack of individuality.  I could not believe that Sadie could not even write to her brother unless her father approved.  Appearances are very important in their community and gossip can ruin a woman’s reputation.  We see the differences between the younger Rosmanda with her view of love and the more mature Sadie.  I did feel that the first half of the book kept addressing the same issues (felt like the plot was going around in a circle).  I could not wait for the story to move forward.  My favorite sentence from The Bishop’s Daughter was “love . . . it could be the sweetest of experiences and the most painful.” I liked that the author provided an epilogue and I am curious to find out what will happen with Absolom.  
Deadly Southern Charm: A Lethal Ladies Mystery Anthology
I appreciate you reading my latest review.  I will be featuring Deadly Southern Charm:  A Lethal Ladies Mystery Anthology tomorrow as part of the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.  I hope you have a happy day.  Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Hausandacht by Adolf Hölzel born  May 13, 1853 in Olomouc (Moravia), Czech Republic died October 17, 1934 (81) in Stuttgart, Germany

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