Tuesday, September 12, 2023

The Heirloom by Beverly Lewis

 The Heirloom

Book Summary

This heartwarming prequel to The Shunning is a tender story of love, belonging, and the courage to move forward.

After her widowed father remarries, nineteen-year-old Clara Bender is no longer needed to help run his household. Marriage seems like her best hope of moving out, but there are few young men in her tiny Indiana Amish community. When she comes across letters from her mother's aunt Ella Mae Zook, she sets off to visit Lancaster County's Hickory Hollow to decide where her future lies.

Ella Mae is not quite ready to move from the farmhouse where she and her recently deceased husband spent over fifty happy years, but her children are eager to resettle her, making Clara's visit seem like an answer to prayer. The two women form a warm bond while restoring an heirloom wedding quilt and sharing their lives, with Ella Mae confiding about a tragedy from her courting years. Eventually, Ella Mae suggests Clara stay for the summer, allowing Ella Mae more time with her and giving Clara an opportunity to meet the area's eligible young men. But when the unexpected happens, will Clara find where her heart truly belongs?
My Thoughts

The Heirloom by Beverly Lewis is a special story that is a prequel to The Shunning.  I thought the story was well-written and it had a good flow. The characters were developed and relatable.  Katie Lapp is in the story, but The Heirloom focuses on Clara Bender and Ella Mae Zook.   I liked both characters.  Clara and Ella Mae may be decades apart in age, but they got along so well.  The pair have a special relationship.  I like how a family quilt that needed to be repaired played into the story.  Ella Mae and Clara are quilters (another thing they have in common) and can repair quilts that need some love. I enjoyed the description of this family quilt. We get to see how the rules can differ from one Amish church district to the next.    The differences can include the style of dress, the type of caps, gizmos allowed in courting buggies, scooters versus bicycles, and so on.  Unfortunately, sometimes a bishop can be too strict which causes people to move.  I can understand why Clara’s father is worried about Clara finding a beau and possibly settling down in such a strict district.  

I could understand Clara’s grief over the loss of her mother.  She is having a hard time seeing someone come in and take her mother’s place in the house.  It is hard losing a parent and you will continue to miss them every day. Ella Mae is dealing with the loss of her husband and her children are pushing her into doing something she is not ready to do.  Ella Mae is a special woman who offered wise words, encouragement, and support.  One of my favorite phrases from The Heirloom is, “God cares ’bout even the little things, she always said.  Big or little, if they matter to you, dearie, they matter to Him.”  The Heirloom has a sweet ending, but there is a detail or two that I wish had been different.  This is a special Amish tale that deals with family, friendship, forgiveness, hope, grief, love, and faith.  The Heirloom is a touching Amish tale with distressed daughter, loving letters, a family friend, a bouncing buggy, youth group gatherings, a bothered bishop, and a devoted God.  

The Heirloom is available from Amazon*.  The novels in the Heritage of Lancaster County series are The Shunning (read for free with Kindle Unlimited), The Confession, and The Reckoning.  You can find Beverly Lewis's other novels here.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will return on September 19 with Murder and Mamon by Mia P. Manansala.  It is the fourth book in A Tita Rosie's Kitchen.  On September 20, I am featuring Have Yourself a Deadly Little Christmas by Vicki Delany.  It is the return of A Year-Round Christmas Mysteries.  Then on September 21, I will share my thoughts on The Book Club Hotel by Sarah Morgan.  As you can see, I have been busy reading during my down time.  I hope that you have a cozy week (I am eager for fall weather).  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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