I received a copy of ADORING ADDIE by Leslie Gould from Bethany House. It is the second book in the Courtships of Lancaster County series.
I requested this one because it is Amish fiction, and my mother loves Amish fiction. I wanted to be able to pass it on to her when I was done – I should also add that I likewise enjoy reading about the Amish lifestyle since my mother and I visit Lancaster County once a year. It sounded a bit…typical. How many times has Romeo and Juliet been rewritten, right? I was expecting a typical story about a close-knit family, a forbidden love, and home-style cooking. Yes, the book had that mouth-watering food and the forbidden love, but the close-knit family? Not so much.
This has become, by far, my favorite Amish book EVER. It wasn’t typical at all. In fact, it was naughty and scintillating. Addie, short for Adelaide, does not have a close-knit family. Right from the start, we know that she isn’t close to her parents or her older siblings. She acts as a surrogate mother to her younger brothers. Her aunt lives with them, and she gets along well with her, but the aunt is treated poorly (in my opinion) by Addie’s family and just puts up with it. Addie’s mother is possessive, controlling, and mentally unwell. Then, there are Addie’s older brothers who are on their Rumspringa. For those of you unfamiliar with the Amish lifestyle, that means that they have the chance to live in the “English” world before joining the church. Samuel and George have a trailer, but Timothy lives at home. He drives a car, wears “English” clothes, and drinks. A lot. They’re always at parties. Addie is the good daughter who is courting, more or less, the bishop’s son. She doesn’t really love him, though. Then, Jonathan moves to town. His family and Addie’s have a feud, so she is forbidden to see him. In the other Amish books I’ve read, a feud wouldn’t even be tolerated, but here, everyone knows about it. Addie and Jonathan want to make it right. Their part of the story actually felt a bit flat – love at first sight, almost instantly wanting to marry. I would have loved to see more of a solid relationship build between them. That might make you wonder why this is my favorite Amish book, then.
I had to keep turning the pages to see what happened next to this dysfunctional Amish family. I stayed up until one in the morning reading, even though I had to rise at six for work, just because I couldn’t put it down until I saw how it ended. Despite the old Romeo and Juliet theme, as an Amish book, this is fresh and new.