I received a copy of THE ATONEMENT by Beverly Lewis from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. I am not sure if this will be the start of a new series, or a stand alone.
I love Amish fiction, and all the Amish books I read, I later share with my mother. We make yearly trips to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, and I was excited that this book takes place near there. However, I never got a strong sense of the landscape or people.
There were parts of the story I liked, and parts I didn’t. I did like how it portrayed the simplistic, religious lifestyle of the Amish. It is a feel-good book, and many of the characters receive a sweet, happy ending. I also liked how the book showed a growing relationship between an Amish family and an Englisher, and how it showed an Amish family going to grief-counselling. I really enjoyed reading about the grief-counseling group, as my mother and I are still struggling my grandmother’s passing.
I didn’t like that the story dragged. It seemed longer than it should have been. All of the characters felt a little flat to me. They did have personalities, but I felt as though I never got a strong sense of what made any of them tick.
I think the biggest issue for me was that, despite the grief-counseling, the book didn’t feel all that different from other Amish books that I have read.
Overall, I do recommend this to lovers of Amish fiction as it does transport you into that world.