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Customer Reviews for Bethany House The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print

Bethany House The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print

Twenty-seven-year-old Joanna Kurtz has made several trips to the altar, but never as a bride. The single young Amishwoman is a closet writer with a longing to be published--something practically unheard of in her Lancaster County community. Yet Joanna's stories aren't her only secret. She also has a beau who is courting her from afar, unbeknownst even to her sister, Cora, who, though younger, seems to have suitors to spare.

Eben Troyer is a responsible young Amishman who hopes to make Joanna Kurtz his bride--if he can ever leave his parents' farm in Shipshewana, Indiana. Yet with his only brother off in the English world, intent on a military career, Eben's hopes for building a life with his dear Joanna are dimming, and patience is wearing thin. Will Joanna ever be more than a bridesmaid?

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Customer Reviews for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Review 1 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
This review is fromBridesmaid, The - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 21, 2013
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debwilson
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Joanne Kurtz has been a bridesmaid enough times it is actually considered unlucky. Being passed over by all the fellows in Hickory Hollow, she is practically an old maid in her Lancaster County community. As a secret writer, she longs for the opportunity to do more than huddle over her notebook away from the eyes of others. But Joanna has one more secret that may cost her more than her writing - something that has the potential to change her life forever.
Eben Troyer is determined to make Joanna his bride, just as soon as his younger brother, Leroy comes to his senses and returns home to claim the farm that Eben is working so hard to keep up. Eben and Joanna's future hangs in the balance as promises that once seemed so easy to make are no longer even possible. Will Joanna ever be a bride? Or will she continue to walk up the altar as a bridesmaid?
This second installment to Lewis's Home to Hickory Hollow series is a beautiful and charming novel full of everything we love we love from this pioneer of Amish fiction. I felt as if I was reading about a place that was real, with characters as familiar as my own family. Getting to learn a little bit more of the Amish world from Lewis's eyes isn't the only reason why I would recommend this book; readers old and new will appreciate this novel for what it is. It is a breathtaking look into a place that exists only in our hearts, and will forever live on whenever a new reader is drawn into this captivating storyteller's spell.
A copy of this book was provided by Bethany House Publishers for free in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 2 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Perfect story.

Date:September 13, 2013
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keystone
Location:Hartford City, IN
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is another great book by Beverly Lewis. Very well written.
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Review 3 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Never a bride?

Date:June 26, 2013
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Monica H
Location:Atlanta
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Bridesmaid is the second book in the Home to Hickory Hollow series. The story centers around an Amish man and woman who for different reasons are not yet married. Both approaching their mid-twenties, they are considered past their marriage prime by their families and peers. They meet after a chance encounter on a trip to the shore and develop a strong attraction to each other. However, they live in different towns and their potential marriage hinges on an unlikely scenario.
I liked how this book focuses on a different theme than many Amish fiction novels – the difficulties and stigma that “older” unmarried Amish people face. I also liked how the author had their relationship develop based on correspondence; it created a unique element to the story.
Like most Amish fiction novels, the ending was not a surprise. However, the author did a good job of inserting plot twists and turns that make you think, “Well maybe…” In general, I think Beverly Lewis does this well in all of her novels.
Hickory Hollow, the setting for the book, is a more progressive Amish community in some ways, but still very traditional in others. I found it interesting when the main character, Joanna, described what Amish amenities her community does and doesn’t use, such as indoor bathrooms.
In this series, the books are not chronological, but they do take place in the same Pennsylvania town. It doesn’t appear that the characters overlap either; just the town. I read this book prior to the first book in the series, and did not find myself missing parts of the plot.
Overall, this was not my favorite Beverly Lewis book, but it was an enjoyable read with a plot that kept me wanting to ready “just one more chapter” at a time.
Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 4 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Beverly Lewis is my favorite author.

Date:June 3, 2013
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Karo
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Beverly Lewis is my favorite author. I look forward to each book and series she writes. I live near Lancaster, so I feel connected to her characters as we pass by the Amish farms.
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Review 5 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:April 29, 2013
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Nan Isom
Location:Clovis, CA
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The second book in the series and I always like to read the whole series. I was good.
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Review 6 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A good story

Date:April 25, 2013
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Nancy
Location:New Paris, IN
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The story moves a little slower than The Fiddler book. The friction between the two sisters reminds me of my younger sister. Family is family. So important whether we are English or Amish. Have not finished the book as yet.
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Review 7 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

always a bridesmaid

Date:February 5, 2013
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beckie
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
You really can't go wrong with Beverly Lewis. Will they be studying her in high school across the nation in 100 years? Probably not. But if you want to read a book that will make you happy and entertained, Beverly is your gal. "The Bridesmaid" is the latest novel in the Home to Hickory Hollow series. She will be releasing a new one next month. Bridesmaid is about Joanna, a wanna-be writer who is a serial bridesmaid and has no luck making it to the alter herself as a bride. Until Eben comes along, that is. Eben is from a different state, but they both are visiting Virginia at the same time. It is love at first sight. The problem is Joanna's bratty sister tells the bishop that Joanna has been writing fiction, which is apparently a no-no and gets her "grounded". Joanna cannot leave the district to marry Eben. Eben must come here. Eben can't leave his district because his brother won't join the Amish church and therefore take over the family dairy farm. Will they or won't they? As usual, I like Lewis' story and will be reading the next in the series. I am not a big fan of Amish Fiction, but I am of Beverly Lewis. I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishing.
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Review 8 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Couldn't put the book down

Date:January 10, 2013
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SoaringEagle
Location:USA
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Book #2 from the series Home to Hickory Hollow called The Bridesmaid by Beverly Lewis was truly splendid. It was hard to put down.
Joanna was a bridesmaid 2 previous times and was asked to be one, which would be her 3rd time. You know the expression, " Three times a bridesmaid, never a bride." That is what Joanna's younger sister Cora Jane said to her. Joanna was also older, 24 years old, an old maid by Amish standards. But Joanna accepted her cousin Malinda request.
While at a funeral out of town, Joanna and others headed to the beach. She was sitting down when she meets a young man Eben Troyer. He and Joanna hit it off but unfortunately live far away from each other. Long-distance relationships are hard as they see for themselves. Lots of things happen and you will need to read this book to find out more.
I enjoyed reading about Joanna and Eben and the growing friendship between them. I did not care for Joanna's younger sister, Cora Jane. At times, I just wanted to yell at her to leave her sister alone and not interfere.
A great book definitely worth taking the time to read.
I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in return for my honest review.
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Review 9 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

The Bridesmaid

Date:December 21, 2012
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Its About Time Mamaw
Location:Cleveland, Texas
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Joanna Kurtz wonders if she will always be a bridesmaid at a wedding. She prays that is not to be her fate. She does not want to be a Maidel, she would love to have a husband and children. But wants to marry for love not for the sake of marriage alone.
While attending a funeral out of town she meets Eben Troyer, a young Amish man close to her age. They spent time together visiting, sharing and talking. There was definitely a strong attraction between the two of them. Then it was time for each to go home to their own towns. They wrote letters and once a week they would talk on the phone. Eben wanted to court Joanna but he had commitments to his parents and their farm. Joanne had also committed to her church and was sure she would not get permission to transfer her membership. Even her sister was fast to point this out.
How will this young couple overcome the barriers they face to church and family? So many obligations and restrictions.
The book brought out the importance of family and church. Prayer and reading scripture in search of God's will and His plan was foremost for this young couple. They definitely had to endured with patience.
This author always has a life's lesson in her writings. As long as you are open to the Word it can be applied to your daily life.
I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure
I received a free copy of this book from Baker Publishing/Bethany House for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.
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Review 10 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

The Bridesmaid by Beverly Lewis

Date:December 15, 2012
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Tammi
Location:maine
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Bridesmaid is the second novel in the Hickory Hollow series by Beverly Lewis. I have read most every book written by Beverly Lewis and so far have not yet been disappointed.
The Bridesmaid revisits Joanna Kurtz, the kind young woman who befriended Amelia Devries in The Fiddler, which is the first book of this series. I enjoyed reading Joanna's story, as well as getting caught up with some of the other characters who I've previously met in other books that have been set in Hickory Hollow. It feels like you are visiting old friends.
Joanna, despite the trials that had come her way, is an inspiring character who displays a lot of faith. I enjoyed watching her as she put her trust is GOD in spite of her circumstances.
I would have enjoyed seeing Eben and Joanna get together in person more. But I did see growth in the characters that might not have happened otherwise. Overall, I enjoyed my time in Hickory Hollow and look forward to the next book in the series.
You do not need to read the first first book to read this one. It stands on it's own just like all of Beverly Lewis' books do.
**The Bridesmaid by Beverly Lewis was provided for me free by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 11 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Lacks many of the qualities Lewis is loved for

Date:December 15, 2012
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Rachel Ropper
Location:Scotland, UK
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Joanna Kurtz is twenty-four and still unmarried, although many of her Amish school friends have long since started families of her own. But unlike her younger sister, Cora-Jane, she isn't superstitious about standing up as a bridesmaid at yet another friend's wedding. Unbeknownst to her family and friends, she's been communicating with a young man from an Amish community in Shipshewana, Indiana, and secretly hopes that someday soon they will be able to marry. But when Eben Troyer finally visits Hickory Hollow to meet Joanna's family, it's revealed that Eben is unable to leave his father's farm until his brother returns from his adventures in the English world. Joanna starts to consider moving to Indiana to be with Eben, but her plans are complicated when news of her secret fiction-writing reaches the Bishop and damages her standing in the community. Only the gift of an heirloom quilt that once belonged to the woman she was named after is able to help Joanna remain hopeful and strong in this difficult time. Is Joanna fated to be a spinster forever, or will God provide a way for Joanna and Eben to be together, despite the odds?
Like many fans of Amish fiction, I was introduced to this genre with the works of Beverly Lewis. I've long been a fan of the engaging and complex novels that Beverly consistently produces. I'm not sure whether my reading tastes have changed over the years I've been reading Amish fiction, or if Beverly's standards are slipping, but either way, I'm just not enjoying the Home to Hickory Hollow series as much as I expected. While I liked The Bridesmaid slightly more than its precursor, The Fiddler, it just wasn't as compelling or complex as Beverly's earlier novels. I didn't have to force myself to finish this book, but it never gripped me such that I found it difficult to put down, unlike many of Beverly's earlier works. I was also a little disappointed by how flat and two-dimensional some of the secondary characters seemed, particularly Cora-Jane, who played a major role in some of the plot points in The Bridesmaid. Far from reminding me of any of Beverly's previous books, The Bridesmaid actually made me think of some of Wanda E. Brunstetter's novels. This might not bother some readers, but since I'm not a big fan of Wanda's style of writing, this was a major turn off for me.
But before I discuss my qualms with this novel in further detail, I must touch on the positive aspects of The Bridesmaid. As I mentioned earlier, The Bridesmaid was definitely an improvement on the first novel in the Home to Hickory Hollow series. This was the first time that I'd read about a romance conducted by letters, at least in the context of the Amish, and I enjoyed the unconventionality of the romance between Joanna and Eben. The fact that Eben's future was dictated by his absent brother's actions also added an interesting aspect to the novel, and it was intriguing to witness Joanna and Eben's indecision over whether they should attempt to take their future into their own hands or wait to see how matters panned out in case it wasn't God's will for them to be together. Their romance was very drawn out, and although I found it frustrating at times and wished that the couple had just sat down and talked out all of their issues, I appreciated that it gave both Joanna and Eben time to grow and mature. I particularly liked the element that the quilt added to the story, and the hope and strength that Joanna was able to gain from its legacy. I honestly think this was the most interesting part of The Bridesmaid, and wished that the quilt had played a larger part in the novel.
Unfortunately, the negative aspects of the writing often overshadowed those parts of the plot of The Bridesmaid that I genuinely enjoyed. My biggest issue probably has to be with the character of Cora-Jane, Joanna's younger sister. Cora-Jane was overly negative towards Joanna's singledom, and the possibility that she was "jinxing" her chances at marriage by acting as a bridesmaid at several weddings. Yet when Joanna revealed that she had a beau in Indiana that she'd been writing to, Cora-Jane was incredibly disparaging of their relationship. I never quite understood her reaction. In part, it seemed that Cora-Jane was worried about Joanna leaving Hickory Hollow to be with her beau, but on the other hand, it may be that Cora-Jane was jealous as she knew her own relationship wasn't as positive as she let on. I could sort of understand Cora-Jane's motivations for her bitterness regarding Joanna's beau when she reveals her own relationship troubles towards the end of the novel, but her decision to reveal Joanna's novel-writing to the Bishop seemed purely malicious due to the lack of reasonable motivation.
I was a little disappointed with the way that Joanna's writing was treated, both by the fictional Amish community and as a topic in the novel. As an aspiring writer myself, the idea of an Amish woman secretly writing stories in her spare time intrigued me, and was ultimately the reason why I wanted to read The Bridesmaid despite my disappointment with the first Home to Hickory Hollow novel. I enjoyed reading about Joanna's thought-processes and secret novel-writing habits, and understood her hurt when her writing was revealed to the community and she was forced to abandon her natural-given talents because of the Elders' disapproval. Although I was glad that she was able to find a way to explore her creativity through encouraging poetry, I couldn't help but wonder how someone with such natural talent for fiction writing could give up her God-given talents and agree to live in a community that disapproves of something that comes so naturally to her. There was no scriptural basis for the community's disapproval of fiction writing (or reading), so the outcome of the situation didn't sit well with me. I still feel unresolved about my opinion on this aspect of The Bridesmaid, even weeks after I finished the novel. It almost seems ironic that the author wants readers to enjoy reading a romance novel about an Amish woman who is discouraged by her community from writing romance novels. It feels kind of wrong to enjoy reading such a book when I know that it would be forbidden in certain Amish communities.
My biggest issue with Joanna's writing is how violently her community reacts to it, particularly her deacon, only to have him to turn around and retract his opinion at a vital part of the plot. By the close of the story, I honestly felt that the deacon's decision was just a plot device to keep Joanna and Eben apart in order for them to grow and mature before they made their decision to marry. While I appreciated the growth they both went through during their time apart, I wish something more physical had been keeping them apart. All it took for Joanna to travel to Indiana to tell Eben how she felt was the deacon retracting his opinion of Joanna and her writing. Sadly, the deacon's behaviour also revealed how much power the Elders in the Amish church have and how they can often make decisions that don't reflect God's will or the community's true opinion. In other novels, I wouldn't have minded such a presentation of the Amish community, but in a series which is meant to be highlighting how wonderful it is to live in Hickory Hollow, this section of the book didn't sit well with me.
Although I have a lot of complaints about this book, The Bridesmaid was an improvement on The Fiddler, and I'm tempted to read the final book in the Home to Hickory Hollow series to see if Beverly will eventually return to her usual high standard of writing. I enjoyed the unconventional romantic plot and the details about Joanna's quilt, but the characterisation and plot progression of this novel were fairly poor, compared to other books in the genre, and in Beverly's repertoire. While I'm sure that some Amish fans will enjoy The Bridesmaid, I don't think I'm the only reader who will wonder why The Bridesmaid lacks many of the qualities that Beverly Lewis is known and loved for.
Review title provided by Bethany House.
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Review 12 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Suspenseful great story

Date:December 12, 2012
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LinDawn
Location:Canada
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Bridesmaid is a book, 2nd in Home to Hickory Hollow Series. It is suspenseful and you don't want to put it down until you find that it works out to the delight of Johanna and her long distance beau. Her beau can't propose until his brother comes back from the English world to help their father with the farm. It takes a great amount of patience for the intended couple.
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Review 13 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Story of Love

Date:December 3, 2012
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TMWoodsBooks
Age:25-34
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
(click to see the video)
Joanna Kurtz, an Amish twenty-four year old, has been a bridesmaid three times, and is still single herself. Although love didn’t find her at a younger age, she does find a dreamy romance with a young Amish man while they were both at Virginia Beach. They seem united from the very beginning but he is from another state. They write letters to each other and both hope for marriage in their future. But his father needs Eban to run the farm when he retires, and Joanna is expected to stay in her community.
Troubles arise from many different angles. Joanna has a secret passion that her Preacher disagrees with. The relationship between her and her sister has grown apart. The fact that things are looking bleak for her future with Eban causes even more heartache.
Eban’s relationship with his brother has been strained for many years. The uncertainty of his brother taking over the farm changes and it becomes clear that those responsibilities will rest on Eban’s shoulders. He wants to give Joanna everything she deserves, but is it in his power?
I enjoyed reading this book. It didn’t take long to go from cover to cover. The romance between Eban and Joanna is so sweet and strong and pure you want to cheer for them and encourage them to persevere and keep hope.
Beverly Lewis has done another beautiful job of painting the Amish community, from the characters to the scenery and surrounding fields. She draws you in and the characters become friends.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a beautiful story of love between man and woman, between siblings and even son or daughter and parent.
I received a complimentary sample of this book from Bethany House Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. This has not biased my opinion on the book, nor on the author.
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Review 14 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Nothing new under the sun, yet a delightful read.

Date:November 28, 2012
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Anonymous
Location:Coffeyville, KS
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
A young man and a young woman with hope of marriage; conflict between wants, traditions and needs; the quilting bees, the gardening, and the hard and spotless work in the kitchen; the Kapps, aprons and straw hats; the practically idyllic life in Hickory Hollow… All of it is in this book. And from this point of view, there is nothing new in this new Amish novel by Beverly Lewis. Actually, I would dare say that the situations depicted in the book are highly impossible. Alas! This is a fiction work after all and, despite all the expected features of a Beverly Lewis book, she manages to create a love story through which we see the characters deal with conflict in a beautiful manner (excepting for Cora Jane, the obnoxious brat) that only someone with a strong commitment to biblical principles would make us of. Mrs. Lewis summarizes it as follows: “…we’re all here by design… that none of us is an accident in God’s eyes. Our heavenly Father’s hand is at work in all of our comings and goings – and in the choice of a life mate (p. 312).” That’s the main beauty of this book.
The story revisits Joanna, the kind young woman who is introduced in “The Fiddler,” the first book of this series. She has gone on with her life in Hickory Hollow, and the reader learns that she has been at the altar several times, always as a bridesmaid. Cora Jane reminds her that “three times a bridesmaid, never a bride,” and Joanna can’t help but think that some people already consider her to be a spinster at her age. However, she meets Eben when the family travels to another Amish community, and her whole outlook on her life shifts. Distance does not aid their relationship, which is also hindered by Joanna’s commitment to her church, Eben’s duty to his father’s farm, and Cora Jane’s (Joanna’s younger sister) selfishness and inability to cope with change. The largest part of the book describes the hardships Joanna and Eben have to face to nurture their relationship from afar.
The end is farfetched and a bit too convenient but, despite my chuckles at the unlikeness of the odds, it didn’t keep me from savoring the richness of conclusion, wrapped in the details of Amish culture – particularly quilts – that play an important part in the resolution of the story; Aunt Joanna’s faith, the woman Joanna is named after, is remarkable and inspiring. Equally inspiring are the sacrifices Joanna and Eben are willing to make for each other, putting the other person before their own wants.
A part I really enjoyed was the prologue. It describes how Joanna and Eben met. It happens all in the beach, where there are many non-Amish people enjoying the sand, sea and sun. At one point, Joanna starts toying with the idea of letting her hair down, just to enjoy the breeze, but she “didn’t want to add to the misconceptions far too many Englischers already had about us [the Amish people], some even from novels they’d read (page 9).” Being the utmost Amish writer, I could picture Mrs. Lewis getting a kick out of this line, as I did. I don’t know how many accomplished people would be brave (and goofy) enough to let themselves joke with themselves the way she does, all the way to the end. Joanna likes writing, and I can picture a bit of Mrs. Lewis in her – rereading what she has written, pondering ways of choosing a better wording, having a binder with her drafts, finding inspiration in her friend’s lives and even snuggling in bed with a notebook on her lap (p. 130-132, 206, among other references throughout the story). In short, this particular novel offers a deep insight into Beverly Lewis’s as a woman and a writer.
I also enjoyed several references to other characters that live in Hickory Hollow. I won’t mention how Mrs. Lewis uses this resource, but I will say that this book sparked my interest in reading some of her previous stories again, which I would gladly do anytime. This particular feature is not absent in “The Bridesmaid;” Mrs. Lewis has a way of writing in which she tells enough of the story to make a book interesting and enjoyable, while leaving enough slightly inconclusive to leave the reader wondering about the “what else,” and she certainly delivers with each sequel.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who might be interested in Amish fiction. As any of her previous works, this book has clean vocabulary, good morals and godly principles. Furthermore, as with any couple getting to know each other in the way Joanna and Eden do, there is sexual tension, but it is coupled with respect, modesty and restraint. This can only be treasured in a time where the pace and values of today sadly seem to always tend in the opposite way.
I received a complimentary sample of this book from Bethany House Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. This has not biased my opinion on the book, nor on the author.
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Review 15 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:November 28, 2012
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DMBAKER
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Another great book by Beverly Lewis. I could see myself being in the lives of the characters and that is a God given gift she is kind enough to share with the world.
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Review 16 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Loved the romance

Date:November 27, 2012
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missy
Location:Naples,ME
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I received in the mail from Bethany house The Bridesmaid by Beverly Lewis. This book is book two in the Hickory Hollows Series. It is about 24 year old Joanne Kurtz who is always a bridesmaid but never a bride. Yet despite appearances she has a beau courting her from afar in Shipshewana, Indiana Named Eben Troyer. He has hopes of building a life with Joanne that fringes on his brother return from the English world. Joanne has a hidden passion for writing which is frowned upon in her religious culture. I really enjoyed this Amish tale and the much simpler times it took place maybe a little old fashioned. I loved the twists and turns of the book. I would recommend this to anyone to read
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Review 17 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

The Bridesmaid by Beverly Lewis

Date:November 12, 2012
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B. A. Palmer
Location:Tennessee
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Joanne Kurtz has been a bridesmaid, but never a bride which at 24 she is almost an old maid. That got my attention and made me want to see if this would go anywhere. Joanne has a secret that could get her shunned. To know what it is you will have to read the book.
Eben Troyer is her long distance boyfriend, but might never be her husband, because of challenges in his life. He is waiting on his younger brother to return to the Amish and help his dad with the family farm. A series of twists and turns makes this seem impossible. Eben and Joanna's may never have that future together or will they?
Joanna is learning to trust God and totally lean on Him. A very familiar story of Christians today.
Eben’s character could have been seen a little more to let me know about him, his life and his faith. But I still recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish fiction.
I received this from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 18 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Back Home to Hickory Hollow

Date:November 10, 2012
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Pam Burke
Location:Potosi, MO
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Beverly Lewis has been called the queen of Amish fiction and credited with giving birth to the genre. The Bridesmaid is a perfect example of how deserving she is of that title!
In the late 1990s I read my first Amish novel by Beverly; I think it was The Shunning. After this one book, also set in Hickory Hollow, I was hooked and wanted to go to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Over a decade later -- in 2010 -- my husband and I finally got to make that trip, and now the stories come even more alive as I read them.
During those years, I have read a lot of great Amish books by a variety of authors. I couldn't begin to choose my favorite book or favorite author -- but Beverly Lewis still ranks with the best, and The Bridesmaid is an example of her high quality writing. I felt like I was in the familiar company of good friends as I followed Joanna's and Eben's story. The many uncertainties throughout the book kept me interested and wanting to keep reading to see how things would work out.
I didn't read The Fiddler, the first book in this series, before reading The Bridesmaid. Although I was able to immediately engage in the story without the benefit of book one, I definitely plan to go back and see what I missed.
I would highly recommend The Bridesmaid to anyone who enjoys great Amish fiction.
This book was provided free of charge by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 19 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:November 8, 2012
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debwilson
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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Joanne Kurtz has been a bridesmaid enough times it is actually considered unlucky. Being passed over by all the fellows in Hickory Hollow, she is practically an old maid in her Lancaster County community. As a secret writer, she longs for the opportunity to do more than huddle over her notebook away from the eyes of others. But Joanna has one more secret that may cost her more than her writing - something that has the potential to change her life forever.
Eben Troyer is determined to make Joanna his bride, just as soon as his younger brother, Leroy comes to his senses and returns home to claim the farm that Eben is working so hard to keep up. Eben and Joanna's future hangs in the balance as promises that once seemed so easy to make are no longer even possible. Will Joanna ever be a bride? Or will she continue to walk up the altar as a bridesmaid?
This second installment to Lewis's Home to Hickory Hollow series is a beautiful and charming novel full of everything we love we love from this pioneer of Amish fiction. I felt as if I was reading about a place that was real, with characters as familiar as my own family. Getting to learn a little bit more of the Amish world from Lewis's eyes isn't the only reason why I would recommend this book; readers old and new will appreciate this novel for what it is. It is a breathtaking look into a place that exists only in our hearts, and will forever live on whenever a new reader is drawn into this captivating storyteller's spell.
A copy of this book was provided by Bethany House Publishers for free in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 20 for The Bridesmaid, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #2, Large Print
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

It's time to return to Hickory Hollow!

Date:November 7, 2012
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A Simply Enchanted Life
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
It's time to make a trip back to Hickory Hollow! If you're a fan of Ella Mae Zook from other novels written by this author then this is another chance to visit with her! I must admit that Ella Mae is the reason I look forward to these books so much!!!
About the Story:
In this book we go back to Hickory Hollow and into the home of Joanna Kurtz. Joanna’s story starts with the following phrase, “Three times a bridesmaid, never a bride.” Eager to prove the old proverb wrong—Joanna is thrilled when she meets Eben Troyer and excited at the prospect of finding love. Like any good love story though—this love doesn’t come without trials. Eben is from a different state and the long distance relationship starts to take a toll on the budding romance. Further, the bishop has learned of Joanna’s writing fiction stories and her good standing in the church hangs in the balance—complicating any chance of a transfer of membership to another Amish church.
When I really enjoy a story I dislike revealing too much of the storyline, mostly because I want others to experience the pleasure themselves so I won’t go too in depth with this review. I really loved the characters in this book—more than The Fiddler. Joanna is just such a joy and I felt like this character was given a soul with true emotions and such a depth of realism to her that I felt I was reading about a real person. The words seemed to just jump off the pages and bring her to life! I also enjoyed reading about Cora Jane. The funny thing about Cora Jane is that my daughter and I were reading through the book at the same time and she would look up from her book to say, “Can you believe that girl?” Several minutes would pass and I would look up from my book and say, “Did she really just do that?” and my daughter would reply, “Who? Cora Jane?” When you have characters you can talk about in a story it means it is well written and possesses a depth that pulls you in and immerses you in the story.
Having said that—PICK THIS BOOK UP! You won’t be disappointed! If you’re reading
for Ella Mae then be sure to comment below! Surely I am not the only die-hard Ella fan!
About the Author:
Beverly Marie Jones (Lewis) was born in the heart of Amish country—Lancaster, Pennsylvania. At the tender age of nine, she began writing short stories and poetry.
Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, The Heritage of Lancaster County, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."
A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and spending time with their family. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."
You can find out more about this author by visiting her website at http://www.beverlylewis.com/
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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