Holly Fisher feels betrayed when she discovers a long-kept secret---her mother was raised in an Amish community. Now her grandmother is begging them to leave Seattle and return to Pennsylvania. Holly is furious that she was never told about her relatives. Will mother and daughter find healing among the Plain People of Lancaster County?
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Customer Reviews for Leaving Lancaster: A Novel - eBook
More than anything else, thirty-something Holly Fisher longs for family. Growing up in Seattle without a dad or grandparents, she wonders what it would be like to have a heritage, a place of belonging. Holly is furious when her mother, Esther, reveals a long-kept secret: Holly’s grandmother and uncles are still alive and begging Esther to return. And Holly is shocked when she learns that the family she’s never known lives on a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, farm—as part of an Amish community her mother once abandoned.
Guilt-ridden Esther, terrified to see her mother and siblings, begs Holly to accompany her on a visit to Esther’s mother before she dies. But can their journey to a conflicting world heal their emotional wounds and finally bring them home?
Set in the heart of contemporary Lancaster County, Leaving Lancaster explores the power of forgiveness, family reconciliation, and love where least expected.
Life as a she knows it comes to an abrupt halt when Holly Fisher discovers she has a family. Not just any family, but hundreds of cousins, aunts, uncles, and even a grandmother - in the heart of Lancaster County. Lloyd does an excellent job of conveying the vast array of emotions with the three main characters and gives us a unique glimpse of what actions and consequences have cost three generations of women. Holly has the least blame in everything, but she still stubbornly holds on to anger and resentment at her mother for withholding knowledge of her family's whereabouts.
Now for the one thing that drove me nuts about Holly. Oh, she shaped up and turned out to be a great lead character, but her behavior in the beginning was absolutely terrible. I could hardly believe that any adult would act the way she did. I was very happy to see a change of attitude, and she did a complete 180 in the course of the book. Her entire viewpoint drastically changes and she becomes the woman she was meant to become. Lloyd writes with an above stellar perspective on love, relationships and what it means to truly be a family.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed reading this book and it was hard to put it down after I got started.I enjoy reading the Amish as I think all the authors of Amish books know what they are writting about even if it is fiction.I like to wait till I get the complete series before I start the first one.I am now reading some of Jerry Eicher books and enjoy them all Jean Larson
In Leaving Lancaster, Kate Lloyd takes the reader from bustling, commerce-filled Seattle, where exhaust fumes fill the air, to peaceful Pennsylvania Amish country, with its farms, pumpkin filled patches, and cows and sheep grazing in the pastures. Esther Fisher ran away from her Amish home years before, with her boyfriend, Samuel; tired of all the strict rules and wanting to be a free spirit. When Samuel is drafted into the Viet Nam War, and ends up MIA, Esther is left a single mother--laden with guilt that she had enticed Samuel away from the Amish and into harm's way.
Holly, Esther's thirty-seven year old daughter, works in the stock market field, and is never content with any man, seemingly always pushing them away, and sorely misses the father she never got to know. When mother and daughter finally return for a visit to the Amish family Holly never even knew she had, they are met with love and open arms from some, and open hostility from others, especially Samuel's mother. She has never forgiven Esther for taking her Samuel off, and blames her for his death.
Many hidden secrets come to light, and as Holly begins to embrace the Amish lifestyle will she also find love, inner healing, and forgiveness towards her mother for keeping secrets from her? Will Esther find forgiveness from the Amish and Samuel's mother, and will she ever forgive herself for all the past mistakes she made?
I think Kate Lloyd is a fine writer and storyteller and her book is somewhat different than the typical Amish books that are out there. I was somewhat disappointed that Holly was only with this handsome Mennonite man a few times in the whole book, and sparks were rarely ever seen between the two of them...especially not enough for a full blown romance to occur! I also thought Holly was very disrespectful to her mom for a woman of her age, and had the maturity of a twenty yr old, instead of a career woman. So sometimes I didn't care much for her. But I love Ms. Lloyd's ability to tell an exciting story, and am looking forward to the sequel of this book!
I really, really enjoyed the book. A friend recommended it and I wasn't too keen on reading about the Amish, but trust her recommendations. Once I got into the book I couldn't wait to return to it. I thought the mother-daughter relationship was, all too often, very realistic.I was glad to see that some resolution took place and hope to see more of it in a sequel.
Holly is hurt when she discovers her mother has been lying to her about her father's death and her famiy ancestry. She doesn't think she'll ever be able to forgive her mother. Esther who has been living a lie doesn't believe she's worthy of anyone's forgiveness, especially her Amish family's. The complicated family relationships in Kate Lloyd's novel kept me turning the pages, wondering how the two would reconcile. The romance was just right. The ending left me satisfied. I can hardly wait for the sequel.
When Esther Gingerich left her Amish community in Lancaster, PA during her rumspringa, with the love of her life Samuel Fisher, the rest of their family expected them to return. Yet they didn't. Instead, they headed for a completely new life in San Francisco and would later move to Seattle where life again would take an unexpected turn. In this case, Samuel would be drafted into the Vietnam War and would never be found again. He would remain forever Missing in Action, just like Esther and Samuel did when they left their families.
Now many years later, Esther receives word from her ailing mother, Anna to return home to help take care of her before the rest of the family sells the farm and moves to Montana to begin a new life all over again. If Esther can only find a way to tell her daughter, Holly, that everything she has believed up to this point has been a complete lie. How funny that she would fail to tell her about her Amish upbringing while running an Amish Shoppe? Or that her grandmother is still living when she was told she was dead? How can she ever find a way to return home and expect Holly to come with her?
In the novel, Leaving Lancaster by Kate Lloyd, Esther has to find a way to return home and face up to the past she's not only been lying about, but also running away from. Holly has a right to get to know the family she has hidden from her including many grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. But will it be as easy as believing that the Amish are so easy to forgive her, or will there be no place for Esther and Holly to return to. Just how sick is her mother anyway and why does she want them to come home now? This is truly a story about forgiveness and what the seeds of bitterness will grow if we allow them to continue uninterrupted in our lives. It is a wonderful story of starting new chapters in our lives and learning the importance of family, of putting aside grudges and accepting forgiveness.
I received Leaving Lancaster by Kate Lloyd compliments of David C Cook Publishers and Net Galley for my honest review. Too often we can't see beyond our anger and resentment to see what we are missing if we are willing to let go and forgive. This novel does the perfect job at that through the alternating chapters that Esther and Holly share in this Amish fiction, conveying for the reader just what each of them in going through as they work towards resolving their own issues. I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars in my personal opinion and loved how the story finally ended.
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Review 8 for Leaving Lancaster: A Novel - eBook
This is an awesome Amish book!
Date:April 21, 2012
This author's first Amish ebook, makes a reader and lover of Amish books hoping she will write more. I am only half way through and can hardly put the book down. I only stopped, because I wanted to check for more titles by Kate Lloyd! Leaving Lancaster has several unexpected outcomes that entice the reader to read the next chapters... one right after another!
Almost forty years have passed since Esther Gingerich and Samuel Fisher ran away from their Amish upbringing in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and headed west to live in a hippie commune and sing on the streets of San Francisco. They married, Samuel was drafted, shipped off to Vietnam and declared MIA, leaving Esther to raise their daughter alone because she was too proud to return to her family. Holly grew up believing her grandparents were dead, so it comes as a complete shock to her when Esther announces her intention to visit their Amish family – and wants Holly to come too.
The story alternates between being told in the first person (by 37-year-old Holly) and the third person (from the point of view of Esther, Holly's mother). I continually found myself backtracking to the beginning of the chapter because I hadn't picked up the change. Call me fussy, but combining first person and third person doesn't ring true for me. It reminds me that I'm just reading a story about a bunch of made-up characters.
This meant that I was noticing the writing rather than being carried along by the story, and as a result, I kept finding more things that bothered me While these were mostly minor, many of which were addressed later in the story, I found these glitches were pulling me out of the story.
There were also contradictions in the plot line, and I found Holly hard to relate to. I could understand her anger and resentment towards her mother for having hidden her very alive family for so many years. She struck me as very self-centred, and I didn’t really see this change as the story progressed.
Overall, I can’t say that I enjoyed Leaving Lancaster. Plot-wise, it wasn’t bad, with an underlying theme of honesty and forgiveness. But I found the writing style too distracting to allow me to get into and enjoy the story.
Thanks to David C Cook and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
I really wanted to like this book more than I actually did. The two main female characters Esther (the mom) and Holly ( the daughter) were shallow and need to be flushed out a bit more. The mother was written as if she were a teenager pouting and sulking through several places. I also found it really creepy that at one point it seemed that one of the main male character Nathaniel seemed to have his eye on both mom and daughter. This turned out not to be the case, but for a while it was looking like that.
I really wanted to like this story about an Amish family reconciling with their prodigal Englischer daughter, because the plot sounded intriguing, but there were a lot of problems with the book. For starters, Holly and Esther, though middle-aged adults, acted, spoke, and thought in ways you'd expect of middle-school girls. The people Esther'd left behind in Lancaster County were just as petty. The entire story was full of conflict among characters, even while they professed they'd forgiven each other. The changing POV's between Esther and Holly were jarring. Esther and Holly both jumped into new relationships without really considering it, and the romance was sketchy, at best, between the new couples. The end of the book left a lot of loose ends, which leads me to think there might be a sequel, but I felt like the reader was left hanging without much resolution. Overall, this was not an enjoyable read.
With thanks to the publisher David C. Cook via NetGalley for my review copy.
Widow Esther Fisher hadn't seen her mother, Anna Gingerich, for more than thirty years. Esther left her Amish community in her twenties and never returned. She didn't even tell her daughter, Holly, that she was Amish. After receiving a letter from Anna saying she was sick, Esther decided it was time to finally visit her mother. First, she had to tell Holly that she had family in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Esther never spoke of her own brothers and their families and had told Holly that her grandparents were no longer living.
Holly had issues of her own from growing up fatherless, a broken engagement, and a complicated relationship with her mother. More than anything, Holly wanted a family beyond herself and her mother. She longed to learn more about her father, Samuel, who died in Vietnam before she was born. Finding out that her mother had lied was shocking for Holly. After she got over her anger, she decided to go to Lancaster with her mother and meet the family she never even knew existed.
This story is about Esther mending old relationships while Holly was forming new relationships with her Amish family and their neighbors. When I started reading this story I was contemplating not finishing it. The author switched between the point of view of Holly and Esther and wrote in the first person, all of which made it hard to read. The interactions between Esther and Holly were anything but mature. I thought I was reading about two teenagers, not a 37 year old and her mother. I did finish reading Leaving Lancaster and discovered a story of love and forgiveness. There was a little romance also. The forgiveness scene near the end was the well written. Overall, the immaturity of the characters made it hard for me to enjoy this story.
I received a free copy of this ebook from NetGalley and David C. Cook in exchange for my honest opinion.
Publisher's Description Can a splintered Amish family reconcile? More than anything else, thirty-something Holly Fisher longs for family. Growing up in Seattle without a dad or grandparents, she wonders what it would be like to have a heritage, a place of belonging. Holly is furious when her mother, Esther, reveals a long-kept secret: Holly’s grandmother and uncles are still alive and begging Esther to return. And Holly is shocked when she learns that the family she’s never known lives on a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, farm—as part of an Amish community her mother once abandoned. Guilt-ridden Esther, terrified to see her mother and siblings, begs Holly to accompany her on a visit to Esther’s mother before she dies. But can their journey to a conflicting world heal their emotional wounds and finally bring them home? Set in the heart of contemporary Lancaster County, Leaving Lancaster explores the power of forgiveness, family reconciliation, and love where least expected.
* * * * * * * * * * * * I enjoy the Amish fiction genre; the simple lifestyle and importance of family keep me coming back for more.
In Leaving Lancaster, the main character, Esther left her Amish roots with her intended and didn't return until a letter from her mom begs her to return. Now, over 30 years later, Esther then tells her daughter that she has extended family in Pennsylvania - something she has desired since her childhood. At this point in the book, neither character seems to act their age. Both are presented with behaviors similar to teenagers bickering. Also, throughout the novel, I had to reread sections to make sure I knew who was talking or was part of the action.
I enjoyed the book's storyline as the returning prodigal daughter returns and is accepting into the family / community. But the writing style and under-developed characters won't have me going back for more. Leaving Lancaster does not have a neat and tidy ending, so I feel there will be at least one more book wih these same characters.
I received a complimentary ebook from David C. Cook Publishing and NetGalley for my honest review.
What a great, compelling page turner. I could not put it down, and loved it all! There a lot of regrets here, Holly Fisher grew up in Seattle WA. She had her Mom, and some friends, but no other family. She is now in her late 30's and suddenly finds out her Mom has lied to her all of her life...she has family...Amish family in PA. We then travel to Lancaster PA to meet all of her Mom's relatives, and her Dad's [whom she never met]. Can you imagine meeting Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, and Cousins? How marvelous!!! I loved it. Although it is not all fun, there is a lot of heartache, and their needs to be a lot of forgiveness on all sides. There is also some romance thrown in! Be ready to travel on this great adventure!
I received this book from the Publisher David C Cook through Netgalley, and was not required to give a positive review.
2 1/2 stars out of 5 Love, regret, forgiveness, redemption, second chances, new beginnings; these are some of the words that best describe the idea or themes behind this novel. This is the story of a woman coming home to the family she deserted, and the story of this woman's only daughter finally feeling at home with the family she never knew she had. Both women are afraid, scared and in desperate need of love, mercy, grace and each other. It could have been such a wonderful, beautiful, touching story, but the execution prevented it.
This is the problem I had: the two female leads were so unlikable, their attitudes so undesirable, that it was very hard to find a redeeming quality in them. The thing is that both women appear to have been written with much younger versions in mind. Holly, the daughter, sounded like an 18 year old, and the mother... maybe a 30 something, but they were both so childish and immature in their thinking, actions and in the way they spoke that it was hard to sympathize with either one. They were fighting constantly, and contradicting their thoughts with their words; for instance, the daughter would do a little soul searching and realize that she needed to cut her mother some slack, but then almost immediately say something rude to her, out of the blue. She was a brat. Half the time I was expecting them to start a "You did!" "I did not!" "Did, too!" "Did not!" fight.
Also, sometimes it felt as if the author had forgotten her own plot and previous scenes. For example, the mother mentioned her 5 brothers to her daughter, and Holly says: "Mom, you're talking gibberish. First a mother. Now, five brothers?..." Then, a few pages later, the mother mentions her five brothers again, and Holly says: "Five brothers and this is the first I'm hearing of them?" Really, no. Other times the characters' words and actions made no sense, their expressions and reactions coming out of nowhere.
I will say this, however: the author did a beautiful job writing the big confrontation / redemption scene. It was beautifully written, expressed and managed. It was really moving. Also, Nathaniel was a very nicely written character, as well as Jeremiah and Beatrice.
The novel did keep my interest as it slowly unraveled the mysteries and secrets behind this family and their actions. But not all was revealed, which I think means that there would be more to come.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, David C. Cook, through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.
During her teen running-around years, Esther left her Pennsylvania Amish community with Samuel Fisher, whom she married in California. Samuel was drafted and lost his life in Viet Nam. Their daughter, Holly, now 37, lives with her mother above their Amish Shoppe in Seattle, Washington. Esther had told Holly her parents were dead and she didn’t know where her siblings lived, so Holly grew up without the extended family she longs for.
Esther’s mother, Anna, has written her letters over the years and relates how her health has deteriorated, begging her only daughter to come home. Esther reluctantly agrees to return to her childhood home, dragging resentful Holly along on this redefining journey. What a contrast in lifestyles they encounter! And just when Holly is getting to know her relatives, she learns the clan intends to move to Montana, where farmland is plentiful.
Throughout the story, guilt and secrets are uncovered, aggravating painful wounds from the past but also opening the opportunity for change and healing. Can all the lies and hurtful words and deeds be forgiven so reconciliation can occur? Esther believes Samuel’s mother hates her and there’s no hope for any relationship. Holly is determined to get to know her grandparents and find answers about the dad she never knew.
To all the turbulent emotions stirred among family, add a dash of romance. Anna’s Mennonite neighbor has a single son, Zach, a handsome, successful veterinarian who comes to Holly’s aid more than once. And widowed Nathaniel has been attracted to Esther since their school days. Could these two distressed women find love in Lancaster? Would they be willing to leave their city lives and choose plainer ways?
I enjoyed this book with its authentic feel, and I couldn’t restrain my tears at most powerful scene. It does go overboard with similes that shout “look at me” rather than move the reader deeper into the tale, but those are easily overlooked since the book calls you to keep reading. I hope the story will continue in a sequel.
Leaving Lancaster is a great book about family and forgiveness. Written by Kate Lloyd, the story is set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It takes place during modern day with cell phones and computers. It also has plenty of the Amish traditions that normally appear in this style of book.
Holly Fisher has grown up believing she had no other immediate family except her Mother. Finding out otherwise changes her life. Esther has kept many secrets from her daughter Holly and decides that it is time to open up about her family and all that transpired when she left her Amish community and ran off with Samuel. Samuel, Holly’s father, had a family too and meeting Holly and forgiving Esther will change their lives for the better.
Holly and Esthers’ relationships with family and friends is the core if this book. Finding love also plays an important role in this story. The book did have some confusing parts. The story would switch from one persons’ viewpoint to another. It took me a few chapters to get the flow of the story because of this. I enjoyed the story itself and found the characters to have depth. I liked how the story ended and thought the author did well at describing the emotions that were felt as the main characters lives changed.
I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.