Friday, July 29, 2011
Book Review: Leah's Choice by Marta Perry/3.5 Stars
All of Pleasant Valley seems to think the newcomer from Lancaster County is the perfect match for Teacher Leah. After all, so few new families come to their separate Amish community, and fewer still unmarried men. Daniel Glick is a widower with three young children to look after-clearly he's in need of a wife.
Daniel's past haunts him. Though he cannot miss the beauty in Leah's bright eyes and patient ways, he also sees a reminder of his pain-filled marriage. Leah, too, has a burden to bear. Years ago, she was engaged to Johnny Kile, and she was heartbroken when he decided to leave the Amish community. Since then she has immersed herself in teaching, forgetting any hopes of having her own family. When Johnny returns, seeking reconciliation, Leah must decide between two pathways, either of which will completely change her life.
I won't lie...I had the hardest time finishing this book. Literally, it sat on my nightstand for probably 6 months after I had read 100 pages, and couldn't go any further. I couldn't seem to relate to any of the characters, and the parts of the story I wanted to know more about (particularly the medical testing/genetics issues) were mentioned the least. But somehow, someway, I decided to pick it up and dust it off, and attempt to finish it.
Obviously, I reached the end or I wouldn't be writing this review. :o) And believe it or not, it did get a little better. It took me a few pages before I could get back in the swing of things as I tried to remember all the characters and how they were related to one another. Once I got all that figured out, I had a great time with the last two-thirds of the book, and had it read in little more than a day.
Unfortunately, though, the ending left a lot to be desired. I suspected how the story would end, and was afraid that the ending would be rushed, and sure enough...it was. Yes, Leah had a "choice" in the end as to which proposal she'd accept, but neither proposal seemed to fit with the other serious events happening in her life.
I'd like to read some of Marta's other books, because while I like her story concepts, the Amish community seemed like it might have been too simplistic of a setting. I found myself craving more emotion, more descriptions, more life, and while a small spark of them seemed to appear toward the end, it just took too long to get to them. Those who enjoy simple stories with happy, tidy endings would probably enjoy this book as well as the others in the series.
*I received my copy of this book through PaperBackSwap.