by Mary Ellis
Bestselling author Mary Ellis offers an engaging new standalone Amish romance about a prodigal seeking to find his way home.
Though Caleb Beachy lived in the Englisch world for some years, he is a Plain man at heart. When he decides to return to the Amish lifestyle, he moves back home and goes to work for his father. Soon these two strong-willed men find themselves at odds. Caleb discovers there’s more to embracing his faith and reconnecting with the community than merely driving a horse and buggy and giving up Levis.
Josie Yoder was just a girl when he left. All grown up now, she gives Caleb hope for the future. She soothes his frayed temper and is determined to remind him that while his faith may have wavered, God never left his side. Caleb is tempted to return Josie’s feelings, but the choices he made while away are a heavy burden on his conscience. Will past mistakes end up destroying their fledgling romance? Or will she be able to break through the wall around his heart?
A Plain Man is more than just a sweet romance centered in Amish beliefs. It’s the ever-fresh story of a wounded heart finding joy, health, and healing in God’s infinite grace.
My Review: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
I feel I need to make a disclaimer. I’ve never read an Amish book before. I wasn’t really interested because I like books with adventure, and I assumed an Amish novel wouldn’t keep my attention. But when I was asked to read this Amish novel and I saw it was a retelling of the Prodigal Son, I decided to give it a try. I love stories that use the Prodigal Son theme of redemption. So I started reading it without high expectations.
I don’t know if this is a typical Amish novel or if others would hold my attention as well. I only know that I could not put A Plain Man down. I loved the characters and gained a greater understanding of the Amish culture. My favorite parts were the underlying themes of redemption and forgiveness.
I loved how the author didn’t make it easy for Caleb to return to the Amish society, but instead showed the difficulties he would have faced. He wrestled with guilt from his past as well as changing his mentality back to Amish way. His father dealt with fear of accepting his return because he was afraid his son might leave again. When Caleb had romance in his life, he dealt with trust since he violated trust so easily. There are so many subplots and nuances to the story.
I loved this novel. It’s been awhile since a novel touched me the way this one did. Even for those resisting Amish fiction, I highly recommend it.
One thing I noticed is the beginning of Caleb’s story starts in a Christmas novella with his sister Sarah’s story. The name of that novella, which I felt compelled to read as soon as I finished A Plain Man, was Sarah’s Christmas Miracle. It was also a great story. Another cool thing about these Amish stories were the recipes in the back that were mentioned in the novels. So I guess I’ve crossed over to Amish fiction.