BookReview The Love Letters by Beverly Lewis

BookReview The Love Letters by Beverly Lewis
Publisher's Description 
The story is told in three different third-person narratives. The central narrative deals with Marlena coming to grips with her own spiritual life and the relationship she had with Luella. The second narrative is about Small Jay, a mentally and physically handicap boy who befriends a homeless man, Boston. The third narrative shows Ellie, Small Jay’s mother, learning to be who God wants her to be.

The story takes place during the 1960s, although there were no pop culture or clothes references to make the sixties come to life for me. It is set in an Amish Community in Brownstown, Pennsylvania. The events unfold on the two neighboring farms and in an abandoned mill. The mill actually exists and is part of what inspired the author to write the story. The characters are of the Old Order Amish, the New Order Amish, and the Beachy Amish. All these sects have different beliefs about how to worship God and go about their daily lives. The author did her research to shed light on each sect’s customs and traditions. I enjoyed seeing life through Small Jay’s eyes. There are a few Amish words thrown in for authenticity.

The romance is sweet and brings conflict as the narratives progress. One of the characters is working on overcoming a struggle relating with her religious beliefs. There is also a physical struggle for another character to overcome. The problems of the characters gently lead the story along. Their growth is evident through each one’s thoughts and actions. The Love Letters is rightly about love letters. While they are not the sole focus of the narrative, they are what lead the characters to a different place in life. 

Spiritual matters are addressed in a way that is not preachy but to drive home the theme. The characters in The Love Letters are so endearing that they could easily be friends of mine. I hoped the protagonist was going to change his ways. All of the secondary characters only make the story better. The struggles with each of the characters are realistic: a single woman caring for a baby that is not hers, a handicapped child trying to find his niche in the world, and a relationship needing love to be rekindled.

I read a few of the books in the Home to Hickory Hollow Series, which was the first time I had read anything by Beverly Lewis. I began to enjoy her writing as I continued through that series. I am a fan of Amish Fiction, so I try to read as much of that genre as I can. The book’s cover shows a woman tenderly holding a baby. It made me wonder about their story and want to read the book to find out more. The Love Letters is not slow, but it does go along gently. The ending was somewhat predictable but I was glad it turned out the way it did. This is a stand-alone novel and doesn’t appear to be part of a series. That is a shame because I would like to read more about those I came to like as I read through this book.

tammycookblogsbooks 5/5 Book Rating
I received a free copy of this book from the 
publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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