Sunday, March 13, 2011
The Thorn (The Rose Trilogy Book 1) Beverly Lewis
Lancaster County, with its rolling meadows and secret byways, may seem idyllic, but it is not without its thorns. THE ROSE TRILOGY is the stirring saga of two Amish sisters on the fringes of the church, and the unforeseen discoveries that change their lives. Rose Kauffman, a spirited young woman, has a close friendship with the bishop's foster son. Nick dresses Plain and works hard but stirs up plenty of trouble too. Rose's sister cautions her against becoming too involved, but Rose is being courted by a good, Amish fellow, so dismisses the warnings. Meanwhile, Rose keeps house for an English widower but is startled when he forbids her to ever go upstairs. What is the man hiding? Rose's older sister, Hen, knows more than she should about falling for the wrong man. Unable to abandon her Amish ways, Hen is soon separated from her very modern husband. Mattie, their young daughter, must visit her father regularly, but Hen demands she wear Amish attire--and speak Pennsylvania Dutch, despite her husband's wishes. Will Hen be able to reestablish her place among the People she abandoned? And will she be able to convince Rose to steer clear of rogue neighbor Nick?
My take on this book:
This story revolves around sisters Hannah (Hen) and Rose Ann Kauffman. Hen left the faith to marry Brandon, and Englisher, but after five years and a daughter she is longing for the life she left behind. She takes a job working in a fabric shop and soon starts wearing amish attire and making amish dresses for her daughter Mattie Sue, even though her husband is against it. When she decides to take a break from her marriage and move back home, will it be the end of her marriage, and how will the community accept her return?
Rose Ann has always known she wanted to stay in the faith, even skipping her rumspringa to join the church at fifteen. Her days are spent as the primary caregiver for her mother Emma, who was injured in a buggy accident several years prior that left her confined to a wheelchair with continuous pain. Rose works one day a week as a housekeeper/cook for an English neighbor Mr. Browning. There has always been stories that Mr. Browning's house is haunted, so when Rosie starts hearing noises upstairs, a place Mr. Browning has forbidden her to go, she is determined to figure out what is going on. When Rose has a bit of free time she is fond of reading and spending time with her best friend Nick Franco, and her love life starts to look promising when Silas Good starts calling on her, but Silas doesn't like the friendship she has with Nick. She also has Hen warning her against Nick, what will Rose do?
This story really moves along at a brisk pace, the author does a great job of giving us several different characters but presents them in such a way that you are drawn into each of their stories, giving us a glimpse of family structure, as well as the complexities of their daily life. While the main characters in the story are Rose and Hen, I found the secondary characters had rich stories of their own. The character of Nick, was compelling for me, plucked out of his English world to live among the amish had to be hard, and even though he had been with the community for years, he still longed for his English mother, although he was pretty good at hiding his feelings, Rose saw past his exterior and was the only friend he had.
I felt like this book was a great beginning for the Rose Trilogy, and since there are many unanswered questions I am anxious to read the next book in the series titled "The Judgement" due out April 1st.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.