Title: The Bridesmaid
Author: Beverly Lewis
Series: Home to Hickory Hollow, #2
Format: paperback, large print
Length: 407 pages
Synopsis: Twenty-five-year-old Joanna Kurtz has made several trips to the altar, but never as a bride. The single young Amish woman is a closet writer with a longing to be published something practically unheard of in her Lancaster County community. Yet Joanna's stories aren't her only secret. She also has a beau who is courting her from afar, unbeknownst even to her sister, Cora, who, though younger, seems to have suitors to spare.
Eben Troyer is a responsible young Amish man who hopes to make Joanna Kurtz his bride--if he can ever leave his parents' farm in Shipshewana, Indiana. Yet with his only brother off in the English world, intent on a military career, Eben's hopes for building a life with his dear Joanna are dimming, and patience is wearing thin. Will Joanna ever be more than a bridesmaid?
Favourite character: Joanna
Least favourite character: Cora Jane
Favourite line: No one’s stuck anywhere unless they choose to be. The Lord God guides those who are moving forward.
Mini-review: This was so good. I’m such a sucker for Amish Fiction. Although some of the things bothered me like the fact that she had to hide her writing, then gave in and stopped writing fiction and continued to live like that until I’m sure the end of the book. As a fellow writer I feel like life without fiction would almost not be worth living. But maybe that’s just me.
Joanna - Eleanor Tomlinson
Eben - Jack Quaid
"They could see King Caspian raising his hand to bless his son. And everyone cheered, but it was a half-hearted cheer, for they all felt that something was going wrong. Then suddenly the King's head fell back upon his pillows, the musicians stopped and there was a dead silence. The Prince, kneeling by the King's bed, laid down his head upon it and wept."
|Simply a marvelous little book! Written by an English soldier serving in WWI as a stretcher bearer, this book of poetry, with a little bio of him (what little is known) and a handful of photos, encompasses a range of emotions-- from sorrow and despair, exaltation in victory, some humor (which is remarkable, given what all he must have witnessed daily), anger and disappointment in humanity, and optimism for the future.
Even the story of how the book came into being is remarkable. It was recently discovered during a house renovation in an attic 100 years after being written and eventually returned to the family of the poet. After reading the manuscript, the family decided the world should be able to read it as well-- and came to be published, and I think the world at large would be at a loss if it had not.
One of the many poignant poems that touched me:
(Headline in Daily Papers at the time: 'Bells were rung in many churches in honour of the Cambrai victory')
There's a winding line of stretchers each with its shattered load
Coming slowly from the trenches along a shell marked road
Hear the groans & watch the blood flow, see the havoc of the shells
And this is called a victory for this they rung the bells
See the groups of walking wounded who progress as best they can
Limping, struggling slowly onward helped by the stronger man
With clothing torn & faces pained & blood their path to show
But let the bells ring loud & clear is victory you know
There are heaps of dead in the trenches & out in "no man's" land
'Tis not for them a flowered grave tended by loving hand
There'll be vacant chairs in many homes in England's hills & dells
But still this is a victory for they have rung the bells
See this comrade of mine who has fallen he stood by my side at dawn
I have sewn his cold clay in a blanket fit coffin for grim waifair's storm
And I think of a wife who is waiting & a babe who its father will miss
Yet the bells were rung in our churches for such a victory as this
Oh Christ of a thousand churches God of a nation's best
Look down & forgive the people & grant the fallen rest
Where flesh & blood now wrestle Oh grant the birds may sing
And peace be the greatest victory & then our bells shall ring
I do feel that this little book would be an invaluable addition to any poetry lover's or history addict's library. It was sent to us by the publisher, for which I am forever thankful!