The main character is very likable; The Amish ways are portrayed in a positive light; This story is based on trusting God and it is shown throughout the book.
The character's dialect is distracting; There are a lot of secondary characters.
I think anyone who likes Amish Romance novels will enjoy “The Photograph.”
January 6, 2016 by Tammy Cook
Eva Esch and her sisters are in a predicament. With the passing of their widowed mother, Eva’s older brother Menno plans to move his growing family into the Eden Valley farmhouse where they all grew up, leaving little room for his three single sisters. Surely, Menno reasons, at least one of them will marry this coming wedding season. Eva does hope to marry, but she isn’t sure she wants to give up her sweet shop for the life of a farmer’s wife, and she has no other prospects.
When younger sister, Lily, disappears in the night, leaving only a brief note, Eva fears she has been wooed away from the People by an outsider. And when Jed Stutzman, a young Amish buggy maker from Ohio, shows up in Lancaster with a photo of a Plain young woman, Eva’s world begins to tilt. She feels powerfully drawn to the quietly charming stranger–but the woman in the forbidden photograph is no stranger at all. . . .
Beverly Lewis is a Christian fiction writer of adult and children books. She says “my passion for Amish-related stories continues to keep me up at night”. This is not a surprise since she has penned several best sellers, including The Shunning, which started it all. Since I have only recently began to read her books, I was not sure what to expect from The Photograph. I know I liked ‘The Love Letters’, her last novel I read. Learn more about Beverly Lewis here.
The Photograph is set in Eden Valley, located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. For anyone who enjoys references to characters from other books- Lewis used this area also for ‘The River’. ‘The Photograph’ takes place in 1980. There are a few references to the year. For example, one character talks about “boom boxes”, referring to battery powered radios that people carried around.
In The Photograph, Eva Esch has suffered loss in more than one way. This story follows her as she trusts God to answer her heartfelt prayers and meet her family’s needs. Eva and her older sister Frona are waiting for their younger sister Lily to return home. Also, Jed Stutzman discovers a photograph on a bus as he travels to Lancaster County. He thinks the picture is intriguing. Jed has also recently dealt with loss. While Eva is the main character that the book centers around; there are many secondary characters. It took me awhile to get a grasp of who everyone was.
I appears that Lewis has done her research on the language of the area. Still,
I did not care for the dialect the characters used; words like “yous” for more than one person and “ya” for “you”. I have read others books that have used the same type of talk and I had trouble not being distracted by it.
I was surprised and happy to see Lewis had characters that were against the gossip that seems prevalent in a lot of Amish Fiction. Also, it seemed to me that she shed the Amish in a very positive light while still showing their beliefs and way of life. I liked that I could read and form my own opinions about the characters, not what the author wanted to push me to believe.
This story ended as I hoped it would. As the ending got closer I didn’t know how Lewis was going to bring closure. I enjoyed the story line of Eva praying her sister home while being perplexed about her own love life. This is a sweet romance.
Eva is a kind, Godly young woman. Her Godly character can be credited to her parents that raised her and her siblings in the ways of God. It seems Lewis is trying to show her readers that while following God is an individual choice, it is also important for parents to teach their children about God as they are growing up. I think anyone who likes Amish Romance novels will enjoy The Photograph.
Unless otherwise stated, all reviewers for The Christian Manifesto have received courtesy copies of the materials being reviewed in exchange for their honest opinions, have not been compensated, and are under no obligation to give positive reviews.
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