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34 of 36 found the following review helpful:
The ThornSep 07, 2010
By Knowlton Nest
The Thorn by Beverly Lewis is the first novel in The Rose Trilogy, her newest Amish fiction series. Young Rose Ann's best friend is a young man named Nick who was adopted by the bishop's family nine years ago. They are neighbors and Nick employed by Rose's father, but Nick is not Amish and does not want to be. Rose Ann's sister, Hen, who married an English man now wants to be Amish again despite her husband's protests and their poor daughter Mattie Sue is caught between them. Rose Ann's employer is hiding something and Rose Ann is interested in being courted by Silas Good. Will Nick leave the Amish and will Hen return to her rightful place with her husband? How does Rose Ann handle all of these changes?
I was very intrigued by all of these forbidden situations among Rose Ann's family. I felt as I read through this novel that things were very unsettled and actually it didn't seem like there was a conclusion to many of these situations which is why I'm really looking forward to the next book. I thought Beverly Lewis did an excellent job developing characters and creating conflict. She really captures the spirit of the Amish and weaves a very entertaining novel with plenty of drama and a few surprises.
18 of 20 found the following review helpful:
Romance at It's FinestAug 26, 2010
This is one of those books that grabs your interest and refuses to let it go!! More than once I thought "oh I know where this is going" only to be pleasantly surprised. I loved the insight into the Amish ways and loved reading about real life places that I've seen in my travels. I loved everything about this story!
6 of 6 found the following review helpful:
1st in Rose Trilogy is engrossing and enjoyableOct 03, 2010
By Christina Lockstein
"Christy's Book Blog"
The Thorn by Beverly Lewis is the first book in the Rose series. Rose Ann Kauffman has always been the good daughter in her Amish family. The youngest of several children, at twenty-one, she' responsible for caring for her disabled mother since her brothers are all married with families of their own and elder sister Hen left the community to marry her Englischer husband. Rose's long friendship with the bishop's foster son, Nick, may be the only thing keeping him from leaving the Amish, but what she sees as good friends, Nick may see as something more. Hen, who now has a nearly five-year-old daughter Mattie Sue, suddenly sees all that she gave up when she married Brandon and turned her back on her family. Brandon doesn't understand her desire to begin dressing Plain and spend time with her family, and their fighting causes a fissure in their marriage that may be irreparable. Lewis who is well-known for her Amish novels, isn't resting on her laurels with this new series. I know that a book is engrossing when at night I find myself almost praying for the characters because I've been so completely pulled into their world. Her writing captures the beauty of Amish life, as well as the struggle its young people face to choose the Plain lifestyle. Hen's return to the life she left accurately renders the stark differences between modern culture and the values of the Amish. Rose, as a young woman who doesn't know her own heart, is fresh and thoroughly likable. I'm fascinated to see where the next book, The Judgment, takes these characters.
7 of 8 found the following review helpful:
The Thorn by Beverly LewisNov 09, 2010
By Sara Shoop
This story is about two Amish sisters living in Pennsylvania. The younger, Rose Ann, has been baptized into the Amish faith and is currently dealing with courtship along with the daily care of her handicapped mother. The older sister, Hannah (`Hen' for short), left her Amish faith five years earlier to marry a non-Amish (English) man and is currently living in the `modern' world.
Rose Ann's best friend is the adopted son of the Amish bishop, Nick, who has not embraced the Amish ways. She also has somewhat of a relationship with another Amish boy, Silas, and he is the one with whom she can envision a future. Rose Ann seems compassionate and caring, and she is totally devoted to her faith.
Hen is married to Brandon, and is living in the modern world with him and her daughter, Mattie Sue. However, recently she feels conflicted with the way Mattie Sue is being raised in the modern world versus the way she was raised in the Amish world. She has a desire to return to her Amish roots, but she is not able to convince her husband to become Amish.
To me, this book was bewildering. Maybe I am just not used to reading Amish books, but there were so many characters involved (especially minor characters who were mentioned once and then you were expected to remember who they were ten chapters later) and so many Amish words that I didn't know that it made me dizzy at times. Also, the character of Hen frustrated me. She chose to leave the Amish way of life to marry someone else, but now five years later she wants to go back and wants her husband to convert to the Amish faith. She says that she wants this so that her daughter can be raised is a moral way. So, the only way to instill values and morals in your child is to be Amish? (According to Hen, I guess my parents didn't do a very good job!)
Also, I understand that this book is the first in a series of three, but none of the storylines were wrapped up at all. Almost every question was left hanging. With trilogies, there needs to be some carryover from one book to the next, of course, but this one just stopped abruptly.
Even though this book had some frustrating parts for me, the story was still pretty good and fairly well written. If I had more knowledge of the Amish ways, I think I would have enjoyed this book more. If you are a fan of Amish fiction, you will probably enjoy this book. I will not purchase the future books in this trilogy, but I would consider getting them from the library.
Thank you to Bethany House and Baker Publishing Group for the review copy of this book!
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
The Thorn...Sep 07, 2010
By K. McLaughlin
I was recently provided the opportunity to read and review this book by Bethany House. I haven't read very many books by Beverly Lewis, but I do enjoy the occasional Amish-centered novel, so I thought I would give this one a try. I thought the character of Rose Ann was likable. She was kind and considerate and had a willingness to love those who were different. My favorite character was Nick. I feel like he was really misunderstood and misjudged. I felt really bad for him. To me, he was the character with the most depth. Everyone, with the exception of Rose Ann wrote him off as bad and never even gave him a chance. His own brother, who was constantly terrible to him, seemed to me to be the one who had the bad attitude, not Nick. The character of Hen really bothered me. I found her to be selfish and I thought she treated her husband unfairly. I also think he was painted in a very negative light simply because he was not Amish. It just seemed drastic that Hen would completely forsake her faith to marry someone who was agnostic and didn't want anything to do with her family. She wanted nothing to do with her own Amish roots and family and completely embraced the non-Amish life until 5 years later. Now, suddenly, she can't stand the "worldly" English ways and wants to go back, and she seems clueless as to why her husband might be confused about this.
I've read my share of Amish fiction and I kinda felt this one was a bit predictable. The story moved rather slowly and then felt rushed at the end. The characters just lacked dimension to me. It all just seemed too typecast. I don't want to give it a negative review. I'm sure most Beverly Lewis fans will enjoy it, but this book just wasn't for me.
*This book was provided for review by Bethany House.
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