Monday, May 1, 2017

"The Ebb Tide" by Beverly Lewis

The Ebb Tide introduces Sallie Riehl, a young Amish-woman who has not yet committed to the church, a tension point amidst her family. Sallie has strong faith and wants to be baptized, but she has dreams of travel that would be impossible once she joined. While Sallie waitressed at a diner, a family of regulars asked her to nanny for their daughter over the summer at their beach house. Finally given an opportunity to travel and see more of the world than her hometown, Sallie agrees.

Autumn, the young girl Sallie nannies for, is having a hard time adjusting to no longer being an only child after the birth of her younger brother. During their summer at the beach, Sallie prays for Autumn and tries in many ways to show her the blessing of having a sibling.

Sallie also meets Kevin, a marine biologist familiar with the Amish traditions. They have a quick friendship driven by shared love of travelling and God. She knows she shouldn't fall for him, not when perfectly good Perry Zook was waiting to court her back home. Sallie is tempted by many fancy things she wasn't exposed to at home and comes to question where her heart lies--joining the Amish church, or following her heart and seeing the world.

I really liked the characters of this novel. Every interaction had God at its center and felt very meaningful, but not overdone. Sallie has a great relationship with her Aunt, her soon-to-be married sister Frannie, Autumn, and Kevin, so even going between multiple story lines was always interesting. Sallie's kind an loving heart seemed genuine and her struggles were believable.

Because this book was half set in the Amish town, half on the beach, it was much more modern and easier to relate to than other books of this genre--making it the best I've read thus far.

My husband commented that I wasn't reading this book as fast as some others. I explained that while I was enjoying, it was also terribly predictable. I told him how many of these Amish Christian fiction books feature young female protagonists with one or more love interests, interactions with non-Amish-folk (Englishers), and undoubtedly would have a wedding in the epilogue. To prove my point, I flipped to the end of the book and skimmed part of the epilogue and read aloud, "blending of our hearts as husband and wife." I was only five chapters in to the book and I didn't know how we'd get to the ending, or who's wedding it was in the epilogue, but I knew it was the inevitable outcome.

I received a free copy of this book, but was not required to post a positive review.

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