I love to read. Since I was ten or eleven, it’s been my favorite pastime. People often talk about a place to go when you want to get away from it all and crave peace. I never had a physical place, I had books. So, earlier this year when I learned about the opportunity to review for Bethany House (Christian Publisher), I applied right away and was excited to have my application accepted, especially since most of my favorite books have been published by Bethany House.
I have a small confession to make—in all my reading of Christian books, I had somehow managed to miss anything by Beverly Lewis. I’ve never been a huge fan of Amish books. However, when The Fiddler popped up on my review list, I thought it would be a good time to give her book a chance, and see what all the fuss was about.
I’m glad I did.
The Fiddler follows the struggles of Amelia Devries (Amy), and Michael Hostettler. Amy is a world-famous concert violinist, but we first meet her when she is moonlighting as a fiddler. Michael Hostettler has been raised in an Amish household, but we first meet him when he’s hiding out after an argument with his strict Amish father. And so, the scene is set for both Amy and Michael to struggle against the pressures placed upon them by tradition, family members, and expectations, as they seek to make their own way in life.
I really enjoyed many aspects of this book. There is an element of romance, but it takes a back seat to the main story as both Michael and Amy try to untangle their own desires from the expectations placed upon them by others. I like the parallel drawn between the pressures Michael faces from his Amish family, and the pressures Amy faces from her family’s career expectations.
I did feel as if there was a lot of judgment toward the Amish culture and beliefs, and that bothered me a bit. It was as if the Amish community was being judged for not allowing the “fancy” visitor to completely change their customs.
Overall, this was a good read, with a bit of hints and mystery woven in to keep you guessing for the upcoming books in the series.
(I was provided a review copy from Bethany House Publishers. However, I was not required to post a positive review, and all opinions expressed about this book are my own.)