The first distraction for me was the use of Amish words that were not defined in the glossary at the beginning of the book. Amish words in the glossary include "gut", "dat", "danki", kinder and "ja" (good, dad, thank you, child and yes) -- words which I already knew. Amish words in the novel that are not in the glossary include "farrichterlich", "bauchache", "crittlich", "donkbawr", "ferleicht" and "fartzooned". I guess we are supposed to assume the meaning of these words based on the context. My preference would be that all Amish words used in the novel would be in the glossary. Numerous times I found myself flipping to the front of the book to find a word in the glossary that wasn't there. That constant interruption, and consequential frustration at not finding the words, was very distracting.
I was also very distracted by the emphasis on looks in an Amish novel. For an Amish man and for a woman who was raised Amish to refer to looks so much throughout the novel seemed out of character. "Had she wandered onto a movie set?", "beautiful redhead", "pretty redhead", "beauty", "handsome, yes", "beautiful", "utterly handsome", "even more handsome when he smiled". I don't think I've ever read a book Amish or otherwise with so many flippant references to looks. This seemed so un-Amish and so unnecessary.
That being said, I did like the storyline. Gideon and Lydia both "find" themselves as they look into secrets from their pasts. The box full of the promises of God that Lydia's mother kept is a great source of wisdom and encouragement to Lydia on this journey and helps Lydia come to understand her faith in God. Lydia realizes "The most refreshing water comes after you've been thirsty for so long" (pg 192).
We learn through the novel that God has a good plan in store for us when we trust in Him.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book through Booksneeze.com in exchange for my honest review.
~ Chelsey ~