Friday, October 12, 2012

Leah's Choice, by Emma Miller

After watching her sisters get married, Leah Yoder wondered about her future husband, the Amish man she was going to spend the rest of her life with, and raise their children while living in their Amish community close to her family. However, when she meets Daniel Brown, a Mennonite missionary, she is taken aback. She is attracted to him, finds him fascinating, and starts questioning her Amish ways.

On his part, Daniel is awestruck by Leah, this beautiful Amish girl who is strong, independent and always prepared. They spend time together and begin a forbidden courtship behind her family’s back. But when their feelings for each other get stronger, Leah faces a decision that will affect her life forever: Will she leave her family and follow her heart to be with the man she loves or will she stay with her family and forsake the love of her life? 

Leah Yoder is not afraid to speak her mind; she is very outspoken, smart, a natural born leader and a free spirit (well, sort of. I don’t know how free spirit you can be in the Amish community). She is a great character, as well as Daniel. You see their instant attraction and it’s not hard to see why. She is beautiful, independent, resourceful, strong and smart; he is sweet and exciting, full of interesting stories and with a heart committed to God and His work.

It’s easy to love these characters, to be interested in their story, in the blossoming romance. However, their romance is not well developed. They go out on a non-date (Leah refuses to call “date” that which is obviously one), and is cute and you know they loved it, they loved being with each other, but the next thing you know, a few days have gone by, they have been seeing each other, but the reader is not privy to what happened during those dates. It sometimes felt as if we were being told parts of a story instead of the whole story. It felt somewhat segmented. And the romance is not the only thing affected by this: each time a problem appeared, it was solved rather quickly, and uneventfully. It’s like this happened, and this is how it was solved. This way of telling a story is disappointing to me because there was no tension. The author creates some sort of anticipation with a few problems here and there, but then, as quickly as the problems appeared they went away; so as soon as some tension began to built, it was pulled back, and that made the story rather flat.

I did like the fact that the author showed different sides of the Amish, including some domestic violence, and alcoholism. Also, I loved to read about the differences between Mennonites and Amish, and the differences from one Amish community to the next.

The story is sweet, the characters are very likable, cute; they are what made the story interesting and worth reading for me. Leah’s choice will not come as a surprise, but, although expected, it is a nice, and satisfying ending.

3 out of 5 stars

*I received a copy of this book from Harlequin-Love Inspired through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

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