Leslie Gould. Amish Weddings. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2017. See here to buy the book.
Amish Weddings in the third book of Leslie Gould’s Neighbors of Lancaster County
series. The reason that the series is called the “Neighbors of
Lancaster County” is that two families of neighbors feature prominently
in the books: the Lehmans, who are Amish, and the Becks, who are not.
Book 3 essentially takes up where Book 2 left off. Zane Beck has
become Amish to marry Lila Lehman, but they are not yet married.
Reuben, the steady and reliable Amish young man who was courting Lila
before she decided to marry Zane, is now in a romantic relationship with
Lila’s half-sister Rose. Lila’s step-father Tim is still romantically
involved with Beth, the schoolteacher, but he cannot marry her because
her ex-husband is still alive, and such a marriage would contradict
Amish rules. Casey, Zane’s female friend from the service, has a cameo
in this book.
At least three things are going on in Book 3. For one, Lila is in an
accident that leaves her injured. The driver of the automobile is
blaming her for the accident, so there is a chance that his insurance
company will not have to help pay her expensive hospital bills. Zane
wants to bring lawyers into the situation, but that contradicts the
Amish way, which looks down on going to court.
Second, as Lila’s step-father, Tim, fails to show Lila the support
that she needs during her recovery, Lila has a desire to learn more
about her biological father.
Third, Zane’s friend from the service, Trevor, is visiting Zane, and
Rose is attracted to him. Although people remark that her relationship
with Reuben is making her a better person, she is finding Reuben rather
dull and is attracted to Zane.
I said in my review of Book 2 that it had a lot of characters. I
found Book 3 to be easier to follow. Part of the reason was that I had
read Book 2 and was thus familiar with the characters when I read Book
3. It also helped that, when Lila met her biological father’s family,
Lila provided a succinct summary of who was who in her family. But I
also think that Book 3 had a more manageable number of plot-lines and
foci. I still believe, though, that more writers of Amish fiction,
Leslie Gould included, should do what Amy Clipston does and include a
family tree at the beginning of the book. That way, if a reader asks
“Who is that person again?”, the reader can check the family tree and
refresh his or her memory.
This book was particularly good because it described what the
characters were thinking. There was a lot of reflection in this book
about the way that people are and why, and that gave the book more
meat. There is steady Reuben, who wishes that his bishop father would
do something about those Lehmans, who seem to be led astray by their
non-Amish neighbors! The discussion between Reuben and Tim on that
topic was especially endearing. We also get to learn more about
Reuben’s perspective on the relationship between Lila and Zane, which
was the topic of Book 2. Lila enjoyed learning about the world and
discussing issues, whereas Reuben preferred to focus on what affected
him in his own world. Then there is Rose, whom people think is rather
shallow and self-centered, in contrast to her late mother. But people
who knew Rose’s mother when she was Rose’s age know that the mother was
not too different from Rose! She matured, as Rose does in this book.
The book also does an artful job tying the plot-line about Lila
searching for her biological father, with the plot-line about the
romance between Trevor and Rose.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My review is honest!