Lancaster County is Cloaked in Autumn Splendor, and a Reunion Is in the Air
Awakening to darkness, Katie, in a dreamy haze, thought surely she was back in her bedroom at Hickory Hollow, that it was time to rise 'n shine, hurry into choring clothes, get out to the barn to help with the milking. But, as she lay there listening, ears attuned for her father's call up the steps, she realized she was not a girl growing up in the Lapp home. She was a young married woman, curled up next to Dan, her sleeping husband....
From newlyweds Katie and Dan living in the shadow of the shunning, to Rachel and Philip embracing parenthood even as he acclimates to Amish life as an outsider...From the courtship of Lydia Cottrell and her betrothed, Levi King, to Sarah Cain, now a wife and mother struggling to bridge her own life with that of the People... October Song is overflowing with the simpler things of life that make a Lewis novel an unforgettable journey into the depths of the human heart.
October Song received the Benjamin Franklin Award for Popular Fiction (awarded by the Publisher's Marketing Association.
It's a family reunion of sorts in Lewis's newest offering, a story collection in three parts to update her devotees on the progress of the Amish and "fancy Englischer" characters in her previous novels, all held together by the common thread of their Pennsylvania Dutch country setting. "Hickory Hollow" describes Katie and Daniel's wedded bliss (The Heritage of Lancaster County series) and Katie's overtures toward her family and church friends, who have shunned her. We find the characters from The Postcard, Rachel and her husband, Philip (a former "fancy Englischer"), settled into family life in Bird-in-Hand. Philip struggles to gain acceptance from his Amish peers as he helps to fight a fire and tries his hand at a barn raising. In "Grasshopper," we are brought up to speed on Lydia's courtship by Levi (from The Redemption of Sarah Cain). Although the book is touted as "perfect for Lewis fans and new readers," it would be a tough introduction for someone unfamiliar with her work. The dialect "wonderful-gut," "redding," "perty" and "jah" can make the reading as slow as molasses for the uninitiated. One wonders why each of these vignettes wasn't a full-fledged sequel; it feels a bit like Lewis threw three unfinished novels into one book. But Lewis fans will be pleased to find the same consistent writing they've come to enjoy, and to catch glimpses of how their favorite characters are faring. (Oct.)Forecast: Although many critics find Lewis's Amish-themed novels as overly sweet as shoofly pie, her fans are loyal and legion. More than three million copies of her books are now in print. Her followers will enjoy this, jah.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Baker Publishing Group
September 30, 2001
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