Can These Two Friends from Opposite Worlds Find Love?
They've been best friends for years, but as high school ends, Zane Beck can't help but look at his Amish neighbor, Lila Lehman, with different eyes. Her controlling father sees only one future for Lila, though, and arranges for her to be courted by an upstanding young Amish man. When Zane sees the two together, his plans for the future crumble, and he impulsively enlists in the Army, following in his father's footsteps.
However, the passing of years and the distance between them isn't enough to halt their now hidden feelings for each other. If being together used to be difficult, it's now impossible, especially with the Amish opposed to war. Zane's service takes a dramatic turn when he's sent to Afghanistan. Being on the front line and the reality of taking a life has him questioning whether he can continue to serve or not. But all choices have consequences--both his and hers. With Lila preparing to marry another, will these one-time sweethearts ever find the life together that they both still long for?
An incredible look at various cultures!
This is part of a “true” series. You need to read the first book in the series before you read this one.
I absolutely love the characters in this series. It was wonderful to see how they have grown and developed since the end of the first book. In some way friendships have deepened and in other ways people have grown apart as they matured.
One of the things that I really enjoy about this book is that different ways of expressing love to someone are explored. This is a very real part of life and it can be one of the hardest things to understand. Some people share their love verbally while others do it by actions only. It is very important to be able to recognize when someone is expressing love in a way that you don’t.
I really enjoyed that there was a wonderful explanation of the Amish viewpoint on war. This is a very important part of this story since both Zane (non-Amish) and Simon (Amish) join the army. It really helped me to understand the conflict that arose between Simon and his family when he went home and announced that he had signed up.
The other thing that I really liked about this book is the information given about the Civil Affairs officers and the work that they do in Afghanistan. I have only heard a brief statement of their work in the news. Now I feel that I have a better understanding of what it entails.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
Amish Sweethearts by Leslie Gould is the second book in Neighbors of Lancaster County series. Lila Lehman and Zane Beck have grown up next door to each other and are close friends. Lila is Amish and Zane is Englisch (as the Amish call us). It is May in 2010 and Zane just received a scholarship to college in Michigan. Zane asks Lila to come with him to Michigan. Lila could not do that to her family (especially to the man that raised her). She sends Zane away. Instead of going to college, Zane joins the Army (mainly because his father told him that he was not soldier material). Two and half years later Zane is returning home for Christmas. He has avoided coming home because of Lila. He still loves her and cannot get her out of his mind. Lila is being courted by Rueben (the Bishop’s son) but she has yet to join the church (she still thinks of Zane). Everyone tells Lila that Reuben is perfect her. Zane is going to be deployed in a month to Afghanistan (he is going to work in a Civil Affairs Unit as a translator). Two people so much in love but so far apart. Can these two overcome the many obstacles in their path to happiness?
Amish Sweethearts is a lovely book. It is well-written, engaging, and easy to read. Amish Sweethearts can be read as a stand-alone novel (in case you did not read the first book in the series). We get to see life from two different perspectives. How time and experience change people. I started this book and just kept reading until I finished it. I give Amish Sweethearts 5 out of 5 stars. Amish Sweethearts is not a sappy romance book nor is it overly religious. Leslie Gould wove together a wonderful, heartwarming tale.
I received a complimentary copy of Amish Sweethearts from Bethany House and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.