For years Marie Bachmann thought of herself as the "good" daughter. She was the most loving to their mother, the most dedicated to their Amish way of life. But when a Mennonite farmhand, Gordon Martin, shows interest in her she can't help but be flattered--until her mother sends her off to Florida. While there, Marie begins spending time with bad-boy Eli Jacob, the bishop's son from back home.
When Gordon shows up in Florida to volunteer in a homeless shelter, her life becomes even more complicated. At the same time her aunt begins telling her of a Civil War-era ancestor and the woman's uncommon bravery . . . a story that begins to work at Marie's heart.
Marie hopes returning home may simplify life, but Eli soon follows. As Marie grapples with whether she should court Eli or leave the church for Gordon, the story of Annie Bachmann shines a light on what God has for Marie's future.
A SIMPLE SINGING
Two stories intertwined finding love and life in today and in the civil war era.Marie, the perfect Amish daughter, following everything to the ordinance, unhappy even though she does have a suitor. He follows her to Florida, and now enters another suitor. With her aunt telling of life in the civil war, slavery, Lincoln,and how life was. It spans from, Marie at 2013 to Anne in 1863, being in the same house. A touch of love, history, and decisions, will she have made when she returns. Given ARC by Fiction Guild- Thomas Nelson for my voluntary review and my honest opinion.
Second book in series!
A Simple Singing by Leslie Gould is the second novel in The Sisters of Lancaster County series. It is December of 2013 and Marie just watched her sister, Jessica marry Silas. Marie Bachman is one for the following the rules and fully expects to be courted by a good Amish man, to settle down on a nearby farm and have a large family. When Bishop Jacobs son, Elijah visits from Florida, it seems like providence. Gordon Martin, their farmhand, likes to sing while he works which reminds Marie of her father who taught her to sing while they worked in the barn. Gordon has a kind nature and a generous heart, but he is a Mennonite. Mrs. Bachman informs Marie that she will be going to Pinecraft, Florida with her Aunt Suz for a vacation. Marie is surprised at how the Englisch, Amish and Mennonite mingle in the community. She enjoys attending services in a church, the opportunity to sing with others, and to spend time with Elijah. Their second week in Pinecraft, Gordon arrives on a mission trip and Marie gets to know him better. While on the trip, Aunt Suz tells Marie the story of their ancestor, Annie Bachmann and the struggles she faced during the Civil War. Back at home, Marie wrestles with her conscience on her life choices. As Aunt Suz finishes telling her the story of Annie, it helps Marie make a decision about her future.
A Simple Singing may be the second book in The Sisters of Lancaster County series, but it can be read alone. I thought the novel was well-written with two interesting, interconnected stories. It did take me a little while to get into the book. Once I did, though, I was engaged. I was happy to see the pacing improve (it starts out a little slow). There are smooth transitions as it switches from Marie to Annie. I actually enjoyed Annie’s story more than Marie’s. I found it more captivating and wish it had been a book on its own. Gordon volunteers at homeless shelters in Lancaster County and in Florida. Ms. Gould handles the subject adroitly as she does the issue of slavery in Annie’s timeline. It was lovely to watch Marie grow as an individual throughout the story. The author is a descriptive writer which helps brings the book to life for me because I can visualize the scenes thanks to her writing. Christian themes present in A Simple Singing are prayer, having faith, and the importance of following the path God has laid out for you (not your own). Ms. Gould did her research for the Civil War scenes especially the Battle of Gettysburg. I like how she included President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. I found A Simple Singing to be a heartwarming Amish novel and I am eager to read Liesel’s story in A Faithful Gathering.