October 09, 2011
Plain Proposal by Beth Wiseman
So I've been getting into the Amish fiction. They are usually nice simple stories that help the reader realize a simpler way of living, yet still show the intricacies within the Amish community. In short, they are just plain interesting. This book is no exception and turned out to be quite the nice read.
Miriam is excited that her cousin is coming to stay for the summer. Despite the fact that her cousin is of the "English" world, she feels that they will become good friends. Other thoughts distract her as well as she continues to have a crush on Saul Fisher, the boy she wishes to marry one day. She could have any man in the community, but mysterious Saul is the one for her. Her parents disapprove though and Saul has some secrets of his own. Secrets that could change her views, like his plan to leave the Amish community. Miriam must decide what it is in life that she wants. On the other side, Shelby, her cousin, isn't sure what to do in this strange new life. Her parents are embroiled in a bitter divorce and send her to live with her Amish relatives after she gets into some trouble. She's confused about her feelings and where she is wanted in life.
For characters these weren't too bad. I actually found Shelby a bit unbelievable as I think she adjusted rather quickly for a disobedient teenager. I myself love all the domestic arts the Amish practice and would probably be very out of place in such a life so for her to adjust quickly makes me question the characterization. Miriam I liked and thought that she was a very strong independent woman who knew what choices she wanted for her life. She flip flops at times but it mirrors the indecision we all have at points in our lives. The rest of the characters were minor but they all seemed rather vital to the story.
Since this is Amish fiction it is appropriate for everyone and doesn't contain anything offensive. It offers the usual lessons on simplicity and the Amish way of life. I should let those know who are like me and don't research a book, that this is Christian fiction and it is a very strong theme. It can get preachy at parts which I think distracts from the novel, but overall it doesn't distract bad enough to lose the plot. However, these strong themes may be off-putting for some readers. The plot wasn't overly common for an Amish novel, but it does contain a love story which is always great for those who like romance.
A good Amish fiction book I would read this again. I also intend to make good use of the Amish recipes at the end as they sounded absolutely scrumptious
296 pages including recipes and Dictionary