October 05, 2011

The Reckoning by Beverly Lewis

The Reckoning is the third book in Beverly Lewis' Heritage of Lancaster County series. While I loved the first book, and abhorred the second, I have mixed feelings about the third.

The story starts with Katherine becoming accustomed to life at the mansion after her biological mother's death. Just as she is settling in and getting used to things, Daniel, an old boyfriend whom she thought dead shows up on her doorstep begging forgiveness. Its a little more than Katherine can handle and she send him away.

Meanwhile, to fill her time she dates the charming painter Justin and volunteers at a hospice where she makes friends with a young boy dying from terminal cancer. She also hosts a quilting class in her home with several friends and also some newer friends, local amish people.

Something is missing from her life though and as the ban on her shunning is partially lifted she returns home to talk with her family and friends and somewhat misses the Amish even though she has found a new religious relationship.

The ending came as quite a surprise for me. While I had a suspicion that it might end up the way it did, I never imagined the destination to be what it was. It was as if Lewis changed her mind literally between paragraphs to a different ending and followed through with it.

While I was pleased to see the development of characters improve in this novel over the second, I have some reservations about the novel. There seemed to be a quite open agenda throughout the entire novel, a theme if you will. While I realize Beverly Lewis' writings are technically classified as Christian fiction, this book was so blatant about its proselytizing it was almost off-putting. While I love reading about the Amish and their culture, the constant references to being saved by Jesus in the Mennonite and regular Christian churches Catherine attends was heavy handed.

Lewis still offers a lot of detail in her writing and a nice history of the Amish. While most of it is written in the 3rd person, the prologue and epilogue are written through Katherine's eyes. It brings a nice change and divide in the novel.

The Reckoning
Published in 1998
281 pages

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