September 13, 2012

The Covenant by Beverly Lewis

I like Beverly Lewis, she always seems to have an interesting story to tell about the Amish. Unfortunately though she does use the same formula when she creates her books, so even while you enjoy reading them, you know what's going to happen, and that detracts a little bit from the book. The Covenant is the first book in a series titled "Abrams Daughters" and as you may have guessed it, Abram's daughters are the ones who feature.

Sadie is in her wild time and is certainly taking advantage of it. She's fallen in love with an Englischer and her sister Leah can only watch and shake her head at her sisters worldly ways. Leah meanwhile is coming into her own time of courting and worries that she wont' find someone as she's been working as the "son" on the farm helping her pa with the chores outside and never really learning to be a good wife. She also has her eye on a different boy than the one her father wants her to be with. The twins have their own issues, but as they are younger, their love life is not centered on them. One wants to be a teacher, but they don't get an education past eighth grade, and the other knows that she is destined to remain Amish. All the girls pass a year discovering themselves and learning, and keeping their own secrets.

Sadie to me was the most believable character. Kids that age make mistakes and she certainly makes quite a few according to the rules of her society. And she doesn't even regret some of them, which is human. Leah however, I started out really like her, but then she had an abrupt personality change and it just didn't seem authentic. To be such a tomboy and then stop, well I suppose it's possible, but not really likely. At least her boyfriend seemed like a sweet guy. The twins we don't get to see very much so I was never able to develop a connection with them. All together the characters presented an interesting story, but if you looked hard at any one, they just were a little less than a whole character.

I thought the plot was interesting; seen many times before in Lewis' stories, but with a couple of twists in it. She has an unfortunate habit of ending the book without a satisfying conclusion in it though, so you have to read the next book. These definitely aren't stand alone reads and while I can admire a series, I think it's always good to have each book feel a bit complete, so that if you can't get a hold of the next in the series you don't have that much suspense. But I guess that's what draws the readers in and keeps them coming, so I can't fault her too much for it. The writing style of this one stays mostly with Leah but does switch to the other girls once in awhile to see things from their point of view (but still 3rd person narrative) and it can make it a little confusing sometimes to determine which sister you're with.

A pretty good start to the series, not as good as some of the others but I will pick up the next book in the series and read it. As far as Lewis goes, this is one of her more average tales. Should be interesting to see where the story leads.

The Covenant
Copyright 2002
318 pages

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