The Prodigal is book four of Lewis' Abram's Daughters series. If you haven't read any of the others in the series, I highly suggest that you stop reading this review and go start at the beginning. This series has a continuing timeline and is not meant to be read out of order.
All the Ebersol children are back in
Lancaster area. Sadie, having returned after being widowed is doing her
best to repent with the church. Mary Ruth is nearby, living the life
of a Mennonite and teaching while her sister Hannah is married to the
blacksmith and being a dutiful Amish wife. Leah is still single, living
with her father and raising the youngest two siblings as she promised
to her dying mother. All of them still have some secrets though, and
quite a bit of them can be more surprising than they would ever guess.
actually took a backseat in this book in my opinion. She's still
technically the main character, but not a lot happens with her. It's
focused on the younger kids this time, which is fine, but I just wish
for some happiness for her. The younger kids I just don't care for as
much, they don't grab my interest and I honestly find them kind of
selfish after reading about Leah so much. Abram, Leah's father, is
better in this one at least and he's a character that I'm starting to
grow fond of whereas I used to not care for him at all. Meanwhile, the
opposite is true for Hannah's husband, who I used to like but now has
become very unlikable.
The plot doesn't really go anywhere in
this one. There are new secrets revealed, but that's about it. Nothing
big happens and it is more the characters interacting with each other.
Normally I wouldn't care about that but since the majority of the books
in this series has been like that, it seems to me that this could have
easily been a trilogy instead of a five book series if a lot of the
fluff had been cut out. This one was also extremely preachy and you
couldn't turn around without a character praying. I'm not against
prayer, but the method it's pushed at you in this book (with the hint
that it's the correct way to pray) it just gets grating. I'm perfectly
accepting that Amish fiction usually equals Christian fiction, but there
is an elegant way to do it, and this is not the way.
read the last book. I have to see how it ends after all. But I may shy
away from Lewis for awhile after this series.