The Fiddler by Beverly Lewis
I just finished my second book review title for Bethany House Publishers. And I’m really torn on this one…I mean really torn. Before I get into that though, here’s the synopsis:
Amelia Devries is a becoming-famous violinist. She has been schooled in classical music, and is being backed- pushed even- by well meaning parents who have seemingly hung their existence on her future as a classical violinist. Meanwhile, Amelia is moon-lighting as “Amy Lee” the country fiddler- knowing it would be the death of her sickly father if he ever found her out.
Michael Hostetler is a young Amish man who is in the middle of his Rumspringa, or time when he is free to explore the outside world and decide for himself whether the Amish church vow is one he wants to take. His parents are deeply disappointed in the way that Michael is taking “too long” to determine if this sacred vow is for him.
In a strange turn of events, Amelia finds herself running into Michael. Their shared paths of trying to decide their own futures, against the wills and wishes of their parents, unite them in a powerful friendship.
But with Michael’s Amish heritage & Amelia nearly engaged to another classical musician, one pleasing to her parents, can their friendship become anything more?
The book was great. It truly was. I have loved Beverly Lewis as an author for many years, and she did not disappoint with this book either. The characters were very believable, and I felt myself truly drawn to their stories. It was also really interesting to effortlessly learn so much about Amish culture. I learned a lot about the tenets of their faith, and the ways that they live their everyday lives.
However, here’s where I struggle. This book is set in modern day times. Amelia is driving along one night, on her way home from a secret fiddle concert, when she gets lost and has a flat tire. She happens upon a cabin in the middle of some deserted woods and runs to the cabin, in the middle of a pouring rain, at night. When Michael opens the door, she finds his gentle Amish demeanor to be trustworthy, and she just goes right in- even spending the NIGHT in his cabin (not with him, mind you!)
Ok, I’m totally into a good love story. I really am! But in our modern day society, the way in which their love develops is completely unrealistic. I don’t care how trustworthy a man looks or acts- if he is alone in a cabin in the woods at night, I am going to assume he’s either a mass-murderer hiding out, or a convicted sexual offender who had to isolate himself to keep from offending again.
And I’m NOT going in there!
On top of that, I’m not going to follow him to his hometown and stay in the home of some of his friends.
It just isn’t believable in our day and time.
BUT, the book really was good. If you can separate from reality, as I believe was probably the intent of the author as she portrayed the idyllic Amish community, then you’ll enjoy the book.
I told you, I’m torn. So you’ll have to read it for yourself and let me know how you feel!