In book 3 of the Women of Lancaster County, Clark and Gould continue the stories of Plain women finding true love and determining their future.
Mennonite Ella Bayer is in love. She is sure that she will marry her teenage boyfriend, Ezra Gundy, join the Amish church in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and live happily ever after. There is only one thing standing in her way...her mother... who is just as determined that Ella won't be marrying Ezra after all.
Ezra family, like Ella's mom, is concerned about Ella and Ezra's relationship. Although Mennonites and Amish are both Plain, they are very different in what they believe. One of the two young lovers must forsake their heritage to be able to marry the other.
Amid mounting tension, Ezra gets sent to Indiana and away from Ella by his father to learn about Amish dairy farming. Without her family's permission, Ella runs off to Indiana to join Ezra. While there, she meets young Amish farmhand, Luke, and strikes up an unlikely friendship with him. When family tragedy forces her to return to Pennsylvania, Ella must face her past and determine which Amish man will share her future.
The Amish Bride was a cute, engaging book. It kept my attention and had me guessing at the ending up until the last page. I love the fact that Ella's character is fully Mennonite, embracing all their beliefs, but also fully her own, somewhat rebellious person. She is real and delightful.
I also loved the ending that the authors chose. It was not a pat, predictable ending. It was genuine and unexpected. It was the ending I would want for my child.
If I were to rank the books in this series in order of my favorites, The Amish Bride would come in second. It was not as good as the first book, The Amish Midwife but better than the second book, The Amish Nanny.
My one complaint was that there needed to be a family tree in the front of the book to refer to. I got a little confused trying to keep all the characters and all their family relationships straight. (There may be a family tree in the print version of the book, but in the Kindle version that I read, there was not.)
I give this book 4 stars out of 5.
I received a complementary Kindle version of this book from Netgalley. All opinions are my own.