Monday, 4 October 2010

The Reckoning - Beverly Lewis

Katherine Mayfield, the new Mistress of Mayfield Manor, always dreamed of a fancy "English" life. But as the seasons pass, she finds herself grieving the loss of her Amish family and dearest friend, Mary Stolzfus. Shunned from the Plain life she once knew, Katherine finds solace in volunteer work with hospice patients--a labor of love she hopes will bring honor to the memory of her birth mother. Unknown to Katherine, her long-lost love, Daniel Fisher, is desperate to locate his "Sweetheart girl," only to be frustrated at nearly every turn. Meanwhile, she delights in the modern world--once forbidden--cherishing the attention of Justin Wirth, her handsome suitor. Her childhood entwined with Daniel's, yet her present life far removed from Lancaster County, Katherine longs for the peace that reigned in her mother's heart. And once again, she is compelled to face the heritage of her past.

I enjoyed the conclusion to the Heritage of Lancaster County series more than the second book but not quite as much as the first. While living in her birth-mother's mansion in New York, Katie comes to realise that she misses many aspects of her old Amish life - quilting, baking, helping those who are to frail to look after themselves. Can she really throw that all away and become completely "fancy"? I felt that on her quest to discover who she really was, Katie really grew as a character and the immaturities about her that I'd previously disliked diminished. Katie's friends and relatives back in Lancaster also featured more in this book, which is another reason why I enjoyed it. It was great to read about Rebecca coming to terms with her daughter's shunning, Mary finding love and Annie rekindling her friendship with her brother. 

Throughout the book, several characters discussed finding salvation through belief in Christ. I appreciated that Beverly Lewis had picked up on the fact that a lot of Amish don't believe in this and instead think that you have to earn your way to heaven, as this is an aspect of Amish life that I don't entirely agree with. However, I can see how this would make the novel unappealing to a secular audience. Daniel's discovery of salvation in the second book had been a trivial point but it was discussed much more frequently in The Reckoning, so be aware of this if you are not a Christian and are considering reading this book. 

All in all, I've enjoyed reading this series but would not say that it is my favourite of the Amish sagas available. Lewis broke into the scene with the Heritage of Lancaster County books and while this was groundbreaking at the time, her writing has changed a lot since the late 90s. There are some cliches and predictabilities about these books and the speech can seem stilted in places. These novels make great comfort reads, but a better series by Lewis is the Abram's Daughters series. There are several other authors of Amish fiction who I'd recommend, my favourites being Amy Clipston, Vannetta Chapman and Barbara Cameron. The Heritage of Lancaster County is a great place to start in the Amish genre, and because it was the series that started it all, you can only move on to bigger and better books! 7/10 


  1. Looking forward to reading this 3rd book in the series then!

  2. Are they making a sequel to the first two movies The Shunning and it's sequel The Confession. I just watched the two on the Hallmark channel. I'm aching for the next! I will have to buy the books because I can't wait

  3. Jaelend812 I saw the Shunning & the Confession last wk. on the Hallmark channel. I've tried to get the DVD of the 3rd & last conclusion of this trilogy but no such luck, I tried the video store & our library.

  4. I loved the books and I'm a big fan of Beverly Lewis. The movie based on this book has come out and I'm looking forward to seeing it when I can.

    From what I've read in the summaries of other books on the Amish. Not really interested in the other ones. I think, I read one, but I didn't love it.

    For me the ones by Francine Rivers, Beverly Lewis, and other favorite christian authors, are my favorites. The more Christ-centred and biblical, the better. For example I like Tolkien but love how much closer to Christ-centredness C.S. Lewis is.

    There is the debate on the myths been part of their stories. Some want nothing to do with it. And some in Grace can acknowledge this parts of the book as things that are not of God. But focus on the biblical principles and symbolism behind the worldly myths.

    I don't mind spoilers. And wanted to remember one thing of this third book by Beverly. But it's not in here. Once in a while I do this before a movie and sometimes I find my answer. It's funny how I do this. Get all caught up in one fact of a the story, and it kind of bothers me till I get the answer, sometimes ultimately in the movie viewing. But spoilers don't bother me. LOL~