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.