Beth Wiseman’s command of the Amish romance genre is on full display in Plain Peace (Thomas Nelson). Plain Peace has original characters filled with passion, secrets, humor, and reconciliation. Beth Wiseman created three dimensional characters with plenty of flaws making them relatable yet lovable.
The story begins with Jacob, age 19, and his family having just moved to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania from Middlefield, Ohio to have a fresh start in a new place. The entire family is suffering in response to their oldest daughter’s death. Jacob’s father has withdrawn from life and his mother, Cora, is at her wit’s end trying to keep the family together.
Anna, age 18, is an orphan being raised by her grandparents, Marianne and John. They are also still grieving in their own way over the death of Anna’s parents. John is the district’s bishop, not particularly loved by the community since he has become progressively stricter as time has gone by. Jacob and Anna are drawn to each other but Anna’s grandfather John, forbids Anna from seeing Jacob. She loves her grandfather but finds that he will not listen to her and she is determined to continue her relationship with Jacob. Anna sneaks out to be with Jacob, but her secret rendezvous is discovered.
But Anna is not the only one with a secret. Her grandmother, Marianne, is keeping secrets from her strict and overbearing Bishop and husband, John. Marianne’s secret life is humorous yet sad and pathetic as well. The author creates an interesting and complex character in Marianne. She is filled with smiles and friendliness towards others, but is hesitant to find her voice to help Anna to deal with her grandfather. Anna is discouraged by her grandmother’s passive behavior and voice when dealing with her grandfather. And Marianne seems unable to help herself with her diabetes while her husband is forbidding the Amish community from visiting the local doctor, yet John does love her. The secrets start unraveling after Marianne nearly goes into diabetic coma.
Beth Wiseman incorporates several of the characters from previous books in the Daughters of the Promise series into Plain Peace. It is interesting to see the character continuation from book to book within the series. The author continues the theme of becoming daughters of the promise in Plain Peace with several of the female characters as they evolve and develop within the pages of the book.
Plain Peace is a unique look at several dysfunctional Amish families with thought-provoking relationships that find a way through love, time, understanding, and God’s wisdom to overcome their difficulties and become the loving families they want to be. This series is so engaging that readers will want to read the previous five books in the series as well. Plain Peace became available November, 2013.