THE FIRST LOVE

14 01 2019

first love

I absolutely loved this book!  Of course, with it being Amish, that is my favorite genre.  You feel for Maggie, who turns 18 during this book, who has a debilitating illness.  With her using a cane because of this illness, she feels as if no boy would want the added responsibility of taking care of her and she is unable to be the vibrant woman that a man would want.  

She then goes to a Mennonite tent revival and gets turned on to Jesus.  She is now reading her Bible all the time.  She hears about healing and wants that more than anything.  Will she get her healing?  Will she fall in love and be a wife to someone special?  You will need to read it yourself to get those answers.

It’s the summer of 1951, and Maggie Esh is in need of some hope. Sweet-spirited and uncommonly pretty despite struggling with chronic illness, she is used to being treated kindly by the young men of her Old Order Amish church district. Yet Maggie wishes she were more like other courting-age girls so she could live a normal, healthy life.

To make matters more complicated, Dat has recently remarried, less than a year after her mother died. And while her stepmother is kind, Rachel is much younger than Mamm, and she simply doesn’t understand Maggie or her illness the way Mamm did.

When tent revival meetings come to the area, Maggie is curious, and the words of the Mennonite preacher challenge her to reconsider what she knows about faith. Can she learn to trust God even when hope seems a distant dream?

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Beverly Marie Jones (Lewis) was born in the heart of Amish country—Lancaster, Pennsylvania. At the tender age of nine, she began writing short stories and poetry. Prior to that, she made up lyrics to the “little fingers” piano pieces she learned, at the age of five.

“My mother saved everything I wrote, even the stories I dreamed up during my grade school years,” Beverly says. One such tale is semi-autobiographical, about a young girl whose parents can no longer afford to give her piano lessons. The manuscript was 77 pages long and titled “She Shall Have Music,” penned under the shade of a lone willow tree. “Reading, writing, and playing piano have been top three on my list of favorite things,” she says.

Not until her own children were well into middle school did Beverly seek to publish her work, first in magazines such as Highlights for Children, Dolphin Log, and Guideposts for Kids. Her first book followed in 1993—Mountain Bikes and Garbanzo Beans—presently retitled Big Bad Beans (book #22 in the popular Cul-de-Sac Kids series of chapter books—see list of Bev’s children’s books).

The First Love became available for purchase September 4, 2018.

I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from NetGalley for this review.

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