Release Date: March 21, 2018
Publisher: Harvest House
Genre: Amish Fiction / Romance
Series: Lancaster Discoveries, Book Two
About the Book:
An Old Flame Brings a Spark of New Hope
En Alt Maedel—an old maid.
At age twenty-nine, that’s what Eva Lapp considers herself. And who could argue with her? Finding a good Amish husband at her age will be next to impossible. Plus, Eva’s unwarranted bad reputation in Lancaster County precedes her. Maybe living the Englisch life would be better.
Squeezed out of her childhood home by her brother’s boisterous family, Eva finds lodging and a new job managing a small café at a local plant nursery. But the challenge of her new position isn’t enough to distract from her current predicament.
To Eva’s surprise, her first love, Jake Miller, suddenly returns to Lancaster County. Flooded with emotions and filled with questions about Jake’s past, can Eva trust what she’s feeling?
Jake and Eva face many obstacles in their quest for a fresh start in the community, but perhaps with God’s help, they can find the redemption they both desperately need.
I don’t usually read Amish fiction, but I truly enjoyed “Starting from Scratch” by Kate Lloyd. This is book two of the Lancaster Discoveries series. I haven’t read the prior book yet although after reading this I plan to. This can easily be read as a stand-alone or in order.
Eva is a unique character because we have the opportunity to glimpse a different culture from ours. I found it interesting to get inside the head of a 29-year-old Amish girl who is trying to decide the course of her life. Does she want to commit herself to following the Ordnung that she is questioning for the rest of her life or does she wish to adapt to the Englisch way of life? Making her decision only grows stronger as she finds herself as the cafe’s manager. It also doesn’t help that there are men who are interested in her in a romantic way, all having come from a different background.
Jake is an interesting character as well. He is Eva’s first love but he ran away to the Englisch life leaving no one to have heard from him until his father is a coma. He is described as the prodigal son because he wasn’t living a stable lifestyle.
I also can’t forget to add that I loved Stephen and Beatrice. I enjoyed learning about the Amish, Mennonite, and even an Englisch cultures and how each of the characters interacted with each other and took care of one another.
There are many lessons we can learn from the Amish. For example, they don’t have the option of always staying busy and attached to electronics. They take advantage of life. They also take care of their own, so if a barn catches fire, they will all pitch in to help or bring meals to a loved one who is sick or has a family member on their deathbed. That’s something we lack in today’s world, especially within the church.
There were also spiritual themes encouraging readers to take all of their cares and worries to the Lord. Whenever we have a hard decision to make, it’s important that we pray about it first. God doesn’t always answer the way we want Him to, but He will answer if we learn to trust Him.
Overall, I truly enjoyed this novel. In fact, it’s probably my favorite of the genre so far. It’s a squeaky clean read so I highly recommend to anyone and everyone.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Kate is also giving away a beautiful Amish quilt. Be sure to visit her website for details on how you can enter!
About Kate Lloyd:
Kate Lloyd is a CBA bestselling novelist, a mother of two sons, and a passionate observer of human relationships. A native of Baltimore, Kate spends time with family and friends in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the inspiration for The Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy, (CBA bestseller Leaving Lancaster, its sequel CBA bestseller Pennsylvania Patchwork, and Forever Amish.) Her most recent novel is A Letter from Lancaster County, released July 1t, 2017, soon to be followed by Starting from Scratch in March 2018. She is a member of the Lancaster County Mennonite Historical Society.
Kate and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest, the setting for Kate’s first novel, A Portrait of Marguerite. Kate studied painting, photography, and Italian in college. She has worked a variety of jobs, including car salesman and restauranteur.