I enjoyed Beth Wiseman's other two Amish novels, Plain Promise and Plain Perfect (Links are to my reviews), so I was glad to be able to review Plain Pursuit as part of the Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers program. Like the other two books, this one features an outsider finding peace and God in Amish country. Unlike the other two books, she doesn't find it by becoming Amish.
Carley is an old friend of Lillian, the heroine of Plain Perfect, comes to visit Lillain when her boss gives her a choice between a month-long vacation or losing her job. Carley is a newspaper reporter whose work has not been up to par since she and her mother were in a car accident that robbed her mother of her life and Carley of something important as well. Carely decides to visit Lillian, who has become Amish, and to write a story about the Amish while she is there. Shortly after Carley arrives, Lillian's family faces a medical crisis which brings them into contact with Lillian's brother-in-law who was raised Amish but left the church after baptism. I'd put "Spoiler Alert" in big letters, but I doubt anyone will be surprised to learn that everyone lives happily ever after.
Basically this is a quick easy heartwarming read that uses the Amish culture as a backdrop for a romance between two non-Amish people. I do have one complaint about the book. The author, Beth Wiseman makes it a point to say that Carley was "a confirmed Catholic" but that she abandoned churchgoing after high school. Carley notes that she has only a distant relationship with God, and that it is her fault. I thought Wiseman would redeem herself on this point, because when Carley finds God again, Wiseman mentions that she returned to her Catholic roots. However, at the end of the book when Carley marries (I said it was a romance novel; this can't be a spoiler) it is done quickly and not in the Catholic Church. I don't know whether Wiseman meant the wedding to be an indication that she was leaving the Catholic Church for her fiancee's; or if Wiseman is just ignorant of the fact that Catholics have to marry in, or with the consent of, the Catholic Church, and that, in most places, six month engagements are required. Grade: B-
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