The Thorn (The Rose Trilogy, Book 1) was on the new book shelf at my local library during my last visit so I thought I'd give it a try. In my experience, Beverly Lewis is a better writer than many of those who are churning out Amish fiction these days (and she was one of the first to make it popular) but she is not generally favorable to the Amish faith. Still, I was disappointed in the book and did not finish it. Basically, it is the story of two sisters, both raised Amish. Rose is the dutiful daughter who has been caring for her invalid mother. She skipped her running around years and joined the church as soon as she was able. In this book there are two men in her life. One was adopted as a preteen by the local bishop. He follows most, but not all of the Amish rules and his heart isn't in it. He doesn't really feel like he belongs. He and Rose are just friends, but she is one of his only friends in the community. The other man in Rose's life is a nice Amish guy. Who will get the girl?
Rose's sister is Hannah, otherwise known as Hen. She eloped with and "English" guy who wants nothing to do with the Amish lifestyle. She had pulled away from her family, even though they were willing to see her--she left the faith before she joined the church so that was acceptable. She was happy living the normal American life until she had a child. Now she dislikes the effect of popular culture on her child and wants to return to the Amish lifestyle. This causes problems with her husband and they separate.
If you read the summary for the next book in the trilogy, The Judgment (The Rose Trilogy, Book 2) you'll find that after 300 pages in the first book, the second book is about the exact same thing--the same two guys for Rose and Hen is still separated from her husband. I found the book tiresome and could see that it wasn't going anywhere. I don't mind authors recycling characters or settings in later books, but PLEASE finish a story in a book. Grade: D