The Bridge of Peace (Ada's House, Book 2) has a lot of different stories, stories that are connected in that they all involve neighbors, but stories which seem to have little to do with each other. It is book two in a series, and while it does stand on its own, there were things that made me wish I still had my copy of The Hope of Refuge (Ada's House Series, Book 1) (My review) so I could figure out who these people were, or why they were in the story.
The main story is about Lena, an Amish spinster school teacher. She has a large birthmark on her face, and has always thought that was why the boys weren't interested. As a teen, her way of rebelling was to go to public high school. Now she is the teacher in an Amish school and loves her students and her job. The story focuses on her relationship with a troubled student and with a neighborhood man with whom she has been friends since childhood. There is also someone out to get her, but it is never clear why.
Cara from The Hope of Refuge continues to struggle between the Amish and English worlds, while her daughter is more Amish than she is. Deborah is getting used to life without her long-time beau. Ada's bakery has growing pains. Still, if you didn't read The Hope of Refuge you might wonder why these characters are part of the book.
Despite these problems, I found it an engaging read. I've started reading books on the treadmill and I'm considering a new rating system. I can read about 50 pages in 30 minutes. I am committed to walking 30 minutes per night; I'm also committed to only reading treadmill books on the treadmill. In other words, if a book really engages me, I'm likely to spend more than 30 minutes on the treadmill. This book kept be going for close to an hour on two nights and over an hour on another. The characters are human, the story (except the one about the guy who was out to get her) was realistic and the depictions of the Amish were favorable. Grade: B
I'd like to thank the publisher for providing a complimentary review copy. You can see other reviews here.