Saturday, January 16, 2010

Plain Jayne by Hillary Manton Lodge

I still don't consider myself a fan of Amish fiction, but after reading Hillary Manton Lodge's debut novel...I most definitely consider myself a fan of hers!

Jayne Tate loves her life--sort of. She has her career as a features reporter at a major newspaper in Portland, Oregon. She has her apartment, her independence...she has life on her own terms.

So what's missing?

When her work begins to suffer after the loss of her estranged father, Jayne takes her vacation and turns it into a freelance writing assignment, sparked by a passing article on the Amish.

"Plain Jayne" decides to interview an Amish family for herself, to see if the things written about them live up to the reality. Levi Burkholder, maker of furniture "Amish style" agrees to help her get settled in with a family for the short time she has.

What Jayne discovers about the Amish reveals so much about her own life. Being with such a close-knit family and living in community creates a longing in Jayne's heart for her own family.

Has too much time passed, preventing Jayne from reconciling with her mother and sister? Can she figure out what she wants from life after her time with the plain folk, and will that include a certain man in the furniture business?

Hillary Manton Lodge has created a world that is both inviting and complicated. I was lost in her story from the first chapter, and kept wanting to visit again and again. I'm so excited that this is going to be a series, including at least two titles that I know of.

"Plain Jayne" is my kind of Amish fiction, and I hope Hillary keeps writing for a long, long time. I'm giving this one five out of five bookmarks, with a Mr. Coffee coffeemaker as a charm...long story--take it up with Levi!

My thanks to Dave at Harvest House for my copy!

Happy Reading!



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