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Plain Pursuit (Daughters of the Promise Series #2)
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Plain Pursuit (Daughters of the Promise Series #2)

4.3 32
by Beth Wiseman

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Carley has given up chasing her dreams. Now her dreams are chasing her.

Carley Marek experiences culture shock when she visits her friend Lillian’s family on their farm deep in Amish country. She’ll get an article out of the visit—and maybe some of Lillian’s newfound peace will somehow rub off on her.

Just when Carley is


Carley has given up chasing her dreams. Now her dreams are chasing her.

Carley Marek experiences culture shock when she visits her friend Lillian’s family on their farm deep in Amish country. She’ll get an article out of the visit—and maybe some of Lillian’s newfound peace will somehow rub off on her.

Just when Carley is getting used to the quiet nature of the Plain community, Lillian and Samuel’s son falls ill. But the local doctor who can offer the most help has been shunned by the community and forbidden to intervene.

As David’s condition deteriorates, Dr. Noah determines to do whatever it takes to save the boy’s life. Carley is caught in the middle—drawn to Noah, wanting to be helpful in the crisis—and confused by all their talk about a God she neither knows nor trusts. Carley must decide what in life is worth pursuing . . . and what to do when she’s pursued by a love she never expected.

Product Details

Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
Daughters of the Promise Series , #2
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Plain Pursuit

A Daughters of the Promise Novel
By Beth Wiseman

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2009 Beth Wiseman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59554-719-4

Chapter One

Lunch with her editor usually meant one thing. Trouble.

Carley couldn't think of anything she'd done to warrant the meeting. Granted, she hadn't written any award-winning stories for the newspaper lately, but she'd held her own. Every deadline had been met. The stories had been newsworthy. But something was clearly on Matt's mind. His forehead creased with concern as they took their seats at a small deli near the office.

"They have good burgers here," Matt said, scanning the menu. He was stalling.

"I'm just going to have a salad." Closing the menu, she folded her hands and waited. It was straight-up noon, and the harried waitress was taking orders several tables over. Carley was glad to see her favorite sandwich shop back in business and full of hungry patrons. It had taken months for Houston to recover from the devastating effects of the hurricane, but life had obviously returned to normal.

Normal. Such a loose term, she thought, waiting for Matt to drop whatever news had prompted the lunch.

Matt finally closed his menu and sighed. "Carley, you're a good reporter ..." The lines above his bushy brows became more prominent. She waited for the but. He cleared his throat instead, and she took theopportunity to remind him of her tenure.

"I've been with the paper four years. I'd like to think I've done a good job." He nodded his agreement, although his expression remained solemn. "What's wrong, Matt?"

She searched his face, her heart rate kicking up. Matt had been her editor at the paper since she started, and they'd been to lunch only twice. Once as a celebration of sorts when she won a prestigious award, and once when Matt felt an article she wrote had crossed the journalistic line.

She hadn't won any awards lately.

"Carley, you've got plenty of unused vacation. Why haven't you taken any?" His eyes cut to the jagged scar spanning three inches across her left forearm. Instinctively, her right hand covered the evidence of the event that had forever altered her life.

"I took two weeks off when Mom died." Where is he going with this? It's been six months since the accident.

"Carley," he grumbled, "that wasn't a vacation, and part of that time you were in the hospital yourself." He shook his head as the waitress approached.

"I'll have the grilled chicken salad," Carley said after Matt ordered his burger and fries. She immediately regretted her decision. What was the point? You couldn't live forever. She bet her mother would have loaded up with an extra helping of pie on Christmas Day if she'd known it was her last day on earth.

"No, wait. I change my mind. I'll have a burger and fries too."

"Good girl," Matt said after the waitress scurried away. "You're too thin as it is."

"Now what were you saying, Matt?" She'd rather get this over with and salvage her appetite.

"I want you to take some vacation time."

Although his tone left little room for argument, she quickly countered. "I don't need a vacation."

"If you don't see it, then I'll just come out and say it: you aren't at the top of your game. You're a far cry from it, Carley. Your stories lack the zing they used to have. The facts are there, but they're lacking ... What's the word I'm looking for?"

"I have no idea." She folded her arms across her chest.

"Emotional capacity," he continued. "You used to weave emotion into your stories-just enough to spruce up the article." He shrugged, and she saw the pity in his eyes as they locked with hers. "The intensity of your writing just isn't there anymore."

"I-I didn't realize that." She fought the sudden tremor in her voice. "I'll work harder."

When it appeared Matt was going to argue, she dug deep for the truth. "I need to work, Matt. It's all I have."

She dropped her gaze, hating the vulnerability she knew her expression revealed. Matt has to understand. I can't take any time off. What would I do? Until six months ago, her leisure time had been divided among her mother, her boyfriend, and her friends. Now her mom was gone, and Dalton had broken off their three-year relationship. And after one too many declines, her few girlfriends quit asking her to participate in their activities.

She had nothing but work.

"That's what I mean, Carley," Matt urged. "You are a beautiful woman with no relationships or interests outside of work. You're slowly withdrawing from life, and it's noticeable in your writing." He leaned over the table. "Carley, on a personal note, we're worried about you."

"Who is we?" She knew the answer. "Katrina?"

Her reporting rival had bumped up a notch to assistant editor awhile back and now latched onto every opportunity to remind Carley of her position.

"Yes, Katrina and I discussed it, Carley, but-"

"She doesn't like me, Matt."

Right away she realized the comment sounded childish.

"Not true." Matt shook his head and pushed an envelope in Carley's direction. "This is a month's vacation pay. You've accumulated a lot more than that. Take a month off, Carley. Come back refreshed. You should have taken more time off after the accident."

Carley peered at the envelope on the table as the waitress returned with their lunches and offers of ketchup and extra napkins. "I'm not taking a vacation, Matt. Why should I be forced to use my time right now?"

"Because you wouldn't like the alternative." He wrapped his mouth around his burger.

Carley wasn't hungry for anything except Katrina Peighton's hide. This was her doing, not Matt's.

"So let me get this straight. Either I go on vacation or I'm fired?"

"Don't look at it that way, Carley," Matt said between bites. "Take advantage of this. I would."

Her thoughts churned. What will I do? Sit around my big empty house?

No. Too much time to think.

She bargained. "I'll take a week off."

"A month, Carley. We will welcome you back with open arms in one month."

By the end of the meal, she'd reluctantly accepted the envelope. Not that she had any choice in the matter. Matt made it quite clear her vacation started directly after lunch.

Chapter Two

Carley tried to keep her eyes on the road as she studied the map laid out beside her on the car seat. She'd never been to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but a sign flashed by, indicating twenty-six miles to the town of Paradise. Good. She was on the right track.

She watched the farmland scrolling by and thought about seeing Lillian. Her friend had fled the craziness of Houston a year and a half ago, moved in with her Amish grandparents, married an Amish man, and now happily resided in the town of Paradise with her new family. Carley couldn't help but wonder how much her friend might have changed. From her initial letters Carley knew Lillian's grandparents' farm in Paradise had provided Lillian with a safe haven where she could get her life together. But when Lillian wrote to say she had converted and was staying-that was a lot to swallow. Carley couldn't get past the lack of electricity, much less the fact that Lillian had married Amish widower Samuel Stoltzfus, become a stepmother to his thirteen-year-old son, and now had a baby of her own.

Of course, Carley knew she had changed too. Everything had changed last Christmas Day ...

According to Lillian's letters, she had been baptized in the Amish faith-a required step toward marrying an Amish man. Her friend also adhered to all their Plain customs, including the wardrobe. It was an unbelievable transformation. No television, makeup, jewelry. No computer.

Hmm. Carley eyed her laptop on the floorboard of the rental car. How was she going to charge the battery?

One thing shone through in all Lillian's letters: she was happy. As a writer, Carley excelled at reading between the lines. She had looked for clues that perhaps Lillian wasn't as content as she let on. She couldn't find one. Lillian's destination seemed to have brought her the peace Carley knew Lillian longed for.

Carley felt like she was still wandering, her own destination unknown.

Which brought her to her current situation. In her last letter to Lillian, Carley had asked her friend if she might come for a visit and do an article about the Amish ways. Lillian quickly responded with an invitation-which Carley accepted the day her forced vacation began. She would put her leave to good use. Even better, she would incorporate work into her trip.

Work would keep her sane.

* * *

Lillian popped a loaf of bread into the gas oven. Carley would be hungry when she arrived. Hopefully her friend would like the meatloaf and baked corn casserole she had prepared, along with the chocolate shoofly pie for dessert. If she hurried, she could have the meal ready before Anna woke up for her feeding.

She scanned the wooden table in the middle of the kitchen. It was covered with a variety of jellies and applesauce and some pickled red beets. For a moment she pondered whether she should have tackled the sauerbraten recipe instead. But the meatloaf was a lot less work, and Anna had been fussy all afternoon. She'd fallen behind on the household chores.

Maybe she should have baked a peach pie instead of the rich shoofly with its filling of molasses and brown sugar.

Or maybe she should stop worrying so much about Carley's arrival. But she couldn't help it. Their last time together, Lillian had sported blue jeans, a name-brand blouse, stilettos, full makeup and silver jewelry, and a designer handbag.

She tucked a loose strand of hair beneath her white Kapp, glancing down at her blue linen dress covered by a black apron. Her plain black leather shoes were a far cry from the spiked heels of her past.

The screen door slammed shut behind her. Samuel.

"It smells gut in here," he said, kissing her smile before tossing his hat onto the rack in the den.

"Danki. I hope it's gut." She breathed in the aroma of baking bread while she mixed the sauce that would go on top of the meatloaf. "I hope Carley likes it."

"Your friend will be here soon, no?"

Lillian knew Samuel worried about her Englisch friend coming to visit. They had discussed it, and although Samuel assured her it was fine for Carley to stay with them for the month of May, Lillian also knew Carley's visit was an exception to an unspoken rule: no outsiders allowed. But it wasn't that long ago she'd been the outsider in the Old Order Amish district. How quickly a year and a half had gone by.

"She should be here any minute," Lillian informed Samuel. "It's almost four thirty, and I know you must be hungry. David should be home soon too. He's at Mamm's doing some yard work." She stirred the sauce atop the gas range. "I think you'll like Carley, Samuel. And she promised me the story she writes for her newspaper will include only things we're comfortable with."

She caught the uncertainty on Samuel's face, which he quickly hid with a half smile. "Ya, I know," he replied.

"You said there are a lot of misconceptions written about the way we live. Wouldn't it be nice for someone to get it right in print?" She challenged his skepticism with a playful wink, hoping to alleviate some of his fear.

"Ya, it's just that ..." He hesitated, grimacing.

"What?" She turned the fire down under the sauce and slid in beside him at the kitchen table.

"I'm sure everything will be fine, Lillian. I just don't trust those who print words about our lives, and I don't know this Englisch woman."

Lillian grasped his hand. "But I do. And I trust her, Samuel."

"Then I will trust her too." He gave her hand a squeeze. "Now where's my little boppli?"

"Anna should be waking up hungry any minute. I was just trying to finish supper before Carley gets here." She returned to the sauce, and Samuel stood. "Carley is a gut person, Samuel. Try not to worry."

As his arms wrapped tightly around her waist, Samuel nuzzled the back of her neck. "You are a gut person, Lillian. Besides, worry is a sin."

"Ya, it is," she whispered as she tried to push aside her own worries over Carley's arrival.

* * *

Carley pulled into the dirt driveway off Black Horse Road. In the distance, she could see two gray buggies parked beside a white farmhouse surrounded by colorful foliage. Two crimson barns stood off to one side. Drawing closer, she noticed two horses peeking out the window of the smaller structure. The place was incredibly manicured-neatly trimmed grass in the yard, and the fields freshly cut as well. She could already picture herself watching the sunset from one of the wooden rockers on the large wraparound porch. It would be like living in a postcard.

She continued to scan her surroundings as she parked the white Ford alongside one of the buggies. When she stepped out of the car, she poked her head inside one of the boxlike transports. Black leather seats and room enough for four. She couldn't wait to go for a ride.

The squeak of a screen door drew her attention toward the house. The woman running down the porch steps-in a blue dress with a black apron, white cap, and black shoes-might have been hard to recognize on the street. But Lillian's full smile and bubbly bounce gave her away instantly. That was how Carley remembered Lillian, and she was glad to see some things hadn't changed.

"Lillian!" She hurried across the yard, greeting her friend with a hug. "You look great!" It was true. Her friend's transformation into an Amish woman worked for her. Dressed in her Plain clothes, devoid of makeup and the accessories of the past, her face gleamed. Carley could only assume it was the peacefulness Lillian had spoken of in her letters.

Carley needed a dose of that.

"I look a lot different than the last time you saw me." Lillian's voice sounded uncertain.

"Yes, you do. You look happy. And I'm so glad for you. Where's the baby?" She couldn't wait to get her hands on little Anna.

"Inside with Samuel. Come in, come in." Lillian grabbed Carley's hand and tugged her toward the house with the enthusiasm she was known for. "You look great, too, Carley. You really do."

It was a sweet thing to say. And Lillian tried to sound convincing. But Carley knew she didn't look great. The past six months had taken their toll.

Forcing the thought aside, she clomped up the porch steps behind Lillian. When they reached the top, Lillian stopped and eyed Carley's shoes. "I'll tell you a secret," she whispered. "I miss fancy shoes."

Carley looked down at her friend's feet. "You always did have a thing for shoes. But I bet those are a lot more comfortable than these." She pointed to her brown, pointy-toed pumps.

"Oh, I'm sure they are. But if you catch me trying on your shoes while you're here, don't tell anyone."

"It'll be our secret."

The two of them giggled like schoolgirls. It felt good. As Lillian ushered her into the house, Carley wondered if Matt had been right. Maybe she did need a vacation. Being around Lillian might provide a much-needed reprieve from the grief that had blanketed her in Houston.

They entered the house through the kitchen. Backless benches on each side of a wooden table stretched long enough to seat at least ten people. While there were no ornate carvings on the table or benches, the colorful display of various foods complemented it.

Plain whitewashed walls and white countertops were enhanced by vibrant blooms on each of the three windowsills. No microwave or electrical gadgets. With the exception of a large rack holding various pots and pans next to the stove, there were no wall hangings. The room was functional yet charming.

Carley glanced up at the lantern dangling from the ceiling above the middle of the table. "Wow."

Lillian stood at a gas range against the far wall, swirling a spoon in a large pot. Wonderful aromas emanated from that part of the room. "It's a lot different from the kitchen I had in Houston," she said sheepishly as she set the spoon on the countertop and motioned for Carley to join her at the kitchen table. "But you know how much I like to cook. And one thing is for certain: Samuel and David like to eat."

"Do you miss it-your life before, I mean? The modern conveniences?"

"Nope," Lillian said without reservation, then paused with a twinkle in her eye. "Only the shoes."


Excerpted from Plain Pursuit by Beth Wiseman Copyright © 2009 by Beth Wiseman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.


Meet the Author

Beth Wiseman is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Daughters of the Promise, Land of Canaan, and Amish Secrets series. While she is best known for her Amish novels, Beth has also written contemporary novels including Need You Now, The House that Love Built, and The Promise.

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Plain Pursuit (Daughters of the Promise Series #2) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Becky32982 More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading the wonderful Christian romance titled, Plain Pursuit by Beth Wiseman. It is the story of a journalist named Carley who travels to Amish Country to visit her friend, Lillian, who has recently joined the Amish faith. Carley is looking for a vacation to rediscover herself and the chance at a great article about Amish living. During her visit, Lillian's stepson becomes ill and Carley begins to fall for his doctor, Noah. Noah was raised Amish and was shunned but he Amish community. Carley is forced to take a new look at her life and relationships with friends and God to decide where to go next. I really enjoyed this book. After reading it, I discovered it was the second book in a three book series. I immediately reserved the other books at my local library. I really enjoyed the whole series and finished each book in a matter of days. It is easy, joyful reading that makes you long for a simpler life full of love, family, and faith. The characters were very like able and realistic. The details into the culture and traditions of the Amish life were very intriguing and were represented in a positive, respectful manner. My only complain with this book is that it can be somewhat cheesy at times but overall is a very well-written moving love story.
YesminKhan More than 1 year ago
Beth Wiseman is a new author with a very bright future. She captures the reader from word one and holds them till the very end. I found myself reading long into the night ( till 3am ) not wanting to stop. She brings forth life into each character making them seem very real and life like. I found myself wanting to move to Paradise Penn. I truly enjoy that she has continued with each character from book one and into book two and will hopefully be in book three ( I hope!! ). Without spoiling the story for anyone who has yet to read it ( and what is taking you so long to read it i ask!!? ) she makes the reader feel the love that the character has, the pain that they have, the happiness, everything. I know new authors come and go, however, Mrs Wiseman is here to stay. Her style of writing romance is refreshing and sweet. She weaves Gods love for us into each story, in such a sweet way. That no matter what your faith is you will feel as if it is your faith that she is writing about. The only thing I can say about the book, is that it is Awesome!!
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retromom More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the Daughters Of Promise series. Carley Marek is a journalist who is having a hard time dealing with the loss of her mother after a tragic car accident in which Carley survives. She is struggling with her survival and the loss of her mother. She is forced to take a much needed vacation from work and ends up going to visit her Amish friend Lillian in Pennsylvania. While Carley is there, Lillian's stepson, David is discovered to need a kidney transplant. Dr. Noah, who first treats David is actually a shunned member of Lillian's new family. This brings many questions to Carly's mind about God's role in her life as well as the lives of others and forgiveness. This series is very pleasant to read. I am enjoying meeting the various families and getting to know them. I like how Beth Wiseman gives us an honest look into the lives of the Amish. I could see and understand the story from both points of views, the Englishers and the Amish. This book leaves you with a feeling of hope at the end. As a bonus there are a few Amish recipes in the back of the book.
Romance_LoverMP More than 1 year ago
In Plain Pursuit Beth Wiseman not only gives the reader a glimpse of Amish life, she also imparts a strong faith-in-God message. Ms. Wiseman's unique handling of shunning reveals the struggles of family members from both sides of the issue, something other Amish novels I've read had not addressed with such sensitivity and depth. Because Plain Pursuit is a romance, the plot follows the predictable romance format, but that doesn't detract from the story. The lovers' poignant journey draws the reader in, and plot twists keep the pages turning. The glossary of Pennsylvania Dutch words and the recipes adds a warm, homespun flavor. Carley Malek, a Houston journalist, is forced by her editor to take a month's vacation because she is not recovering well from personal tragedy. She ends up spending several weeks with her friend, Lillian, who had converted to the Amish faith in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and married Samuel, a widower with a young teenage son, David. Carley only plans to rest and recuperate and take advantage of her time off to write an in-depth article about the Amish. But when David becomes critically ill, her quiet visit quickly turns to something else. At the hospital Carley meets Dr. Noah Stoltzfus, a man Lillian and Carley are stunned to learn is Samuel's shunned brother. To accept God's calling on his life, Noah turned from his Amish faith and family during his teens. He also antagonized his family by writing a book that invaded their privacy, a big Amish no-no. He and Carley are immediately attracted to each other, and he hopes she'll be his go-between with Samuel and his other family members. But Carley is reluctant to agree, because she doesn't want to offend Samuel and Lillian. Even after Noah risks his life to save David, the shunning--a reality that wounds the hearts of all involved--hangs over the family like a dark shroud and gravely impacts everyone's life. Plain Pursuit is loaded with tender love and aching conflict. One can't experience the Amish shunning without emotional upheaval, so strong elements of pride, selfishness, and resentment surface, but so do humility, selflessness, and forgiveness. And as the characters soul-search and repent, they learn to trust the Lord and surrender their wills to Him. I found Plain Pursuit a highly enjoyable read. So much so that it provoked me to buy Plain Perfect to read Samuel's and Lillian's story too. I found it equally touching, and look forward to reading all the books in the "Daughters of Promise" series. Disclaimer: In accordance with Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255, this book was sent to me directly from the publisher and as such constitutes compensation for my review. All opinions are strictly my own.
Rebecca_Marie More than 1 year ago
I have read Plain Pursuit written by Beth Wiseman and published by Thomas Nelson who has generously provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. At first I was only interested in reading a book that would be entertaining, I have read plenty of Amish stories before and the layout seems all too familiar to me. What an unexpected surprise to hold in my hands a book that didn't just entertain me but tugged my heart strings, caused me that cliche of laughing and crying. I had read no other book written by Beth Wiseman before how ever thanks to Plain Pursuit I will gladly consider any other she has written. The book follows the lives of Carley who has been forced to take a vacation. Being a workaholic she merges her work and involuntary vacation in visiting a friend of hers who has joined the Amish way of life. The book also follows a man named Dr. Noah who is the only man who can save the life of a young Amish boy. Trouble sets when the entire Amish community will have nothing to do with the Dr., even the boys father stays away from the very man who can save his son's life! Carley see's a story, a mystery to unravel, and Dr. Noah see's a chance to use her to help save a boys life and as an opportunity at redemption. The author does not just use Amish facts or fiction to write this incredible book but she fully understands, grasps and communicates the very base emotions of those in her book. Each character is not surface writing but true depth in each person she has written in. Each with their own stories, mindset, emotions, pain, each grappling with the desire to heal but the fear of being hurt. So true to every person not just the Amish. The story twists bringing on the unexpected, and sometimes just for the readers peace of heart the very expected. This book was very delightful in every way it will be one that I will read again and even recommend to others.
Ibreathe2read More than 1 year ago
The story starts out very much like Beverly Lewis's The Redemption of Sarah Cain. Down-on-her-luck-reporter, Carley Marek, is forced to take a vacation after a fatal car accident. Carley tries to turn her month long "vacation" to Lancaster Pa, into an article, that's sure to bring her back on top, but the Amish family she is staying with, are skeptical she will write a fair article about Amish life. I had never read "Amish" fiction before I'd read Plain Pursuit. But I was pleasantly surprised about how much liked it. Of course it wasn't "edgy" or "head-over-heels" romantic but, it had something that, just made you want to read more. The story starts out very much like Beverly Lewis's The Redemption of Sarah Cain. And although this is a series, I didn't feel I was missing much by not reading the first book in the Daughters of the Promise series, Plain Perfect. The characters were real, even when it came to the Amish family, Carley was staying with. They had charm and wit. I like how the romance between Noah and Carley was sweet and gentle at first. Noah never wanting to frighten Carley off, and on the next plane home. Carley, knowing she can never fully be what Noah wants in a wife. These things keep the two distant from each other, despite the attraction they feel. The story takes a turning point when Lilly's , Carley newly converted Amish friend, stepson falls gravely ill, and the only one who can help save him, is being shunned by his "Amish" family, which she is not a part of. The emotions in Plain Pursuit aren't dialed down, and show real fear and despair in a life or death situation and the frustrations of knowing there is a cure but pride is in the way. Plain Pursuit is a very relatable book that has a message we should hear (or read, in this case) from time to time. I would definlety recommend this book to anyone who loves a sweet romance combined with a little heartbreak and a message that can be applied to everyone.
HeidiMain More than 1 year ago
To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm not really into historical or amish novels, but once I began reading this, I could not put it down. At the end of the book, I was so engrossed with the characters that I cried - always a sign of a good book! Beth Wiseman, author, did a wonderful job painting a picture of Amish living. Carley is a non-Amish woman that is integrated into the community. I loved seeing the Amish community from Carley's perspective. How she wonders if a simpler way of life might be a better way to live. Life without television, computers, telephones, cell phones, electricity . . . hmm the Amish do have a point! I enjoyed how Beth deepened the characters with every chapter. Each scene and chapter ended with a lingering question--making this a page turner!
NikoleHahn More than 1 year ago
Amish romance has hit the Christian culture like the Twilight series has hit the secular world-like a nuclear bomb. Authors like Beverly Lewis have colored the Amish in a rosy glow, and Beth Wiseman is no different. When you first open the book, she lists a few Pennsylvania Dutch words and their definitions. I work with a family whose roots are from Pennsylvania Dutch country and find the language quaint. The story comes from the points of view of Carley (a woman who lost her mother and has an overprotective brother), Lillian (formerly a city-girl who fell in love with an Amish farmer, Samuel, and became baptized into the Amish religion), and Noah (the shunned brother of Samuel). Carley is still struggling with the unexpected death of her mother. The accident stole her mother and her ability to have children. From the first page to the last page, Beth Wiseman weaves an intricate tale of romance, struggles with past bitterness, and a family's internal struggle with honoring their vows to the Amish Ordnung. A shunning is when a person has been baptized into the Amish religion and chose to leave after the fact. It seems black and white. A promise is truly sacred in God's eyes, but Noah had a calling from God. He tries to explain this to Samuel, but Samuel is caught between his own promise to shun and his own bitterness over Noah's betrayal (of which you will have to read the book and find out what Noah did to betray the Amish). As you get involved in the lives of Noah, Lillian, Samuel, David and Carley, you will weep in sorrow, sing for joy, and learn about the Amish lifestyle. It is simple. It is hard work. I can see why so many people are fascinated by the Amish. Will Noah and Carley have a 'happily-ever-after,' or will Carley submit to her own fears? When you reach the end of the book, there is a list of reader questions, like, "The Amish believe that shunning is a way to keep the church pure. It is not intended to be a punishment, but an opportunity for the person shunned to right his or her ways in the eyes of God. Do you feel this is a fair and acceptable practice? Or do you believe it is cruel? Should exceptions be made in certain cases? Have you ever been shunned by someone you love? Have you ever shunned?" This question is very powerful. Shunning, in my opinion, is emotional blackmail to force a person to return to a way of life he or she disagrees with instead of respecting healthy boundaries. At the end of the book you will also find recipes. Beth Wiseman writes in Acknowledgments, "To my Old Order Amish friend in Lancaster County, thank you for allowing me to share your fabulous recipes." Read the book. It is available through many bookstore outlets and Amazon.com. You will reluctantly close the book after the last page is read and wish to hear more about Carley and Noah. They become like old friends. Settle into your favorite quilt, sip a cup of your favorite tea, and start reading. Escape from our present reality and listen to this tale of love and redemption so lovingly crafted. Review by Nikole Hahn http://www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com
ilovemy5kids More than 1 year ago
I jumped at the chance to read an Amish fiction book by Thomas Nelson. The Amish have always intrigued me and I thought this would be a great chance to learn even more. Carley Marek, the main character hails from Houston, Texas. (Immediately, I knew I was going to like that girl - I'm also from Houston.) Carley has experienced a few very traumatic and sad events in her life that causes her to take a "forced" vacation. She ends up in the Amish country. Instead of "resting," she gains new experiences that tend to change her life forever. This book was written in a way that kept me intrigued and delighted. I didn't want to put it down and even gave my children extra television time so I could finish reading it. From tears to laughter, my emotions were constantly being challenged. At the end of the book, the author even includes some great Old Order Amish Recipes. I can't wait to try those out! Would I recommend this book? The answer is definitely - YES! It is an easy read and is such a fine story. This is one book that is going to stay in my personal library. Out of one to five stars, (five being the highest), I give this book 5 stars! Blessings to you!!! You are LOVED!!! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
LisaLickel0 More than 1 year ago
Review of Plain Pursuit by Beth Wiseman Wiseman's series of romances set in Pennsylvania Dutch country are a delight to read. She's done the research and added a touch of the mother tongue to draw the reader even deeper in the life of her Amish characters. Plain Pursuit is the story of forgiveness. What act loses the love of family and community? Murder? Adultery? Writing a best-selling tell-all memoir? Wiseman explores the determination of a particular old-order Amish district's attempt to keep the church pure. They can forgive choosing not to join the community; they can forgive vow-breakers who rejoin. But forgiveness goes only so far. Guilt-ridden, fearful and wounded in body and spirit, Carley Marek is offered a choice by her boss: take a short-term vacation, or take a permanent one. Thinking she'd find peace and quiet, Carley chooses a working vacation with a friend who had joined an Amish community. The peaceful vacation is not to be as Carley is drawn first of all in to the early to bed and even earlier to rise lifestyle of her hosts, but also plunged into an emergency medical situation which forces all of Carley's fears to the surface. Can the handsome and pushy Dr. Noah put her fears to rest, even after Carley is asked not to see him? What would a shunned man know of God and forgiveness? I love books that make me a little weepy at the end, like this one. Then I feel the compelling emotion of the characters drawn by the author. Wiseman's stories are an honest and in-depth read for those who enjoy tales set in religious communities such as the Amish.
tiggerdaisy More than 1 year ago
Carley Marek finds herself forced to take a vacation or else lose her job. She reluctantly takes the vacation option and heads to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to visit a friend who recently left the ways of the world to join the Amish community. Wanting to keep busy by working, Carley expects to be able to write a story about the Amish that will portray who they really are, but what she finds may be more than her heart can handle. I have to admit that I have always been intrigued by the Amish, but until this book came out, I didn't know there were Christian fiction books that could teach me about the Amish way of life through a beautifully told story. With this book, Beth Wiseman has opened my eyes to a wonderful part of our society that I might not have known otherwise. And to top it all off, Beth even includes Amish recipes in the back. YUM! I loved the book so much that I did not want the story to end! I can't wait to read the other books by Beth Wiseman in the "Daughters of Promise" series. This book was provided to me for review by Thomas Nelson.
MichelleAlbertson More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful book! Okay, okay, I know I say that about a lot of books that I read. This book was one of those page-turners that you just can't put down. It's about a young woman named Carley, who finds herself very discontented with her life. She takes a month vacation to visit her Amish friend in Pennsylvania. Plain Pursuit is the story of her journey throughout that month. Wiseman does an amazing job of making you feel like you're right there in the story. The characters are well developed and story is easy to follow. When I first picked up the book, I thought to myself that this would be one of those books my mom would like - a typical romance story with some other stuff in between. It turned out to be so much better than that, and I can proudly say that I enjoy the same books as my mom. :)
tweezle More than 1 year ago
I love reading Amish novels, but it's hard finding authors that can live up to the standard that Beverly Lewis set. Beth Wiseman seems to be the exception, and may have even passed that standard. In "Plain Pursuit", Wiseman flawlessly blends both views and feelings of the Amish and the "Englisch" when she puts Carley in the Stolfus household and in the middle of the Amish community. It gave the book a certain realism and made the characters multidimensional. I enjoyed the book being centered around an "Englischer" intruding into the lives of the Amish instead of being focused on just the Amish point of view. I found the book refreshing, faith building and heartwarming. (Shhhh... don't tell anyone, but there were even times I found tears trying to surface.) This is the second book of Wiseman's Daughters of the Promise series, however, I read it as a stand alone novel, and didn't feel lost or like I was missing anything. I did love the book enough to order the first book "Plain Perfection" and am anxiously awaiting its arrival. One last note... In the back of the book are some absolutely delicious authentic Amish recipes. What a lovely bonus to a delightful novel!
Prolificreader More than 1 year ago
Carley Marek is forced to take a vacation by her boss, so she heads for Pennsylvania Dutch country and her Amish reformed friend. Entering the tranquil countryside and community of the Amish soon proves to be anything, but relaxing. From a shunning no one wants to forgive to a dying child in need of a kidney transplant, Carley is about to discover what she never expected to find. I hate clichéd Amish stories and there are so many out there. But, I am so thrilled to share with you a simply wonderful story. A tale fresh with new perspective on the Amish culture. I am a huge stickler when it comes to getting facts right on the Amish, but Beth Wiseman does a marvelous job on accuracy. It was like a breath of fresh air and a story I loved from page one to the end. There was one moment that must have been a typo when it came to changing character perspective, but aside from that it was a great read. The ending will even make you cry (in a very good way!) 5/5 stars!
LovenGod More than 1 year ago
Carley's dear friend Lillian has moved to Amish country. Not only that, she has converted to the Amish religion. Arriving for a visit, and a forced vacation by her boss, Carley is going to use this visit to write an article for her newspaper, but also to catch up with Lillian. Things quickly change though, as at the very beginning of her visit, Lillian's stepson David, falls and cuts his chin, using her rental car Carley drives them to the hospital. There a doctor who seems to know Lillian's husband Samuel treats David, and disturbs Samuel. Something just is not right about the whole story, and Carley can sense as does Lillian. Samuel, however is not sharing or telling anything. Life in the Stoltzfus family is fixing to change drastically. The doctor who knew Samuel is his brother who was shunned for leaving the Ordnung and becoming a doctor, but the big change is that David is sick, very sick. In fact his life is in danger, he will die without a kidney transplant. Of all the family, the only who is a match is the the doctor, Noah Stoltzfus. Samuel is full of mixed feelings, he loves his brother, even though he is shunned, but Samuel must follow the shunning, and even though it allows Noah to donate the kidney, it doesn't allow them to be in contact with Noah. How is this all going to work out?? Carley, facing her own demons, concerning hospitals, death and infertility, finds she is quickly falling for the shunned doctor. She realizes how important family is to him, and knowing she will never have children returns home to her job in Texas. Will she recover from her broken heart? Will David live? Will Dr. Noah Stoltzfus donate his kidney to a family member who cannot even talk to him according to the Amish Ordnung? Where will all of this bring Carley faith in God? A heart gripping story, full of twists, turns and even a bit suspenseful. Beth Wiseman has written another wonderful Amish story that will thrill her readers. You will not want to miss this book. Recipes and discussion guide at the end of the book. 346 pages US $14.99 4 and half stars This book was provided by Thomas Nelson for review purposes only.