A Plain Leaving

A Plain Leaving

by Leslie Gould

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764219696
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Series: Sisters of Lancaster County Series , #1
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 277,702
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Leslie Gould is the coauthor, with Mindy Starns Clark, of the #1 bestselling The Amish Midwife and The Amish Nanny. She is also the author of numerous novels including two Lancaster Amish series. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Portland State University and has taught fiction writing at Multnomah University as an adjunct professor. She resides with her husband and four children in Oregon. Learn more at www.lesliegould.com.

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A Plain Leaving 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
bjdoureaux More than 1 year ago
Jessica Bachmann has been on her own for three years. She has a job that she loves, and a boyfriend she cares for. Her life is good enough that she doesn’t regret leaving her Amish community, despite the time it took to get over the pain of the separation. Now, after the death of her father, she must return for the funeral. She struggles through her grief, as well as the painful reunion with her family, most of whom are anything but welcoming. She must also deal with the resurfacing emotions toward Silas, the love she left behind. In the midst of it all, Jessica’s aunt tells her the story of Ruby Bachmann, an ancestor from the time of the Revolutionary War. Ruby was faced with hardships and hard decisions. Will Ruby’s story guide Jessica back to her family? Or will it reinforce her decision to leave? This is the first Amish novel I’ve ever read, and I’m glad I gave it a chance. It’s very well written, and Gould does a good job of weaving the two stories together. There were a couple of times where I lost track of whose story I was reading. I don’t really fault the author for this. I think it was only in part due to the fact that the Amish community didn’t change much between the times of Ruby and Jessica. But it wasn’t a major confusion. It was more along the lines of “oh, wait… that’s right, Jessica has a car.” Other than that (which I blame mostly on my lack of concentration as of late), the book is wonderful. If you’re looking for a clean, faith-inspiring read, this is it.
MissTinasSnitzPie More than 1 year ago
Have you considered leaving all that you have known your entire life? Leaving your childhood home, your sisters, brothers, mother and father and anyone else who met something to you? If so, meet Jessica Bachmann who, for complicated reason did just that. Jessica thought all was right with her life until the day she received a phone call from her sister urging to come home, because of their father. When Jessica arrives home she not only learned about her father, but what her brother Arden planned to do with the land. No matter how far she may have moved, the love of the land her and her shared never left. MY THOUGHTS Leslie Gould takes you on a wonderful journey through time and writes about dangers of what fracking has on the land. You never know what you might read about in an Amish Novel! Learn more about Jessica and her families' land, as she discovers not everyone shares her and her fathers appreciation for the beauty of the land, but care more about it worth. It's difficult to express how much I enjoyed the writing style of Leslie. She finds a beautiful way to connect the past and present, while telling a wonderful story. Gould also enlightens the reader on the dangers of fracking. It opens your eyes to how much value the land around us has; more than money, it holds a unique beauty that should appreciated the Gould's characters do. I was given a copy of this book from the publisher for my review.
SouthernGalLovestoRead More than 1 year ago
Leslie Gould's A Plain Leaving is a heartwarming story that begins a new series, The Sisters of Lancaster County. Leslie crafted a story where the characters have to deal with some very complicated issues in their family relationships. Misunderstandings and poor communication provide realistic conflicts that keep the story flowing. A couple of elements make this story a little different from your average Amish story. One is that instead of a character struggling with the question of whether to leave their community -- a common thread in many stories -- Jessica is struggling with whether to return to her Amish community. Her strong pull to her family's farm and desire to understand family issues drew me in to her story. Another very interesting thread in the book is a historical thread that helps paint the picture of the family's heritage for several generations. This is a great story that I highly recommend to all fans of Amish fiction. Thanks to Bethany House for providing a copy of this book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.
Bookish-Bakes More than 1 year ago
What first caught my attention about this book was the switching between time periods. Sometimes, switching between two main characters can be frustrating. If I tend to like one character over the other, I usually become bored with the book. However, in A Plain Leaving, the author did a wonderful job at keeping both main characters interesting and delightful. Ruby and Jessica both have a lot in common, even though they are from two different time periods. The author does a good job at drawing out their humanity through their actions and emotions as they both face hardships. As a reader, this was what really helped me connect with all the characters. I am a sucker for historical fiction, I will just admit it here and now. Recently, I have noticed more historical Amish fiction being released, and I simply love it! The switch between time periods gives us a glimpse at what it was like for not just the first colonists but the first Amish communities to live in early America. The American Revolution was a favorite of mine in history class so I latched on to all the details and story line as her family faces the hardships that come with war. This book would be very educational to a young adult reader. The relationships gave me mixed feelings. The way Jessica reacts to her family, when returning home, was written perfectly. In the past, I have read Amish fiction that just felt stale and unrealistic. In those books, the characters felt emotionless, and they would frustrate me to no end. I understand that in Amish culture they tend to be more respectful at times in who they are conversing with and not speak out of turn, but they are still human and still have thoughts and opinions. In 'A Plain Leaving', the author did what I have not seen as much in Amish fiction. She wrote bolder characters that actually spoke their feelings out and argued with family members. They shared feelings and talked out their differences that I commend her for doing. It really helped pull me into the story. Now that being said, some relationships did feel over dramatized for lack of better word. As in, they just felt too much like a day time drama, but this was not all the time so it did not overwhelm the book too much. Sometimes I expected more out of her closest relatives, if they really grew up with her. The relationship that bothered me the most though was the one between her and Tom. It just felt so unrealistic at times. I understand that sometimes relationships just don't work out. However, when Tom would be doing things with the men or groups of the church, she would always be lonely and left at home. Most churches nowadays, at least the modern ones, tend to have activities for men and women. I would have expected her as an ex-Amish woman to jump in with these new people. That was what bothered me the most. The relationship just did not set well with me almost as if the character was not allowing herself to bond with the new church. It just felt awkward. The ending did feel a little rushed, but I think the author was just trying to wrap things up. However, I was satisfied with the ending. Overall, I did enjoy the story line, and I think that Ruby's story was my favorite of the two. A Plain Leaving is the first book in The Sisters of Lancaster County series. I would love to read the second book someday, and I am happy to see that the author is continuing her theme of having the past mixed with modern characters.
arkieclown More than 1 year ago
Leslie Gould is a very good author. She proved it again when she wrote A PLAIN LEAVING. It is the first book in The Sisters of Lancaster County. There is a lot going on in A PLAIN LEAVING and Gould orchestrated it expertly. It’s a dual timeline story between Jessica Bachmann with her friends and family in this time frame to back with her ancestor, Ruby Bachmann, during the Revolutionary War era through her Aunt Ruby’s storytelling. It’s a story of an Amish girls struggles to fit in and trying to decide if that is in the Amish world or the world of the English. Her father’s death leads her to find out more about both world – new truths and misconceptions both. A PLAIN LEAVING will be a book you won’t want to put down. It will make you sad and then have you laugh. There are people you love and those you don’t care for. But as in life, Jessica has to live with all of them in peace with herself. It will remind you that we are all made of where we came from as well as what we make of ourselves. Life is about decisions. Jessica had a lot of them to make when she came back to her home town for her father’s funeral. She listened to her heart and stayed true to herself. Along the way she helps other as well and maybe, just maybe she will bring peace back to a family whose fabric had come apart at the seams in places. A PLAIN LEAVING can be read as a standalone book. However, I’m sure you will be like me and definitely want to read the rest in this series. I know I can’t wait to see what direction Leslie Gould will take me on in my next reading adventure in one of her books!
Laundry_Whispers More than 1 year ago
I’ve not read this author before but something about the synopsis of this novel reached out to me in my monthly Bethany House email. I had to read it. And that it’s first in a series is just a bonus. Sometimes you want to start at the beginning. Other times, not so much but this was one of those sometimes. It has sat patiently in the book stack waiting for it’s turn. I have to say, I’m glad I read it and wish I’d read it sooner, but then of course it would have been over sooner. I read it right on time, in bed, sick, on my day off work. Jessica Bachmann made a hard choice three years ago. Already baptized into her faith she chose to leave. Her older brother Arden, her bishop, even her Mamm had turned a blind eye to her needs. There wasn’t a lot of understanding or even honesty. She left. She left her family, she left her boyfriend Silas, she left the hurts. She succeeded in the English world. Found a job, an apartment and got her GED. Her dat came to visit her, apparently never telling those back home. She was shunned. She met Tom and started dating him, even talked about the idea of marriage in the future and he met her dat. But then dat passed away. And she went home. Back to the lack of support, back to the lies and back to the family that didn’t want her anymore. She was shunned. Well, her aunt Suz wanted her and her sister Leisel, who originally called her. And her other older brother, Amos (Arden’s twin), who had left when Jessica was a child. There was a lot of heartache during the visit home, revisiting old wounds that weren’t as healed as anticipated. There were new wounds. And a little bit of healing. As I was reading this book I kept wondering what would happen if they didn’t go back. I don’t mean just Jessica but anyone who had left. We always read about leaving and/or coming home. I’ve not read anything where they choose not to return. What if Jessica went home and stayed home, her new home, her English home? I mean she did. For a minute. What if she stayed shunned, stayed English, and went about her life? What would that look like? I get that this is a series about sisters so I know where the future books are going to lean. Amos went home to stay, he did not come back. He’s been gone longer and has more life in the English world. But, what if? That’s the thoughts I had reading this book. I know, not about the book at all. Let’s talk about the book. The characters were so well developed that even the historical story-line blended in so well. Even the characters you needed to despise (Arden comes to mind) had a solid backstory that created who they were. Ruby had a choice to make, at a time when women had even less choices than they do now. Two lives, two men, her own identity. Jessica faced similar choices. Though her dat had allowed for her to have more options than a woman of their faith. Two lives, two men, her own identity. They may have chosen differently but their stories were so similar. Generations apart, different choices, different answers, the same outcome. Finding yourself in the middle. Standing for what you know is right for yourself. That’s ultimately the truth of ‘A Plain Leaving’. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany House. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
Laundry_Whispers More than 1 year ago
I’ve not read this author before but something about the synopsis of this novel reached out to me in my monthly Bethany House email. I had to read it. And that it’s first in a series is just a bonus. Sometimes you want to start at the beginning. Other times, not so much but this was one of those sometimes. It has sat patiently in the book stack waiting for it’s turn. I have to say, I’m glad I read it and wish I’d read it sooner, but then of course it would have been over sooner. I read it right on time, in bed, sick, on my day off work. Jessica Bachmann made a hard choice three years ago. Already baptized into her faith she chose to leave. Her older brother Arden, her bishop, even her Mamm had turned a blind eye to her needs. There wasn’t a lot of understanding or even honesty. She left. She left her family, she left her boyfriend Silas, she left the hurts. She succeeded in the English world. Found a job, an apartment and got her GED. Her dat came to visit her, apparently never telling those back home. She was shunned. She met Tom and started dating him, even talked about the idea of marriage in the future and he met her dat. But then dat passed away. And she went home. Back to the lack of support, back to the lies and back to the family that didn’t want her anymore. She was shunned. Well, her aunt Suz wanted her and her sister Leisel, who originally called her. And her other older brother, Amos (Arden’s twin), who had left when Jessica was a child. There was a lot of heartache during the visit home, revisiting old wounds that weren’t as healed as anticipated. There were new wounds. And a little bit of healing. As I was reading this book I kept wondering what would happen if they didn’t go back. I don’t mean just Jessica but anyone who had left. We always read about leaving and/or coming home. I’ve not read anything where they choose not to return. What if Jessica went home and stayed home, her new home, her English home? I mean she did. For a minute. What if she stayed shunned, stayed English, and went about her life? What would that look like? I get that this is a series about sisters so I know where the future books are going to lean. Amos went home to stay, he did not come back. He’s been gone longer and has more life in the English world. But, what if? That’s the thoughts I had reading this book. I know, not about the book at all. Let’s talk about the book. The characters were so well developed that even the historical story-line blended in so well. Even the characters you needed to despise (Arden comes to mind) had a solid backstory that created who they were. Ruby had a choice to make, at a time when women had even less choices than they do now. Two lives, two men, her own identity. Jessica faced similar choices. Though her dat had allowed for her to have more options than a woman of their faith. Two lives, two men, her own identity. They may have chosen differently but their stories were so similar. Generations apart, different choices, different answers, the same outcome. Finding yourself in the middle. Standing for what you know is right for yourself. That’s ultimately the truth of ‘A Plain Leaving’. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany House. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
ASimplyEnchantedLife More than 1 year ago
A Plain Leaving is everything that I used to hate in a book but a style that I now love. I know you're scratching your head and saying, "Huh?" Let me explain, A Plain Leaving is written in first person—a writing style for which I used to struggle with. Time has a way of changing people and now I long for more first-person novels in the Amish genre. It's so rarely done. I loved Jessica and getting into her head made me feel kinds of emotions. Anger, sadness, lonliness—I felt it all with her. Typically when I write a review, I try to point out all the negatives and end with the positives. There were no negatives for me with this story. The dual timelines between modern-day and the early Amish settlers were so beautifully woven. I've only read two books this year with a dual timeline and as of now they're sitting in first and second place for the top books of 2017. It's just awesome-sauce. Yes, I said awesome-sauce in a review. Unprofessional? Maybe. But it is how I feel. At first, I wanted Jessica to harden her heart against her family and run away to the safety of the English world. But, as time passed, I started to see that Jessica was running away from her problems. That's something I tend to do rather than facing them. And I began to hope that Jessica could face her fears and be better at healthy confrontation than I am. I wanted that for her on some deep emotional level. If you can't tell, I loved this book. I would absolutely suggest it to fans of Amish and historical fiction. A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Bethany House Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Christa4 More than 1 year ago
A Plain Leaving is the first book in The Sisters of Lancaster County by Leslie Gould. This fascinating book is one that you will definitely be rereading again and again. A Plain Leaving is a dual-time story. I was first introduced to dual-time stories by Leslie Gould and the Cousins of the Dove series she authored. I love reading them and look forward to the next one releasing! In A Plain Leaving, Jessica Bachmann returns to her family farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for her father's funeral. She left her Amish community and faith three years ago and never looked back. Her father was the only one from her family to visit her from time to time. Returning to Lancaster County stirs up old memories, both good and bad. She had her reasons for leaving, but now it seems she has some reasons for returning. Where is God leading her? Her Aenti Suz shares a story of Ruby Bachmann with her. Ruby was an ancestor of Jessica's who lived during the Revolutionary War. Does learning about Ruby's life shed any insight on Jessica's future? This book is a must-read! Everytime I reach for a book authored by Leslie Gould, I am never disappointed. Leslie is an exceptional author! She really brings the characters to life; you will feel like you are right there with them in beautiful Lancaster County, a most pleasant place to be! I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book from the author and have given my honest opinion.
RGNHALL More than 1 year ago
I truly could not figure out how this book was going to end.  I could feel the romantic conflict early in my reading.....Jessica with Tom, the Englisher, or Jessica with Silas, the Amish ex-boyfriend, but then as I continued to read, it also became...or Jessica remains single as Amish, or Jessica remains single as Englisher....I've read a LOT of Amish romance novels in my time and I will admit that I find the majority of them predictable though enjoyable.   So when I find one that leaves me guessing until the last page, I'm impressed.   Jessica Bachman is a highly likable character, as are Silas and Tom, but some of Jessica's family members leave a bit to be desired.  Jessica's story is juxtaposed with one of her ancestors, Ruby and her feelings for two men, one Amish and one English.  I got a little confused at times as the two stories were told in alternating paragraphs with Jessica's Aenti Suz telling Ruby's story to Jessica. I got the two main characters, Jessica and Ruby, confused as I read and would have to look back in the story to figure out which time period I was currently reading about.             I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers.            I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.
792393 More than 1 year ago
Fans of Beverly Lewis, long time writer of Amish stories who was born in the heart of Lancaster County, should enjoy what Gould offers as it has a very similar feel. I was easily able to blow through this in a couple of hours thanks to the easy pace and intriguing characters. Being very familiar with the practice of shunning thanks to the plethora of Lewis’ works it was easy to follow along with this story which is centered on a woman who is being shunned for leaving her family a few years ago but has returned due to the death of a parent. Unlike though in Lewis’ works when it came to someone being shunned, Gould has allowed her characters A LOT more interaction to the point you kind of need her many reminders that Jessica is supposed to be shunned. Lewis has always made it abundantly clear who was being shunned, by characters having no communication whatsoever, whereas Gould just has her character eat at a different table, be on the receiving end of tons of anger and some extreme un-Christian like behavior on the part of her siblings. That took some getting used to because Lewis has me trained to believe certain things about the Amish faith. I know the practice of shunning was supposed to be a huge plot point but it didn’t really feel like there was much shunning going on. The issue of fracking is a central point as well and it’s very obvious what the author thinks about that divisive issue. Overall if you’re a Lewis fan, the differences aside, I think you’d like this. It’s supposed to be the first in a new series which I’m assuming from the series title means the following books will follow the lives of Jessica’s 2 living sisters. It should be interesting to see how the author will handle those as they couldn’t be more different. One is more modern with an easygoing personality so it’s easy to like her and the other has a stick so far up her rear I’d be surprised she could sit in the pew for church service and she is completely NOT likeable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Disclaimer: I am a big fan of Amish fiction and don't find a lot that I don't enjoy. However, I absolutely loved this book and cannot wait for the next one in the series. This is a "time-slip" book alternating between present day with Jessica and back when Ruby, a descendant of Jessica's, is living during the Revolutionary War. Jessica left her Amish roots and became "Englisch" when issues were raised regarding the way things were being handled regarding her family farm and how she wanted to live her life. She left behind her whole family and the love of her life, Silas, and headed from her Lancaster home to Harrisburg where she got her own apartment and job in the modern world. She started dating Tom and was content with her life. However, a tragedy brings Jessica back home and she feels out of sorts. Dealing with the tragedy and her family who has shunned her, Jessica cannot wait to return to her life in Harrisburg. But, is that the life for her? In Ruby's setting, she is also confronted with trials and tribulations and leaving her home for Canada and a better life with her betrothed, Paul. The neighbor's nephew, Duncan, moves in next door to help his uncle but ends up helping Ruby with the endless work to keep her farm running while her brother is in Canada starting their new settlement. Along with his sister, Isabelle, Duncan starts helping Ruby's start to see to new possibilities. Both Ruby and Jessica, generations apart are faced with life changing decisions. Can Jessica learn from Ruby's story? I just was in love with the settings and the characters in this book. It was one of those rare books that I didn't want to end.
armcgraw More than 1 year ago
Every time I read a book from Leslie Gould, I think, “This is my favorite!” A Plain Leaving was no exception! In this lovely story, Jessica Bachmann, who had made the life changing decision to leave her Amish family and faith three years before, had to go home again for her beloved father’s funeral. She returned to face many family members who exhibited hostility and resentment toward her. especially her brother who wanted to allow fracking on the family farm against her wishes. Also contributing to her angst was reconnecting to Silas, the man she had planned to marry before leaving home. While Jessica is home, her aunt treats her with love and tells her the story of Ruby Bachman, the first girl to grow up on the farm during Revolutionary War times. There are many parallels in their stories, because each loved the land, lost a father, and had to make decisions about leaving the Amish faith. During the course of the book, Jessica wrestles with the reasons she had left and whether they still applied. She also had to come to terms with a relationship with a young man in her modern world and a reawaking love for the man she had left behind. This is a story of forgiveness, redemption, and the courage to move forward in life. I highly recommend this book!
faithsnana More than 1 year ago
Jessica Bachman left her family, friends, community, and Silas Kemp, the man she loved and made a life for herself in the English world. She was happy in her new life. She had a good job, friends, Tom, who she’s in love with, and, even though she was under the Bann, her father visited when he could. Three years later, Jessica found out just how much she missed her Amish life. Her father passed away and she went back home for his funeral. She had also been given an assignment that involved an Amish family in the area. His well was contaminated and his wife was sick. Jessica was afraid the same thing would happen to her family farm if her older brother Arden got his way. Upon her return, Jessica was treated coldly by her mother, Arden and his wife, and her sister Marie. She was shunned after all! Her younger sister Leisel, her Aunt Suz, and Silas were the only ones that didn’t treat her as though she didn’t exist. Leslie Gould has a way with storytelling and I love how she joins two worlds together. While back on the farm, Jessica’s aunt tells her of the history of the farm. Of her ancestors that lived there hundreds of years before. Jessica is very interested in Ruby Bachman’s story and looks forward to hearing part of it whenever her aunt has time to share it. Does Jessica go back to her English life and Tom or does being home with her family and Silas again make her change her mind and return to the community? Is she still in love with Silas? Does he still love her? What of Tom? Pick up a copy of this very well-written book and read Jessica’s story! I was given a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
4Gazpacho More than 1 year ago
In this book by Leslie Gould, Jessica Bachmann has already left the Amish community she grew up in. But she is called back by her youngest sister to attend her father's funeral. This is the most difficult thing she has ever done in her life because of the divisive family drama that pushed her out in the first place. She is subjected to shunning practices while at the same time she is trying to grieve over her father's passing. Then her brother Amos arrives. He had left the family more than a decade ago with similar conflicts in the family, especially with his twin, the brother now in charge of the family homestead. Her aunt Suz helps Jessica cope while inviting her to the house she lives in. So during the days Jessica stays with her aunt while she tells her a story about one of her ancestors, a Ruby Bachmann who lived Plain during the days of the colonial period and the beginning of the American Revolution against Britain. There are parallels between the two women of this book. Both have tough choices to make that can change their lives drastically. The historical fiction story about Ruby Bachmann is filled with suspense and tough choices. As Jessica was listening to her aunt telling this story, she wasn't quite sure what point her aunt was making. Not until the very last few pages of the book does Jessica realize what the message was. In the meantime, watching her former fiance court another woman was breaking her heart when it shouldn't have, and seeing her older brother plan things for her father's farm that could jeopardize the family legacy irreversibly worried her in spite of the fact that she no longer lives on the farm. What was her heart trying to tell her? This is a fast-paced contemporary story about family conflicts, past hurts, reconciliation, and challenges that keeps our interest high. I loved this story. I loved the story within the story as well. Many of the characters go through a transition within their character. There are a lot of good dynamics moving throughout this book that takes awhile to process. There are even a few surprises toward the end of both stories. But all the conflict is well worth reading. I know this is one book I will enjoy reading several times. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers on behalf of the author. I was not required to write a review, positive or otherwise. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
joyful334209 More than 1 year ago
A Plain Leaving is a twisty turny, exciting, romantic, reuniting story phew that was a mouthful.. Jessica just left the Amish community, and hasn't come back or contacted anyone until now , you see her father was promoted to glory ' for those who don't know what that is he has passed on ' so she decides to go and find out the family is in trouble with a major problem, which you have to read for yourself to find out what it is she is told a story about the past and the present and why you may ask? well you have to read it to find out. This story has most of all faith, restoration, forgiveness, decisiveness, abandonment, callousness, condemnation, courageouseness, encouragement, familiarity, and most of all GODly direction . I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all the opinions expressed in this review are all my own.
theskett More than 1 year ago
Plain Leaving is a time-slip novel with story lines set during the Revolutionary War and the current day. The first shift made me refocus, I was so caught up in the contemporary story. Once I had both stories in my head, the shifts worked well as the two stories are closely related and the reflecting back in time makes perfect sense within the contemporary story. Readers hope for the best for various characters and anxiously follow along to see how things will turn out for them. I especially liked the thought of setting aside rules in favor of relationship with God, as characters made choices for a spiritual connection. Knowing this is a series, I definitely want to read more about Jessica, Leisel, Silas, and Duncan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of A PLAIN LEAVING by Leslie Gould from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. This is the first book in the series “Sisters of Lancaster County.” I love Amish books and couldn’t wait to dive into this one as soon as it arrived in the mail. I was doubly excited because it takes place in Lancaster County and I’ve been there often on vacation. I’d read Leslie Gould before, too, so I knew I would be in for a treat. She is an excellent storyteller. I admit that I don’t always picture her settings, but her characters are so real. This was an awesome Amish book. My favorite part is that it also involves the story of a Revolutionary War ancestor. I am a huge history buff when it comes to the Revolutionary War because I used to volunteer at Fort Stanwix. I just swallow up anything historical. I actually enjoyed Ruby’s story more than Jessica’s. My only complaint for the book is that, like with all books I’ve read by Leslie Gould so far, I had trouble picturing the setting and characters. I recommend this to fans of Amish and historical fiction.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
A Plain Leaving by Leslie Gould is the first book in The Sisters of Lancaster County series. Jessica Bachman is at work when she receives a call from her sister, Leisel that their father has passed away. Jessica left their Amish community three years prior and is shunned (she was baptized when she left). She returns for the funeral and receives a less than warm welcome from her relatives. Jessica is filled with mixed feelings upon her return. She misses her home and family, but Jessica still remembers why she left. Silas Kemp (courted Jessica for two years) works on the farm and Jessica realizes that her feelings for him have not faded. At their father’s funeral, Arden (her older brother) has a heart attack. Jessica is the one person who can keep the farm running while he recovers (and he really does not want to ask for her help). While on the farm, Jessica spends time with her Aenti Suzanne who shares a special story with her about their ancestor, Ruby Bachman. When the time comes for Jessica to return to her home, will she want to leave or return to her roots? A Plain Leaving was such a lovely story. I was drawn into the book from the very beginning. The characters are nicely developed. There are characters that readers will love and there are ones that you will love to hate (Arden, Marie, Bethel). In the face of such dislike and contempt, it can be hard to turn the other cheek. A Plain Leaving has a good pace, beautiful setting, and good writing. Leslie Gould managed to combine the two storylines (Jessica and Ruby’s) into one pleasing book. Some of the themes in A Plain Leaving are love, hope, forgiveness, foolishness, choices, history, trusting in God and having faith. I appreciated the growth of the characters in the story. I am rating A Plain Leaving 5 out of 5 stars (I loved it). I did not want A Plain Leaving to end. It is an inspiring story. I am eager to read the next book in The Sisters of Lancaster County series.
vics49548 More than 1 year ago
Author Leslie Gould deals with the age old question, can you go home again? She also tackles modern day issues such as fracking and well contamination. A dual story, current day and Revolutionary War, the stories are tied together very well and it was fun to read both. The characters are real and well developed with human flaws, fears, and triumphs. Some of the characters are so lovable, while others make you want to shake them for their attitudes. It’s certainly not a boring book! And surprisingly, the ending(s) aren’t all neatly tied up. That causes me to look forward to Book 2. I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was not required to leave a review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading A Plain Leaving by Leslie Gould. I had previously only read a couple of books set in and around the Amish community so did not really know what to expect from this book. I really enjoyed this story. I read the majority of it in two sittings because I could not put it down.  Jessica left the Amish community three years ago but has received news of a death in the family that brings her back to her farm. While there, she confronts all of the people that led her to leave as well as the ones that have supported her along the way. Jessica learns about what she really wants out of life through the time spent with her family on the farm. Jessica's aunt also provides a story about an ancestor that was going through similar issues. Through the story of the past and the time spent in the present, Jessica works to figure out if she will stay with her family or go back to the life she has made for herself over the last 3 years.  This story moved at a quick pace and had an interesting story line. I wanted to know more about what had led to Jessica's leaving as well as what she was going to do. I also loved the story that her aunt told about their ancestor's. There was also a bit of a love involved that made this a really beautiful story.  I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. 
Barb00 More than 1 year ago
Author Leslie Gould is a superb author. She writes two stories, one that's happening now and the other one the Aunt tells of their ancestors, home and farm many years ago. She weaves these two stories into a magnificent book. I did not want to stop reading until I was finished. You do not want to miss reading "A Plain Leaving" . It's Book One of The Sisters of Lancaster County series. Looking forward to Book Two. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and the author but was not required to review it. This review is one hundred percent my opinion.
Julie Johnson More than 1 year ago
Leslie Gould scores high marks with this book. As always, she takes the traditional Amish story to a whole new level by her thoughtful additions of relevant current events. Simultaneously weaving two separate stories of two generations of the Bachmann family--one contemporary and the other ancestral--Gould portrays the angst accompanying love relationships between Amish and Englisch partners within the social expectations of each generation. The modern Amish girl, who has left her community to join the world of the Englisch, believes she has adjusted well to life in the city until she must return home for her father's funeral. Then she faces the inevitable shunning as well as the boy she once loved. Has he truly forgotten her or do they both still harbor love for one another? And what about Tom, her boyfriend in town? She also finds herself caught in a feud between her older twin brothers and seeks to elicit truth without further destroying the family. The ancestral Amish girl deals skillfully with the realities of life during the Revolutionary War and the difficult choices pacifists were called upon to make, whether to join the Loyalists or the Patriots or flee to Canada. And again, the inevitable romance which, in this case, highlights the choice between marrying the Amish boy of her family's choosing or the Englischer she truly loves. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review reflecting my honest opinions.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
An in-depth look into an Amish family, spanning centuries, from current time to revolutionary times, an all on the same property in Lancaster area Pennsylvania. There is so much pain here, and when the story opens we are brought to the farm because of the death of the father. The author keeps us on ours toes, and yes this is a family story, but it is also the lands story. Can relate to some that goes on here, living on a farm that has been in our family since 1855, and having been contacted about fracking. The thought about destroying the land will make you cringe, and yes we are all human, no matter how we worship. The author has us thinking about the center of a family, and how easily it can be torn apart, and as we travel through the past, and way back we are going, and then the present, and a look at the future. Tangled relationships here, and we have to get to the very end of the book for answers, and yes this is a real page-turner, I could not put it down before I knew how it ended. I received this book through Bethany House Publishers and was not required to give a positive review.
Patricia Bird More than 1 year ago
A PLAIN LEAVING Author: Leslie Gould Publisher: Bethany House Reading a novel is like solving a puzzle (for me anyway). Where will the ending wind up? Can I guess the ending? I like to think I know where the author is going with their story. With A PLAIN LEAVING, it was more interesting to guess the outcome as Leslie Gould intertwines two stories. Jessica's story begins with her background of leaving her Amish home three years prior only to be called homes because her 'Dat' (dad) has passed away. She knows she will be shunned, which is the custom when you've turned your back on your Christian heritage and Church. She also has to come to terms with Silas, the childhood love she left behind as she headed for a life with the English culture. Ruby's story was set centuries before Jessica's on the same family farm as Jessica. Ruby's story is her struggle to keep the farm going, take care of her ill 'mamm' (mom) as all the rest of the family moves away to avoid fighting for the British. As Anabaptist, fighting is against their religion. Once 'mamm' feels better, Ruby will rejoin the family and the man she's going to marry ~ but will she? Ruby faces some hard life choices that aren't fitting for a woman of her Amish heritage. The author does a good job of keeping interest in both story lines. I personally found that I was more drawn to the story of Ruby and how her story ends. Did I guess right? Did I guess right how Jessica's would end? I can say, the author kept the interest, and I only knew for sure if I'd guessed right at each story's conclusion. Jessica and Ruby were both Amish women with lots of life altering decisions. The story is an easy read that kept my interest without unnecessary dull fill in reading. I give this book 5 stars because it is an awesomely, interesting read. Note: I received A PLAIN LEAVING as a free copy from the publisher. No review, positive or otherwise was required. All opinions are my own. My reviews are specifically my own interpretation of my like or dislike for a book that I read.