The Forbidden (Courtship of Nellie Fisher Series #2)

The Forbidden (Courtship of Nellie Fisher Series #2)

by Beverly Lewis


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The Church Split Has Not Extinguished Their Love,
But the Demands of One Man Still Stand in Their Way • .

Caleb Yoder's father has forbidden him to court Nellie Mae Fisher, but words alone cannot stop Caleb's devotion. Yet if he continues to pursue Nellie, he risks losing everything.

Nellie, too, is torn. She longs to marry her Old Order beau but cannot ignore the gentle pull she feels toward the faith of her New Order family. Can she and her beloved satisfy the expectations of the People while remaining true to their hearts?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764203114
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/01/2008
Series: Courtship of Nellie Fisher Series , #2
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, is The New York Times bestselling author of more than eighty books. Her stories have been published in eleven languages worldwide. A keen interest in her mother's Plain heritage has inspired Beverly to write many Amish-related novels, beginning with The Shunning, which has sold more than one million copies and was recently made into an Original Hallmark Channel movie. In 2007 The Brethren was honored with a Christy Award. She has been interviewed by both national and international media, including Time magazine, the Associated Press, and the BBC. Beverly lives with her husband, David, in Colorado. Visit her Web site at for more information.

Read an Excerpt

The Forbidden
By Beverly M. Lewis
Bethany House Publishers Copyright © 2008 Beverly M. Lewis
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7642-0311-4

Chapter One Nellie Mae Fisher loaded her newly baked goods onto the long sleigh and covered them with a lightweight tarp before tying everything down securely. She slipped her outer bonnet over her Kapp and breathed lightly as she pulled the sleigh through the backyard, toward the bakery shop behind her father's farmhouse. The January air was frosty, and she pushed the woolen scarf into place to protect her nose.

The expanse of land beyond Nellie's Simple Sweets lay buried beneath a blanket of snow, the unfruitful cornfield of last summer now as white and perfect as any neighboring field. A ridge of tall trees to the west stood stark and forklike against the sky, and only a handful of stray leaves still clung to the maples near the barnyard. Closer in, a few scraggly remnants of cornstalks remained, their reedy stems silhouetted brown against the snow.

Our first Christmas and New Year's ... without Suzy.

Nellie Mae sighed, struck by the way the sky seemed to hold back the daylight behind a barricade of gray-white clouds, hoarding it away, depriving the earth of direct sunlight. She'd heard her father compare the icy ground to iron, telling Mamma quietly that even death itself was not as hard as a field of frozen ground. With recent heavy snows and continuous arctic air, Nellie was certainly glad to have rescued Suzy's diary from the earth well before this cold, long month.

There had been times as children when she and Suzy would wade through waist-deep snow, unbeknownst to Mamma, who would've had a thing or two to say about it had she known. They'd longed for summer's glow during the dark months of the year, just as Rhoda and Nan had. All four sisters had used this selfsame sleigh over the years, pushing through the snow on foot, in search of spring's greenery. Even the sight of dull green lichen on a tree trunk gave cause for rejoicing.

Oh, for spring to hurry!

Nellie opened the door to the snug shop and began unloading the sleigh of the day's inventory of goodies. Immediately, though, she sensed something was amiss, and when she moved behind the counter, there was nineteen-year-old Nan crouched with her best friend, Rebekah Yoder, Caleb's older sister. They rose, streaks of tears on each girl's face, and Nan quickly sputtered, "Ach, but it's just so unfair."

Confused, Nellie shook her head. "What is?"

"Rebekah's father ... well ..." Nan glanced at her friend, who was clearly as upset as she.

Instantly Nellie knew why the pair had been hiding.

Rebekah dabbed her face with a handkerchief. "I'm not supposed to be here," she admitted and sighed loudly. "What with the split between the People, my father's not in favor of certain friendships."

Certain friendships?

Unable to divulge her own predicament, Nellie simply nodded as Rebekah revealed that her plight was "all the family's, truly." She didn't go on to explain what that meant, but Nellie presumed she was speaking for herself and her brother Caleb, as well as Rebekah's mother, who until these past few months had often given Nellie's mamma rides to and from quilting bees.

Nan suddenly reached for Nellie's hand. "Would it be all right, do ya think, if Rebekah and I met here sometimes to visit?" Nan's eyes were pleading.

Nellie forced a smile. Will I get myself in further trouble with David Yoder, harboring Caleb's sister?

Nan groaned. "Oh, I don't understand why this has to be."

Rebekah's face was taut with worry. "Me neither."

"Even the bishop said no one's to be shunned for followin' Preacher Manny and the new church," Nan reminded.

"Well, you don't know my father, then," Rebekah said. "He'll shun if he wants to."

Nellie's spirits sank like a fallen cake.

"Come." Nan reached for Rebekah's hand and led her toward the door.

Nellie watched them go, not knowing who had her sympathy more-Nan and Rebekah, who were most likely scheming about future ways to visit-or her beau, Caleb.

She turned on the gas-run space heater in the far corner and then removed her coat, scarf, and mittens. Rubbing her hands together, she waited for heat to fill the place. As she did, she walked to the window and stared out at the wintry landscape. Why didn't Caleb send word during Christmas?

"How much longer till he gets his father to see the light?" she blurted into the stillness.

Deep within her, she feared Caleb's longing for his birthright. One hundred acres of fine farmland was nothing to sneeze at, and his father's land was ever so important to him. To her, as well, for it would provide their livelihood as Caleb cared for her needs and those of their future children. He had worried something awful about this when they'd met unexpectedly at the millstream-their last time together. She'd heard in his voice then the hunger for his inheritance. Soon she would know where things stood. After all, Caleb was a man of his word. He'd asked her to marry him and she had happily agreed, but that was before his father had demanded they part ways.

Why should David Yoder keep Rebekah and Nan apart, too?

Having witnessed Rebekah's misery, she worried that David Yoder had more sway over his son and daughter than she'd first believed. What with Rebekah busy working as a mother's helper for another Amish family, she had less opportunity to be influenced by the world than Nellie's sister Rhoda did working at the Kraybills' fancy house. No, Rebekah would most likely join the old church and stay in the fold, just as Nellie would when the time came. Doing so meant Rebekah would also eventually comply with her father's wishes and choose a different best friend, which would hurt Nan terribly.

Turning, Nellie took visual inventory of her baked goods-an ample supply of cookies, cakes, pies, and sticky buns. The bleak reality was that there had been few customers willing to brave the temperatures this week. She'd thought of asking Dat if she ought to close up during the coldest weeks as some shops did in Intercourse Village, although many of those were not Amish owned. Yet Nellie had hesitated to ask-her family needed the extra income from the bakery more than ever this year, due to last summer's drought.

"Right now we look as good as closed," she murmured, eyeing the road and the lack of customers. It was safe to head to the barn to see how Dat's new tables and chairs were coming along.

On her way, she noticed Nan and Rebekah now walking side by side toward Beaver Dam Road, Rebekah's hands gesturing as she talked spiritedly.

Rebekah knows her own mind. At twenty, she would be marrying before long-if not next fall, then the following year. As far as Nellie knew, Rebekah had no serious beau, though, of course, that didn't mean anything. Courting was done secretly, and most couples kept mum.

Glancing over her shoulder, she looked back again at Caleb's sister, graceful and tall even next to willowy Nan. Nellie couldn't help but wonder what the two girls were cooking up, the way they leaned toward each other. For now, at least, their tears had turned to laughter.

Nellie opened the barn door and headed to the area opposite the stable. Her father had carved out a corner there for his business records and occasional woodworking handiwork.

His back was to her as he appeared to scrutinize one of the chair legs, his nose nearly touching the oak. "Hullo, Dat," she said quietly so as not to startle him.

He turned quickly. "Nellie Mae?"

"Not many customers yet ... well, none at all, really. Thought I'd drop in." She paused, aware of his pleasant smile. "Just curious to have a look-see." She pointed at the unfinished chair.

"Two tables are done, but, well, I'm a bit behind on the chairs, as you see." He set the chair down. "You discouraged 'bout the winter months, with so few customers?"

"The pies sit, is all."

He nodded slightly. "Seems winter's got sharper teeth this year, jah?"

She couldn't remember such a long cold snap. "I daresay we'll be eatin' more of those baked goods ourselves if ..." She didn't finish. No need to say what Dat knew.

It wasn't merely the cold that kept folks away. Here lately they were seeing fewer of the families who held steadfast to the teachings of her father's older brother, Bishop Joseph. Uncle Bishop Nellie had always called him-a term both of endearment and reverence. Though the bishop himself had instructed the People not to shun one another because of the church rift, the truth of the matter was clear in the dropping number of customers at Nellie's Simple Sweets. Never had it been so quiet.

Nellie wondered if she'd have to start working for worldly folk, as Rhoda did, upsetting her father even more. Doing so would bring in extra money and help make up the difference for the family in the long run, though it would further jeopardize her chances with Caleb.

"Saw David Yoder's girl over here," Dat spoke up.

Nellie nodded, unwilling to say anything.

"Seems odd, ain't?"

"Jah." She sensed his meaning.

"We'll reap what we sow ... sooner or later."

She inhaled slowly. "'Spect so."

Dat winced openly. "It's a new day in many ways, and there's no tellin' folk what to do. You and I both know that."

She said not a word, for she was unsure now what he was referring to. She suspected he might've had his ears filled with David Yoder's disapproval of Preacher Manny's teaching on "salvation through grace." More than likely that was a big part of it.

Sighing, she figured if Dat suspected Caleb's father of keeping her and Caleb apart, he'd be all for encouraging them to continue courting. Dat was like that. When it came to love-the kind you married for-she was sure he would err on the side of the couple's choice.

"Like I said, people will embrace what they long for, Nellie Mae."

She caught the perceptive glint in her father's eye. He knows I have a beau....


Excerpted from The Forbidden by Beverly M. Lewis Copyright © 2008 by Beverly M. Lewis. 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.

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The Forbidden (Courtship of Nellie Fisher Series #2) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Feesh242 More than 1 year ago
When you find yourself between what you believe and what your being told to believe, there is bound to be confusion. Do you make your own desion or do you go with the crowd? A community should stick together right, only God knows that answer and what will be. I enjoyed this book very much, I could not put it down and i'm sure you won't be able to either.
Deborah_K More than 1 year ago
Nellie Fisher and Caleb Yoder are the Amish version of Romeo and Juliet. But instead of their families being at literal war with each other, it's their conflicting views in religion that are driving the two apart. Nellie's family has come to accept Christ and are eager to learn more about the scriptures to the point of breaking away from the Old Order church. Meanwhile, Caleb's father forbids him to have anything to do with Nellie's family or new faith to the point of kicking his own daughter out of his house. The couple finds themselves sneaking around, seeing each other in secret. However the price of secrecy is taking a toll on Nellie and she starts to wonder if she might have to one day make a final decision with a painful choice. When you pick up a Beverly Lewis title, the reader should be aware that you are going to get lost in the story with characters you feel have become real. The Amish genre has become very popular in recent years, but Lewis has shown that she is the top name when it comes to this style of writing. It was a little tough at first to get back into the flow of the story. There are many characters with similar names so it is easy to get confused by the multiple story lines. Some of the other plots don't seem to fit in with the rest of the story. Rhoda and the automobile seem out of place, while the scenes involving the parental rights of the twins could be a whole other series in itself. These story lines help to make the community become more lively and familiar yet at the same time, it's easy for the reader to get distracted from Nellie and Caleb's story. Once again this book has really made me question about the belief of the Old Order Amish. It really seems like they are not Christians at all. If this is the case, then it is truly sad because they are denying themselves the true meaning of their faith. What good is it be living simple lives if they won't accept true salvation? Regardless, this book really makes one think about these sort of issues. This book is not a romance, it's instead a character study with lots of detail and historical fact weaved in. With a cliffhanger of an ending, one can hardly wait for the conclusion to this series. I know I'm definitely looking forward to it. Fans of Beverly Lewis will not be disappointed when reading this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is another one of Beverly Lewis' books that I couldn't put down! Can't wait for Book 3!!!!
pandareads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved the first book in this trilogy and was excited to scoop the last two books up on sale. In this second book, Nellie Mae and Caleb struggle to find a way to be together. His father has forbidden him to see her because her family has gone away from the Old ways. There was a surprise ending, which I enjoyed and left me wondering how it will wrap up in the third novel.The subplots were interesting, too, to see the development of the tension between the two different sets of ideas and how that impacted the people on personal levels.The one thing I didn't enjoy about The Forbidden though was the way it dragged on. There wasn't much action and much of the novel was spent on individual character's reflections, which got a bit redundant after awhile. That's why this book gets four stars from me instead of five.
charws More than 1 year ago
This one is a heart-wrenching series. As Nellie Mae and the family try to deal with Suzy's death and the silent accusations of the Old Order Amish that Suzy was so wild that God punished her, and her family, because of her 'wildness' is even more than I could fathom. The ending, third book, is a real tear jerker! A must read!!!!
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I love all Beverly Lewis books. As I grew up in and around the Amish folks,her booksare so very close to real life. Thank you Mrs. Lewis
CAREGIVERS_R_SPECIAL More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, even though it took a few chapters before i found it to be interesting..I have read alot of Beverly Lewis books and found them all to be good reading..I'm now on the 3rd for this seris....
TammyK1 More than 1 year ago
This book kept me wondering right up to the end...and beyond. This is a great series.
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Kero More than 1 year ago
I enjoy reading about the gentle Amish because even in the secluded way they live their lives mirror many of the struggles of our modern society. What is different is the mind set, the heart, the way a problem is looked at from both a personal AND community wide angle. As a people they seem to try to look at the whole picture, and here Annie is so torn, so heartbroken as she clings to her beliefs. Should she venture out a bit, should she look "just beyond"? Is her own happiness worth that? What a delima! Your heart just breaks for her, your don't know what you want her to do. Ah, but the end is good, morning tea outside good. I read it twice.
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