The First Love

The First Love

by Beverly Lewis

NOOK Book(eBook)

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It's the summer of 1951, and Maggie Esh is in need of some hope. Sweet-spirited and uncommonly pretty despite struggling with chronic illness, she is used to being treated kindly by the young men of her Old Order Amish church district. Yet Maggie wishes she were more like other courting-age girls so she could live a normal, healthy life.

To make matters more complicated, Dat has recently remarried, less than a year after her mother died. And while her stepmother is kind, Rachel is much younger than Mamm, and she simply doesn't understand Maggie or her illness the way Mamm did.

When tent revival meetings come to the area, Maggie is curious, and the words of the Mennonite preacher challenge her to reconsider what she knows about faith. Can she learn to trust God even when hope seems a distant dream?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493416011
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/04/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 3,935
File size: 9 MB

About the Author

Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, has more than 17 million books in print. Her stories have been published in 12 languages and have regularly appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times and USA Today. Beverly and her husband, David, live in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, making music, and spending time with their family. Learn more at

Customer Reviews

The First Love 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Louise Brandenburg 22 days ago
Beverly Lewis is another one of my favorite authors because ofthe writing ability she has that transports my thoughts and heart into the Amish communities and into the lives of the families. So much so, that I feel like I am a part of the family as I read her books. I always look forward to getting to know all the people and families in each of her books I read. I highly recommend this book.
Deanne-Patterson More than 1 year ago
Beverly Lewis was the first Amish writing author I read so many years ago when she first started publishing and all these years later I'm still happily reading her books. I have really learned a lot about the Amish culture through her books and have come away with a stronger faith base as well. Her books have just gotten better and better over the years. There are very few books I've not read of hers including her nonfiction ones. This book starts out with Maggie reminiscing about her younger years. There is for sure a lot going on in this book. Maggie has juvenile meteoroid arthritis and it affects her strength and how much she is able to do to help the family. She is about to join the church and longs for marriage and a family of her own but surely no one will want her with her limited mobility. Maggie's father remarries shortly after his wife's death and the his new wife puts all her hopes and dreams aside to please her new ready-made family as she keeps the memory alive of his past wife. It was fun to read about the big tent revivals that Maggie and some of her cousins go to. These revivals become very important to her despite her father not approving of her going. Will this cause her to become part of the Englisher world? Very sweet and enjoyable book with a strong faith filled message. It was a delight to see how much stronger Maggie's faith became during the book as she thirsted for spiritual food. Pub Date: 04 Sep 2018 I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House publishers through NetGalley. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.
JoAnne Iszler 9 days ago
Loved the reading of the faith in Jesus Christ and His healing powers. How open this Amish group were to receive Christ.
PierresFamily 20 days ago
I loved this intriguing Amish romance by Beverly Lewis. It was suspenseful. Will Maggie find true loev, and if she does, will she allow her disability to preven a future marriage? Will she be healed of her longtime illness? If so, will it be via the tent revival preacher's belief or a supplement? This book was fair to all sides of difereing beliefs. Very well-done. She writes so well that I could feel the oppressive 1951 heat she described, and could feel the excitement at the revival! This was my first Lewis book, but will not be my last!
pnk- More than 1 year ago
This is not one of my favorite books she has written. I have read most of her books and was disappointed at how slow this one read and jumped right to the end years later. There was more to write but I feel like maybe she's tired of writing and just wanted to get it over with. I have seen this happen to many authors. Time to move on to a new author.
Becky5 More than 1 year ago
Packed full of emotion and Biblical truth, this latest novel by Beverly Lewis explores young Maggie’s struggle with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis as she comes of age. The First Love also reveals Maggie’s family’s struggle to accept their father’s new wife, less than a year after their beloved Maam dies. The reason I enjoyed the book was that it helped me see life from the perspective of people who have had a very different experience than myself. Lewis carefully brings out the details of a disease like Maggie’s. Life is never predictable, health-wise, from day-to-day. Others may or may not understand the inability of one with RA to do tasks one day that they could do the day before. Bad health can make a romantic future uncertain. I learned to love Maggie and was especially glad when she takes a risk that changes her life. I also really enjoyed the wisdom of Aunt Nellie. I am fortunate to have a godly person in my life with that kind of wisdom. The camp meetings are an integral part of the narrative, yet I was torn, wondering if there was a way to get this most important message across without being preachy. It felt like the book was only a vehicle for the message at that point. On to more positive. Having survived my own kids’ teenage years, I can identify just a pinch with Rachel who feels she is desperately trying to find her place in her stepchildren's lives, let alone hearts. What a tough journey she undertakes, so courageously! Quotables I loved: Aunt Nellie’s goal: ”Her goal is to make one person smile every single day.” Definitely one of my goals. ”God won’t guide his footsteps unless he’s willin’ to move his feet.” God works best in those willing to obey. And lastly, a prayer for my adult children: ”I pray you never disdain prayer. It’s the simplest way you can serve our Lord, and suffering won’t hold you from it...” I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. All opinions are my own and no review was required.
GrandaddyA More than 1 year ago
Beverly Lewis is a wonderful storyteller who makes the Amish people in her books come alive. I enjoyed the way she began the story in 1998 as Maggie is preparing to celebrate her birthday alone and then goes back to 1951 as she approaches her eighteenth birthday. On the back cover, she refers to it as “the summer of [Maggie’s] first love.” Maggie and her siblings were all dealing with the loss of their mother about a year prior to this and then their father’s remarriage seven months later. But Maggie was struggling with a much greater burden. She suffered almost constantly from debilitating pain. Because of her physical issues, she turned down an invitation to go riding with Jimmy after the Singing a short while before this. What a difficult choice it was since she had admired him for a long time. Was she going to have to live with awful pain and suffering for the rest of her days? Did this mean she had to give up on her dream of getting married and having children with her husband? When she hears about a tent revival in the area where people are getting saved and being healed, what does this mean for her? Can God heal her? Will He? I love the theme that runs through the book. God must have first place in our lives. Each one of us must make the decision with which Maggie is faced as she reads her Bible and prays faithfully.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
The First Love by Beverly Lewis takes us to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It is the summer of 1998 when Maggie’s reminiscing takes her back in time to June of 1951. Maggie misses her mother every day and it is hard to see her father move on so quickly. Joseph, Maggie’s father, married Rachel just seven months after his wife’s death. Maggie has suffered from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since she was eleven and the debilitating pain keeps her confined to bed many days. Maggie longs to be like the other women in her community, but she does not believe any man would want to be burdened by her. Maggie could talk to her mother about her concerns and she misses her warm, understanding presence. A tent revival meeting is coming to the area for six weeks and Maggie asks permission to attend. The minister’s messages are meaningful and have Maggie thinking about God and his saving grace. The future is filled with possibilities and hope. Join Maggie on her journey in The First Love. I have read all of Beverly Lewis’s books and was looking forward to reading The First Love. I found The First Love to a slow paced story, though, it does pick up slightly in the second half. There are numerous characters in The First Love and it is hard to keep them all straight. Maggie comes from a large family with aunts, cousins, siblings plus there are her friends, the tent revival preacher, and so many more. There are two intertwining storylines in the book. At times, though, the book was disjointed (lacked a good flow). There is Maggie’s storyline plus her family adjusting to a new stepmother. I could understand what Maggie was going through with her painful disease. The pain gets to a person and affects their mood as well as outlook on life. It can be difficult to get up and do things during the day. I thought the author dealt with the topic respectfully and realistically. The ending wrapped up too quickly and felt unrealistic. It seemed the author had reached her word limit and quickly wrapped up Maggie’s story. The Christian elements are predominant. Relevant scripture verses are sprinkled throughout the story that help Maggie on her faith journey. We are also reminded the importance of prayer (anywhere and anytime), God’s grace, leaving our worries with God, reading the Bible, and having faith. I liked to see Maggie grow in her faith and become closer to God. I am giving The First Love 3 out of 5 stars. While this is not my favorite book by Beverly Lewis, I am still a fan of her work who looks forward to her next story.
PinkGranny More than 1 year ago
I was inspired after reading The First Love by Beverly Lewis. Maggie is such a wonderful young woman. She doesn't wish to be defined by her illness although she could be if she weren't so determined to be thought of as whole. Her faith is strong yet when she is offered a chance to attend the tent revival meetings there is a turning point. Her Old Order Amish faith is accustomed to silent prayer, not the exuberant prayer she encounters. It is intriguing and she is led to learn more about prayers for healing. Once she begins to seek healing scriptures she is surprised at who reveals their own discoveries of faith and healing. When she begins to feel stronger it is a wonder...did her faith heal her or was it the new herbal supplements that were recommended she try? Maggie is one of my favorite Beverly Lewis characters. She is pivot-able in this story not just because of her health issues but because she is a magnet for her family. They are drawn to her for her wisdom. In our story she celebrates her 18th birthday but she is mature beyond her years. She is patient to her elderly aunt, kind to her stepmother, while acting as a buffer between her and the other children. She listens first and offers advice only when it is sought. She is a glue that bonds deep. I appreciate how her family respected her and helped her on her bad days with patience and love. I think we have all had a Maggie in our life. I recommend this story for those who enjoy a story rich with faith, hope and love. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Fiction in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own.
SunnieReviews More than 1 year ago
The author wrote the first Amish book I ever read and from that day on, I was hooked! And I have never looked back. It's an amazing book and the storyline about the Tent Revival meetings is classic. I loved the book and will keep reading every book I can get my hands on. Such an inspiration! Trust, love of family...just great. I received an ebook copy from NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.
KMorgan73 More than 1 year ago
A longtime fan of Beverly Lewis, I am always excited when she has a new book out. Since she doesn't release books as often as other authors I always see her books as a treat and can't wait to start reading them. However, The First Love proved a bit of a difficult read for me. There are several characters in this book and I found trying to keep who was who straightened out in my head a bit difficult. Not only is there Maggie and her family to get to know but then there are her aunt, cousins, and the tent revival preacher and family and it was just a bit too much. I did like Maggie and felt sorry for her due to her health issues. The author wrote of her issues in a respectful and realistic way which was nice. I feel like there was a bit much going on in the story too. Not only is there Maggie and her attending the tent meetings but there is also the storyline of the family trying to get used to their new stepmother. These two storylines worked ok together but it seems like they could have been integrated better. The thing that bothered me the most about the story was the slow pace. One of the reasons I like Amish fiction is the slower pace of their lives but this story just moved too slowly for the first half. During the second half the pace picked up slightly and I found it much quicker to read. I would have like to have had more scenes with Maggie and Jimmy, too. All in all this is an ok read but not my favorite from this author. If you are a fan of Beverly Lewis you will probably like the story but if you aren't already a fan I would choose a different title from her to start with. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
What a story the author has given us, one that affects many people, not always with the same illness, but we can put faces on this Amish family. A young woman about to join her church and a longing for a family of her own, but with her limitations and days of non-movement, she is sure she will never wed and have her own family. We also meet another woman who has given her heart to a man who is a widower and has a ready-made family, but she seems to put her wishes and desires aside to make his family happy. I loved that we get to experience revival meetings, and our Amish girl is so in love with the Lord, and you want to be with her, but will her family and church allow her going to these meetings? Will she want to go out into the English world because of this? This is a sweet read, and so many characters are brought to the fore front, and we get to meet and be with each of them and enjoy the time spent. You will find this one a compelling page turner, and you won’t regret spending time here! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House and was not required to give a positive review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago