The River

The River

by Beverly Lewis


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She looked once more at the dreaded river. Since Anna's death, it had been such a barrier . . . a place and a moment she could not seem to move past.

A line I can't move beyond...
The River

Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents' landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn't entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau.

Past meets present as Tilly and Ruth yearn for acceptance and redemption. Can they face the future in the light of a past they can't undo?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764212451
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/02/2014
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 367,815
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

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 eleven 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

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The River 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
Tilly has tried to put her past behind her, she is happy now living with her husband and twin daughters. She still lives rather plain, but does live in the English world. She has one member of her Amish family living English near her, and enjoys Ruth and her new life. Tilly was the black sheep of her Amish family; she blamed herself for the death of her baby sister Anna. When the note comes that the family is holding an anniversary party for her parents, she doesn’t want to go. Ruth also has decided they will not attend. Then comes a call to Ruth about their Dad’s health, and their decisions are reevaluated, and both go home to face the family. Can’t even imagine, you feel almost split in two. Leaving behind your safe life, and wanting to see your family, but knowing how they feel about your leaving. This is the story of secrets, forgiving, and a loving relationship with God. How life changes and feelings are soothed when we submit to God’s will, not our own. A very hard, fulfilling way to live, with God in the center, but will all be able to accept what he wants? A different Amish story here, things are not always as they appear, and not just Tilly blames herself, others also feel responsible, and all need forgiveness. Will this family ever find peace, a locked room, a stolen cap, and an old love? This is a great page-turner of a read, I wanted to find the answers to the clues that were offered, and what a surprise. Also the title of the book, and the effect that the River has on this story. Enjoy! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.
barbjan10 More than 1 year ago
Unsure of what the title “The River” had to do with an Amish story, my choice to read this book was easily made when I saw Beverly Lewis was the author.  This story is written with twists and turns different from other Amish writings.  The Point of View was about two Amish sisters who had left Eden Valley, Lancaster, Pennsylvania before their baptisms to live the “fancy” life – in the English world.  The Conestoga River plays its part as the location where little sister Anna drowned one July afternoon leaving behind broken emotions on the entire family.  Tilly blamed herself that she was unable to save Anna and locked her feelings deeply within.  Tilly left her plain life behind – the memories of Anna’s drowning still raw and real.  She couldn’t face seeing the Conestoga every day.  She moved to Rockport, Massachusetts and eventually married Kris and gave birth to twin daughters, Jenya and Tavani.  Tilly’s younger sister Ruth left for different reasons two years after Tilly.  Will Kauffman had been courting her for a couple of years and suddenly jilted her.  With damaged emotions Ruth sought Tilly’s help to move to Massachusetts. In 1977, eight years since Tilly had left; the Amish family was planning an anniversary celebration for their parents, Lester and Sylvia Lantz.  An older brother Melvin wrote a note to Tilly about their plans.  Tilly and Ruth decided to ignore the invitation and not attend – until Melvin called Ruth and told her of the recent news that their father was very ill and needed a pacemaker.   They reluctantly decided to go for the four day weekend.  They were apprehensive about being accepted and dreading their time in Eden Valley for different reasons.  For reasons unknown to Tilly, she and her father batted heads constantly and no love shown in Daed’s sternness toward Tilly.  Ruth did not want to see Will.  Particularly because she had a new love interest in her life, Jim Montgomery who was quite active in the church she and Tilly had joined. Ruth planned to stay in her parent’s home, but Tilly decided it was best to stay with her favorite Uncle Abner and Aunt Naomi.  The large Lantz family spread over Eden Valley included twins Melvin and Joseph, Chester, Sam and his wife Josie who had been Tilly’s best friend.  The reunion did not go well at first mainly for Tilly – but wait – there is plenty to come!!  Tilly had kept Anna’s kapp without telling her Mamm and decided she needed to risk the telling of that secret.  It seems everyone had secrets and I wondered how the web would ever be unwound.  Ruth sees Will again and resists him at first, but finally joins him for a meeting at his insistence.  Uh oh, would she be tempted to return to the plain life?  You will need to find that out by reading the book. Unresolved issues and relationships continue to plague all concerned.  It is not as though the sisters forgot the values and good upbringing they had, they remembered and still kept a deep faith In God.  Unexpected circumstances complicated life even further when Daed had an attack and needed to spend time in the hospital.  The sisters found out that their parent’s property had been deeded to Sam and plans were to move their Mamm and Daed into the Dawdy house.  They decided to stay a week longer to help.  Tilly moves to her parent’s house and sleeps in the Anna’s room where nothing had been changed since her death.  It was there that Tilly discovered a box which holds a long kept secret.  Now I must stop, because I’ll be telling you the entire story. Let me just add that I felt much anger at the father for his treatment of Tilly.  I speak from experience of a relationship close to me where the father treated his step-daughter in that manner.  It is impossible to tolerate – only constant prayer will help.  I was also angry with Mamm for allowing it.  The truth will shock you, but good things begin to happen when God takes over.  Ms. Lewis has indeed written a very intriguing story and I am thankful from a personal standpoint to have read it.  There were some parts of the book that I deemed unnecessary to the story.  Overall it was excellent and I congratulate Beverly Lewis for still coming through with new ideas after the numerous novels she has written. I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
books4nana More than 1 year ago
The River by Beverly Lewis Can one truly 'Never Go Home Again'? In Beverly Lewis' newest book she brings us the life of two Amish sisters and their struggle to return home after leaving their family, homes and lifestyle to begin new lives in the modern world. An invitation to their parent's anniversary celebration bring Tilly and Ruth out of their comfort zone and to a place an important decision has to be made. An invitation has been extended to their parent's anniversary party. Why? They are not sure as they have not been home in years. Knowing a trip home will stir up old feelings, the kind best left alone, their initial thought is to decline. A call from their brother changes that and soon the girls are on a road. Beverly Lewis is known for her storytelling about the Amish life. Her books have educated many, dispelling misconceptions about this quaint lifestyle. As we come to love her characters and are swept into her stories we see a people much like ourselves. Daily life, however is resplendent with differences. As Lewis weaves her story we begin to see in our mind's eye the farms, the kitchens, the quilting bees, and the home church. The River, Lewis' newest book, is much like her other Amish fiction. While we are given no real surprises in her focus or how she delivers we are once again taken captive with her storytelling. As she brings her characters to life, we want to know them better and as she moves through her story leaving bread crumbs, we readily follow. Always intriguing. Always entertaining. It is impossible not to be swept into this story as we witness this family's response to tragedy, their facing of fears, their misconception of each other, their mistakes and their courage. Lewis gives us a strong main character in Tilly allowing us access to Tilly's heart and mind. We hurt with her as she seeks love and acceptance. Lewis' development of her other characters leaves us guessing at times which seems to be part of keeping the suspense in the story. I enjoyed this book and recommend it. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*she walked in and over to him* "Hey."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im foxtrot the old deputy of river clan tell me were tawnystar is i have been missing and need to ask him some questions
Moonpie72 More than 1 year ago
If Beverly Lewis is the author, you are assured 100% you will be reading a good book. This one is another in a line of many of excellent stories!  The River is a wonderful example that all families have conflicts, even the Amish.    Tilly left her Amish life and married an Englisher.  Her sister Ruth also made the choice to leave.  She and Tilly have a close bond, but still love and miss their family. Tilly is very happy with her twin girls and her new life.  You can only imagine the discord this created with their Amish family. A brother calls and invites them to come to a celebration of their parent’s anniversary.  Due to the difficult relationship with her family, especially her father, both girls decide not to attend.  Ruth receives another call telling of their father’s bad health which influences them to go.  Having been several years since they have been home, they are understandably anxious about the reception they will receive.  As I read I could actually feel the tension and uneasiness Tilly felt.  Some of her family received her with open arms, others were distant, but her Dad was as he had always been toward her, unloving and critical. She was the only child in the family he treated so harshly.   She decides to stay and her uncle and aunt’s house to ease the situation.  Tilly not only is confronted with her father’s lifetime rejection of her, but also guilt involving the death of her younger sister years ago.  She blamed herself for the little one’s drowning, when she was supposed to be watching her.  Misunderstandings and unknown facts can cause a family to fall into a trap of living in conflict, hurting one another, and never experiencing the closeness they could have.  Ms. Lewis weaves a beautiful story of a family finding their way back to each other amid great conflict with in and among themselves.  Through forgiveness, love, and confronting their inner hearts, they find their way back.  The story has many surprises and made me think of how longstanding secrets can cause people to act in ways we don’t understand. You will want to read this book! I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book cap me going from the begining until the end it had some sad time and some very good time
LovenGod More than 1 year ago
I think I probably enjoyed this book more than any of her latest books. But it took me a bit to really get into the story, probably 5 or 6 chapters. There were some very predictable parts, but there were some surprises. I have to say Tilly exasperated me to no end, I just wanted to help her find her way. I loved Ruth, she was a sweet, relatable character. I think one thing that I did take away from this book was the fact that so often we know that the Amish accept God's will as just that, but we don't see stories of the grief after the loss of a child and I think Ms. Lewis did a great job showing how the drowning of the youngest daughter changed the lives of the whole family. Well done, 4 stars from this reviewer, I think if it had grabbed me from page one this book would have been perfect. This book was provided by Bethany House for reviews only, no payment was received for this review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Waits for ren
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like stories about the amish, you would like this book. It was a very good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sunshineJB More than 1 year ago
Touching and Heartwarming! I hope everyone that reads this review gets a chance to read, The River.  My wish is that everyone enjoys the good times in this story and mourns the bad times as I did.  This story tugged on my heart.  The emotions I went through and the tears I shed was cleansing.  I was touched! Author Beverly Lewis takes you on a trip to Eden Valley and places you in the Lantz family in such a way that you experience what each and every family member is going through.  This family has some hidden secrets, holds unforgiveness, bitterness, pain, and hurt in their hearts.  Pick up a copy of this great read and let your mind and your heart take a trip to Eden Valley.  I promise you, you will not be disappointed. God’s Love, God’s Forgiving Way, God’s Mercy and God’s Grace shines through. I want to add that I am a huge fan of Beverly Lewis.  I have read all of her Amish fiction books.  This one is by far one of my favorites. I won this book on LibraryThing to read and review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
It is the fall of 1977 and Tilly finds herself contemplating going back to a place she thought she had left behind forever. Years ago she left her family's Amish farm in Eden Valley and expected to never return. But a letter from her older brother requesting that she visit has weakened that resolve. Tilly's sister Ruth followed Tilly out of the Amish lifestyle and is settled nicely in the Englisher community near Tilly's family. She's hesitant to go back for a visit as well, but not for the same reasons. Can the two sisters go back home for a visit without tearing open old wounds? Family ties go deep in the Amish community. Lester and Sylvia Lantz have spent their days raising a godly family that they assumed would carry on the family's Amish faith. When first Tilly and then Ruth leaves their home to seek a life outside of the community it deeply affects the entire family. Can old hurts ever be healed? Can things be brought to light that will free everyone from the burdens they have been carrying?  Beverly Lewis has once again penned a beautiful story of a broken family in need of healing. She reminds us that love does heal and forgiveness frees both parties. The story of the Lantz family in Eden Valley is fresh and new even though this author has written numerous accounts of Amish fiction. The story has a familiar setting, but the characters are unique. The situation is as old as time itself.  I think you will be blessed and uplifted by reading this account of a flawed family in need of grace. I always enjoy a journey into the world that Beverly has created for her readers.  I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Syl64 More than 1 year ago
Sad story, can relate to main character. Is a page turner throughly enjoyed reading and the scenery as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book held my attention but I must say I've read most of her books and this one sure didn't make the top ten. The ending was kind of blah which was disappointing.
MitziAB More than 1 year ago
5 stars ***** out of five Contemporary Fiction Do you want fiction novel that is not based on Romance?  It has been a while since I disappeared into one of Beverly Lewis' novels, but once again, she did not disappoint. I saw the Amish through new and delightful eyes ... from the view point of young women who had grown up in the lifestyle that many people who have not lived it now admire. Filly and Ruth never were baptized, and so they do not experience the shunning. What can the base do a novel be, if not romance? Forgiveness of oneself and moving on. The Conestoga River hovers in the background like a viable character in the story, as it is the scene from which the story carries on. Heartache comes to everyone at some point in life, and Beverly, through the use of vivid imagery, skilfully immerses the reader into the lives of the Lantz family. A fantastic book that I recommend to all readers, whether you are a fan of Amish or romance, this book will thrill you. I received this book free from Emily Davies Robinson ant Bethany Books through their Nuts About Books program in exchange for an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions are my own.
Proudmom508 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed The River by Beverly Lewis. It is the story of two sisters, Tilly and Ruthie, who have left their Amish family and become English. They've had very little contact with their families since leaving. Tilly is now married and the mom of twins. Ruthie is beginning her life as a single, English woman starting to date but still thinking about the Amish beau she left behind. Their brother contacts them about coming back to celebrate their parents' anniversary because their father is ill. When they go back for the party, they must deal with the reasons why they left. Tilly has never gotten along with her father because he has always been critical of her. Added to that, her sister Anna whom Tilly was usually responsible for watching drowned in the river years ago during a family picnic. Anna's drowning impacted the whole family though they never really dealt with it. Her mother kept her room as a shrine. Ruthie sees her former beau who declares his love for her. She must deal with whether she wants to go back to a very different life as an Amish woman and the Old Order Church. While all this is going on, their father is hospitalized. Their parents decide to move into the Dawdi Haus and the sisters extend their visit to help with the move. A secret is revealed during this time that changes Tilly's relationship with her parents. I really liked how Beverly Lewis brought everything together at the end. A great book about relationships.
Jenpcv More than 1 year ago
I recently read The River, which is a new book by the well-known author, Beverly Lewis. I have read several of her books previously, and this one is another good novel. Set in the heart of Amish county in Pennsylvania, two sisters who left the Amish return to their family to visit their ailing father. Played out in only about a week's time, this novel follows the sisters as they return to Amish county for the first time since their departure years before. They face judgment and many unanswered questions, and have to deal with family and friends they had been completely cut off from since their departure. The book was well-written, as can be expected with Beverly Lewis. However, usually when I am reading her novels, I can't set the book down. It took quite awhile to get to this point with The River, but I was eventually hooked. It does start out a bit slower than some of her other novels, but it is a great read.  If you have read Amish literature before, this would be a great book to read. I found there were less explanations of Amish culture in this novel than in previous ones. But ultimately this novel is more about facing unanswered questions from the past and dealing with reconciliation with grace, more than Amish culture.  Overall, I would say The River is a good book, but not an outstanding one in its genre. It is well worth reading, and the story is engaging and has a strong plot line. However, it doesn't stand head and shoulders above other novels in its genre.  I received a free copy of this novel from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated for my opinions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The River by Beverly Lewis is a book that totally kept me captivated from the beginning to the end. Yet with such an underlying mystery I struggled to figure it out. Ruth and Tilly left the Amish for the Englischers life, but each sister left for different reasons. Tilly left because of the death of her little sister Anna while Ruth left because of a spurned courtship that went wrong. They then are suddenly requested back to their Amish community they left so long ago, but at what cost to go back. Both sisters are involved in an Englisch church, Tilly is married with twin girls and Ruth is slowly learning how to date again after being spurned. The sisters go back for a reunion but yet there is so much hidden history that has not come out in the open at all. Will it come out into the open? Will Tilly truly figure out the mystery or does someone come clean? Is this event concerning Tilly going to wreck havoc in her life or draw them closer to her family? Will daddy come to know who they truly are or scare them away further? In a gripping tale of love, grace, sin, and almost disaster Beverly Lewis weaves a tale of intrigue but also a gift of grace and love. She shows us anything and everything can happen in the Amish culture just as much in the Englisch culture. Yet everyone is the same in God's eyes whether or not they are Englisch or Amish. ***I received this book from Bethany House for my honest opinion and review.*****
Anonymous More than 1 year ago