The Proving – Falls Short
I was so stoked to have an opportunity to read a new novel by Beverly Lewis! She IS the grandmother of the Amish genre. I have been downright wowed by several of her series – Abram’s Daughters and Annie’s People being just a couple of my favorites. But would her latest novel, The Proving, pass the test? It’s a mixed bag.
The Proving follows Amanda (Mandy) Dienner. Mandy left her Old Order Amish home five years ago due to a falling out with her twin sister, Arie, and her mother. When tragedy brings Mandy home, she ends up running her mother’s Bed & Breakfast – and she’s none too pleased to find Arie there.
Englischer Trina Sutton is heartbroken and at a crossroads in her life. When a “mystery trip” lands her in Amish country, she’s not a happy camper. And Mandy is at her wits’ end dealing with this outspoken woman. But, maybe God had a plan all along to bring these two women together.
I was given The Proving in exchange for my honest review. It really is a mixed bag. On one hand, Lewis gives her readers that taste of Amish they’re looking for – she always does a wonderful job of setting a scene and transporting the reader to her world. I certainly found myself wanting to visit an Amish B&B!
That being said, a lot of things didn’t add up – the relationship between Mandy and Trina seemed contrived and unnatural. Other characters’ storylines seemed to be thrown into the novel without much development. They were distracting. And perhaps the most bothersome to me was the title. In the Amish world, many go through a “proving” time prior to their baptism – to prove they want to stay Amish. That is not what this novel was really about. Instead, Mandy was proving if she could run the B&B.
I do not write these criticisms lightly. I adore Beverly Lewis – and many of her writings are among my favorites of all time. I would love to see her write another trilogy. She truly excels in writing several books in a sequence. Unfortunately, The Proving falls short.
Susan Ferrell and her husband make their home in the Atlanta Metro area. Although Susan struggles with chronic migraine headaches, she stays very busy as a stay-at-home mom to one very precocious little girl. While catching her breath, she feeds her Amishaholic tendencies by reading vast amounts of Amish literature!