Plain Pursuit By Beth Wiseman
As an avid fiction reader, I was eager to read and review Plain Pursuit. Early on, I regretted my decision when I realized it was an Amish “romance”—not the type of novel I typically enjoy. Nevertheless, I had agreed to read it in its entirety and offer my feedback.
Surprisingly, the book became nearly impossible to put down. Beth did a great job of making me care about her characters. Although by about page 100 the plot became quite predictable, I still wanted to know not if, but how Noah and Samuel would rectify their differences, and how the Amish people would find a way to draw their circle around family who chose not to embrace the Old Order.
Plain Pursuit is a cozy love story—definitely G-rated—with some interesting insights into the Amish lifestyle. What surprised me the most was the notion that the Ordnung could be bent (or even broken) in certain situations—and that many of the folk, women mostly, were often eager to find those loopholes. That made me smile.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
Thin Places…a memoir
by Mary E. DeMuth
“Life is messy.” My pastor says that often. Most people nod their heads in agreement and then live out their lives, as Thoreau wrote, in “quiet desperation.” Few are willing to let others step into their messiness. Mary DeMuth’s memoir, Thin Places, not only allows us in, but draws us into the places where God embraced her raggedy, disheveled, and chronically needy, blessed soul.
The book was unputdownable—from the introduction (which, by the way, was my favorite part!) to the last word. Mary’s writing craft is impeccable. Seamless…flowing and clear. An editor’s dream. So flawless I could take off my editor hat and be simply an eager reader.
The biggest surprise came when I found myself in the pages of someone else’s life. I could relate to so many of the thin places where God met Mary and brought her along and through and over the hurdles and sufferings of her childhood and youth. Those slobbery kisses from over-eager boys. That yearning for a date…for a boyfriend…for fatherly affection. Keeping secrets. Compromising to fit in. Ugh! Those stuffed-down memories that remind us of our insecurities and less-than-stellar decisions. Why go there?
She tells us why: To unmask our humanity—our frailty—and thereby removing the power our messiness tries to hold over us. To reveal the God who sees, who cares, who redeems even the worst of sins and sinners. She exposes her pain—not to gain our sympathy, but to extend her hand as a fellow sufferer who wants our journeys to become stronger for knowing hers.