The Longing by Beverly Lewis

LongingFiction — print. Bethany House, 2008. 352 pgs. Library copy.

Although she still prays for Caleb, Nellie Mae Fisher has broken up with her beau. Now, her heart’s greatest longing is for more knowledge of the Lord. Caleb yearns for freedom, as his plans to leave Honeybrook have been thwarted. He must stay on as caretaker for his father, who was crippled in a wintertime accident. He also longs for Nellie Mae, still hoping that she will return to the Old Order and to him.

Christian Yoder, a young Mennonite man, longs to get to know Nellie Mae better and to share with her the secrets of her sister Suzy’s final days. Rhoda, Nellie’s older sister, longs for more of what the world has to offer–from fancy clothes, to her own car, to a new English boyfriend. Meanwhile, father Reuben Fisher longs for unity–among his family and all the brethren.

You should all know by now that I don’t like Nellie and Caleb because I’ve already said so in my review of The Parting and The Forbidden.  That said, I found Nellie to be somewhat tolerable at the end of The Longing, the third and final book in the The Courtship of Nellie Fisher series. I also found The Longing to really be lacking a storyline in this one, and it’s pretty slow to move along.

However, it’s the treatment of infertile Rosanna and her husband, Elias, to be this series ultimate downfall. Lewis cops out in the ending, giving Rosanna and Elias — spoiler alert! — both their own child and an adopted child so they still have their twins. It’s too perfect, too wrapped up with a big, red bow, and The Longing lacks a lot of reality.

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