Plain Perfect by Beth Wiseman

n298707Fiction — print. Thomas Nelson, 2008. 305 pgs. Received from PaperBackSwap.

Escaping from her abusive boyfriend, Lillian Miller has turned to her grandparents and the Amish community her mother abandoned in order to find herself. Her sandals are no match for the long walk from the train station to her grandparents’ house, and she gratefully accepts a ride in Samuel Stolzfus’ buggy, a widowed Amish man. As she befriends Samuel’s eleven-year-old son, she finds herself developing feelings for Samuel — feelings she cannot have because she isn’t Amish and she doesn’t even believe in God.

The first thought that pops in my mind when I think of this book is rushed. Really rushed. There are just too many plot lines occurring in this novel that each one feels rushed and undeveloped, especially as the novel reaches it’s happy ending.

Quite possibly the most rushed story line is that of Lillian’s mother, Sarah Jane, return to Lancaster County, PA and her immediate acceptance the Amish religion she once rejected. Lillian’s acceptance of God and her relationship with Samuel also felt rushed and underdeveloped, and I feel like that stems from the fact that both occur and therefore isn’t enough time for both to develop. Plus, the whole thing was fairly predictable and formulaic, and the characters speak in written English rather than vernacular English.

All that said, I found Wiseman’s novel to be a diverting, light, and quick read that provided a nice wind down to a very busy day. I also found it interesting to read a novel about a girl raised outside the Amish faith joining an Old Order Amish community. It’s certainly not something I’ve read before.

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