"These days, my thoughts, even my convictions, seem to shift with the fickle hues of a Pennsylvania sky...a blending of what was true for me as the young preacher's daughter with what I now see and know. Is there no way to blend my opposing desires? Will I ever understand all of the shades of goodness, faith, and even someday, love?"
Annie Zook grew up in an Old Order Amish community in Pennsylvania and is the only daughter of a Preacher. At twenty years old, Annie is reaching adulthood in the church and must decide if she will make the life-long devotion and be baptized into the Amish faith. Her long-time beu, Ruby Esh has recently broken off their relationship because she could not make a commitment to the church. Annie wants desperately to please her parents, but her secret love of art is holding her back. Art is a forbidden activity by the Amish and Annie has bad to hid her talent since she was a young girl. She has a hidden studio in her cousin Julia’s attic where she can create her masterpieces, but if she is found out, Annie will have to leave the church, her family, and the only live she’s ever know.
Louisa Stratford has been Annie’s pen pal since the girls were very young. They have never meet, but have become over close over the years and share their thoughts, secrets, and love of art. Louisa is an art teacher from a very well to do family. Against her parent’s wishes, she has recently broken off her engagement to her fiancé Michael and is looking for an escape from her life. She contacts Annie and asks if she can stay with her Amish family for a while. Annie’s family agrees and Louisa is thrown into the “simple life” of the Amish that is very different from her own. Dealing with decisions of her own, Louisa must also help Annie decide which path is right for her.
I have not read many Christian Fiction novels, but this book was generally enjoyable. The dialogue seemed a little forced at times and the plot was somewhat lacking, but I would assume that this is true for most novels in this genre. The author brought a unique environment to life in regards to the Amish community and I was interested to learn that her mother was from an Amish background. The conflicts that Annie faced when deciding between her people and her love of art seemed very realistic and I enjoyed the contrast of her live with that of Louisa’s.