Reviewed by Sarah McCubbin
In many ways, Becoming Bea is simply a coming-of-age story with an Amish twist. Having read some of the previous books by Leslie Gould in this series, I was interested to see where the story would go with this fourth book of The Courtships of Lancaster County. When Bea is introduced, she is an introverted, quiet, young lady who enjoys nothing better than perusing the local Amish used bookstore or visiting the book mobile for another volume of poetry. Not particularly interested in having an active social life, Bea’s days are often ordered about by her older sister Molly or the wishes of her mother. She is content to remain single and feels that getting married requires more effort than she wants to put forth. Feeling the need to break out of her mold, and earn her own way, she accepts a position with the Miller family helping them care for their triplets.
It is during this time that she begins to experience many life lessons that include caring for babies, running a household and how to treat those you care about. Bea begins to blossom as she gains confidence in her own ability to make decisions and thrive as an adult. In the midst of all these changes, she maintains a rather stand-offish and antagonizing relationship with Ben Rupp, a childhood friend to whom she is attracted. The question weighs heavily…will she and Ben find a way to be together or will another young man interrupt that possibility?
One of the things I enjoyed about Becoming Bea was the excellent character development and accurate portrayal of Amish life, as well as the amount of work involved in caring for many little children. Everything from the endless sleepless nights, overwhelming fatigue and never ending piles of laundry…it all felt so familiar. Each one of the main characters was well rounded–very human with flaws and foibles. Despite their weaknesses, a thread of forgiveness and second-chances bound their lives together. With strong themes that resonate with our humanness, people that enjoy Amish fiction, stories of redemption, and clean stories about love and family are likely to appreciate this novel.
Sarah McCubbin is a homeschooling and foster mom in NE Ohio where she resides with her husband and 7 children. In addition to reading great books, she enjoys gardening, traveling and blogging at Living Unboxed.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Bethany House Publishers. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.