a-season-of-changeReviewed by Amanda Farmer

A Season of Change by Lynette Sowell was my first experience with this author and I wasn’t sure what to expect from the description on the cover. This is the story of an Amish widower, Jacob Miller and his young children, Rebecca and Zeke, who are on Christmas vacation visiting family in Pinecraft, Florida. Pinecraft has been described as a sort of Las Vegas for the Amish. There are a lot of lee-ways and compromises there that the Amish don’t have at their homes, such as electricity and more colorful clothing.

While on vacation there, Jacob’s daughter, Rebecca, is struck by a car and suffers injuries that require the family to stay in Pinecraft a lot longer than originally expected. Jacob luckily has the support of the community and finds work to keep the family together and pay the bills. The little family continues to stay with their grandmother, Rachel, who is thrilled to have them there. While Rebecca is in the hospital, they meet Natalie, who is a retired circus performer and volunteers as a clown to cheer up the children in the hospital. The Amish family and Natalie form a bond that is complicated by their cultural differences. And to complicate matters, Natalie finds out that her mother, who has passed, was once Amish and Natalie wants to find them. Although Natalie understands they might not want to be found since her mother left them so many years ago. She can’t imagine or understand why her mother kept a secret her entire life.

Throughout this story, the readers see a different side of the Amish and Mennonite communities. It is a more relaxed side of them in Pinecraft. I enjoyed reading Jacob and Natalie’s story although I didn’t like the preachiness of the writing at times. Overall, the story was well written and flowed nicely. I liked how we, the readers, were able to see Jacob and Natalie’s relationship and friendship grow. I also enjoyed reading about Zeke and Rebecca’s antics; no matter what, children will be children, whether they are Amish or not.

I recommend this story to those who enjoy reading Amish fiction but not to those who prefer the more stricter Amish ideals. A Season of Change was definitely a more relaxed Amish story than others I have read. At this time, I am unsure if I will be reading book two in the series that is coming out later this year.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Amanda loves spending time at home with her husband and their dog, Oreo. She loves reading, playing puzzle games, beading and watching movies. When she’s not reading, she’s working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Abingdon Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.