I’ve read Leslie Gould’s other books in this series, the Courtships of Lancaster County, in the past several months. I enjoyed the stories of Kate, Addie, and Molly. I found the entire series, and especially Becoming Bea, a very enjoyable read. I live in a highly populated Amish area (central Wisconsin), and know several Amish families. Ms. Gould has certainly done her research, because her stories about Amish life and customs carries the ring of truth and sincerity without idealizing or over-romanticizing Amish life, which is difficult. Amish people are like Englisch (non-Amish) people – they are human, with fault.
I thought Bea’s character was fairly well-developed. I could identify with her struggles to define her identity apart from her family and her family’s desires for her, which must be even more difficult in a community that values community over the individual. Bea struggles throughout the book with an overbearing sister and a mother who clearly loves her but is passive. Bea does seems rather spoiled – how does a young adult in the Amish community, especially a woman, not have experience with infants or small children? – but the progression of her maturity and experience throughout the book was pleasing to read. She really seemed to value her service to the family she worked for.
Bea’s relationship with Ben – they knew each other their entire lives – was tumultous, to say the least. Bea was dismissive and haughty at several points, and Ben knew exactly how to push her buttons. The immaturity of the couple really showed as neither was able to communicate well at all until the end of the story. Bea, particularly, made some poor decisions, and it seems that the relationship is beyond repair.
Can God step in and heal two immature and hurting hearts? You’ll have to read for yourself!
I was provided with a complimentary digital copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my review.