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The orchard
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Publishers Weekly Review
Lewis (The Beginning) delivers a distinctive historical set in the Lancaster County, Pa., Amish community during the Vietnam War. The Hostetler family is stunned after their youngest son, Evan, bucks Amish mores and declines to register as a conscientious objector. His twin sister, Ellie, struggles to make peace with Evan's decision, viewing it as a "betrayal... for Evan to have abandoned the teaching of his childhood," and as he goes overseas, his family wonders what will become of the family orchard Evan had been expected to take over when he came of age. Ellie must also contend with her budding feelings for her best friend's brother, Sol Bontrager, whom her closest cousin has a crush on and who makes her question whether she wants to stay with her boyfriend. The twists in Ellie's relationships will keep readers turning pages, and the Vietnam War--era backdrop allows Lewis to explore fresh ground in the Amish romance genre as she probes the tensions and turmoil that the Amish community faced for their pacifism during that period. This serves as a reminder of why Lewis continues to top bestseller lists. (Sept.)
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