Sunday, March 24, 2013

Review of "Adoring Addie" by Leslie Gould

Rating: 3.5 Stars
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Review: Leslie Gould improved my opinion of Amish Fiction last year with "Courting Cate." She gives a fresh spin to both Amish fiction and Shakespeare's famous works by combining the two in her "Courtships of Lancaster County" series.  "Adoring Addie" is inspired by the classic story of Romeo and Juliet.  Because the plot is built around such a well-known tale, it is predictable overall. I enjoyed "Adoring Addie," but not quite as much as "Courting Cate," which is based on "The Taming of the Shrew," a story-line unfamiliar to me.  Knowing the path that a story is going to take spoils the surprise of what will happen next.  Addie and Jonathan fall in love early in the novel.  The love-at-first-sight scenario disappoints me as a reader, but Addie and Jonathan's struggle to bring harmony between their families helped me to overlook my "pet peeve."

Gould's characterization of the Amish differentiates both "Adoring Addie" and "Courting Cate" from other Amish novels that I have read in the past.  Her characters face real-life problems, without their lives seeming overly quaint or overly oppressive.  Details as small as Addie preparing taco salads for dinner make Gould's characters seem less disconnected from mainstream culture.  Gould strikes a balance between the charm of Amish life and reality that Amish face problems similar to the rest of modern society.

"Adoring Addie" is a pleasurable romance, adapted from "Romeo and Juliet," minus the tragic ending.  The main characters and their hardships are well-developed to create a story of love, forgiveness, and truth.  Gould adds dimension with her secondary plots, particularly with Addie's brother, Timothy. There seems to be definite potential for a future novel based on Timothy. While I didn't fully adore "Adoring Addie," I definitely plan to read the future books in the "Courtships of Lancaster County" series.

I received a complimentary e-copy of this novel from Netgalley, courtesy of Bethany House.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Summary: Not Since Romeo and Juliet Has a Couple Faced Odds This Long

The Cramers and Mosiers have been angry with each other for as long as anyone can remember. Things had cooled to a simmer...until Addie Cramer and Jonathan Mosier fell head over heels for each other. Now old tensions are renewed, and Addie's parents insist she marry stolid and uninspiring Phillip Eicher.

Distraught at a future apart, the two decide their best hope is to reconcile the two families...but that means digging into the past to see what tore them apart. Will their love be enough to keep them together or will long-held secrets ruin their chance at happiness?

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