Sixteen-year-old Shannon McNamara has exciting plans for the summer, and she can't wait to get to them. Unbeknownst to her, however, her widowed and ailing mother has plans of her own--to relocate them both to the heart of Amish country in Ohio where she has relatives who can look after her. Shannon quickly learns that living a "simple" life is actually a lot of hard work. But when a hot young Amish guy named Ezra enters the picture, she's ready to get an Amish makeover and even consider making it a permanent change. But does Ezra share her attraction? Will Shannon really make the jump into this new way of life? And will it be for the right reasons?
I have been racking my brain trying to figure out if I have ever read Melody Carlson before, but I think I figured out that I'm confusing her with Kathryn Cushman. My understanding is that Ms. Carlson is a fairly well-liked author of teenage novels. Actually, as I sat here perusing Amazon.com to see what else she had written, I stumbled across the book that goes with a movie my 16-year-old just purchased called Grace Unplugged.
Shannon McNamara reminded me a lot of myself at her age, well except for the whole beautiful and pretty thing. I was pretty much an ugly duckling. I'm talking more the daughter of a single mother who ends up having to grow up a lot faster then her mother probably anticipated. Shannon has definite plans for the summer: get her license, get a job, and get a tattoo, but her whole world is thrown into turmoil when she comes home and finds out she and her mother are leaving the very next day to go live with relatives Shannon didn't even know they had. What's even worse is when she discovers these unknown relatives are Amish.
I laughed with Shannon as she tried to figure out how to do daily activities without the ease that most of us have come to rely on, and I almost cried with her as she struggled with being the adult by taking care of her mother, ensuring she takes her medicine, cleaning up after her when she has accidents, etc. Then Ms. Carlson throws a huge twist by getting hormones involved. Now no one's safe.
This is a good, solid story. I think I mentioned in one of my previous posts that these are nothing like the Young Adult novels from my youth. I did love the way Melody snuck the theme of recommitment and rededication into the story both for Amish and for Shannon into the story.
All in all a good read. I would recommend it.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/wa...; : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.