He Loves Me….He Loves Me Not…..
Bea is a 21 year old, quiet Amish girl living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Her father has passed away, and her mother has recently survived a brain tumor. Molly, her older sister, has tried to run Bea’s life as far back as she can remember. Now married, Molly wants to force homebody Bea to accompany her on an extended visit to Montana to visit Molly’s in-laws. Frantically wanting to avoid the trip, Bea gets a job helping the nearby Miller family with general housework and their recently born, premature triplets.
Although Bea has no experience with babies, she is motivated to learn quickly. She wants to have a job, so she won’t be pressed to go with Molly on her trip. Bea soon finds she adores children. Despite getting little sleep, and working really hard at the Miller’s, her job is a labor of love. She even squeezes in time to help harvest the apples that are in the Miller’s yard and trees. She uses much of the fruit in her many apple recipes while cooking for the family.
The one drawback to the job is Ben Rupp. He is also working at the Miller’s. Bea and Ben were strong competitors with each other every single year in school. They always tried to outdo the other in spelling. Their fierce rivalry in the 8th grade spelling bee was so over-the-top, the school board forbid future spelling bees–because of their very non-Amish behavior. Although Ben frustrated Bea in school, she really thrived on their mutual spelling battles.
Ben and Bea have a further history because he courted her a couple of years earlier. Suddenly he just stopped courting without any explanation. Bea has felt hurt, rejected and angry ever since. Whenever he is near her, she feels he is verbally attacking her, and she responds in kind.
Since the two of them are working at the Miller’s, Ben acts like he wants to court Bea again. This confuses Bea and she doesn’t want to open her heart for more hurt. She fears he might jilt her suddenly like he did before–especially since the first rejection has never been explained. She doesn’t trust him, and wants to understand what happened.
When Molly returns from her trip, Bea discovers Molly has set in motion plans that will completely change the course of Bea’s life. Bea is horrified by Molly’s interference, but she is also traumatized by events that have taken place in her family’s absence. Bea has found herself unjustly accused of something she did not do, and sadly finds very few will believe her. Ben is one of her worst non-believers, and has broken her heart once again.
Will Bea get a say in the course her life will follow, or will she meekly give in to Molly’s life-plan? Now that she has discovered the joy of children, is Bea destined never to have any of her own? And will Bea get justice and have her name cleared of the false accusations?
This was an enjoyable look at Amish life and romance. The frantic pace that three newborn preemies cause in the Miller household rang very true. The story also covered some unexpected ground I have never read in other Amish books. This book is part of a series, but Becoming Bea can stand alone. Anyone who enjoys well-written Amish books, or Christian fiction, would enjoy this 5-star book.
As a special treat, the author, Leslie Gould, has allowed me to share one of Bea’s yummy apple recipes:
Bea’s Baked Apples
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 6 large apples – peeled, cored, and sliced
- 3 1/2 tablespoons water
- Chopped pecans, if desired, about 1/4 cup, or to taste
- Raisins, if desired, about 1/4 cup, or to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large baking dish with the butter.
- Mix brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Layer about 1/3 of the apples in prepared baking dish; sprinkle with 1/3 of the sugar mixture. If using nuts and raisins, sprinkle 1/3 over apples. Repeat layers. If desired, put pats of butter on top.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Pour water over apples and continue baking until tender, about 15 minutes more. This turns the sugar/cinnamon mixture into a perfect sauce.
- Check the last 5 to 10 minutes to make sure they are not getting too soft or mushy.
This would be a great addition for Thanksgiving, & it is gluten-free, too! Thanks Leslie and Bea.
The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through Bethany House Publishing for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner. Despite my receiving the book free, it has not influenced my judgment, and I have given an honest opinion.
Author’s Blog: http://www.lesliegould.com/
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