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The Fiddler (Home to Hickory Hollow #1) by Beverly Lewis

The Fiddler (Home to Hickory Hollow #1)The Fiddler by Beverly Lewis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


"Amelia "Amy" DeVries, a 24-year-old violinist, is disillusioned with life and love after the collapse of her long-running romance. Weary of endless rehearsals and performances, Amy sets out on a road trip through the Pennsylvania mountains. She leaves her cell phone behind so life's demands can't intrude on her solitude. She doesn't know, nor care, where she will end up. 

When her car breaks down deep in the mountains, Amy realizes the flaw in her "no cell phone" plan. She abandons her car and walks the winding roads, searching for help. Following the smell of woodsmoke and the sound of music, she finds a rustic log cabin. There she meets a young Amishman--and through him a community--that will change her life forever."

This book combines both Beverly Lewis' love of music and Amish country "together like a patchwork quilt." (Author's Note)

Amelia is troubled. As a renowned concert violinist, she must keep her passion of fiddling on the side, a secret. Her heart is conflicted with the path that has been laid out for her by her ailing father, her agent and her long-time boyfriend, but this is not the path she seeks in her heart. She finds herself enjoying the company of an amishman, Michael, who takes her to spend a weekend at his hometown, Hickory Hollow in Lancaster County. This brings upon an enlightening change as Amelia makes friends and learns a sense of community, love and how she can truly take control of her own life.

"'Courage is fear on its knees,' quoted Ella Mae, looking again at Amelia. 'And that, my dear, might just be the answer to the pickle you're in.'" (209)

Michael is troubled as well. Recently leaving his amish community to pursue a modern life has left a strain in his family. His family believe that he has become a bad influence on the younger generation, and while Michael still has time to get baptized and join the church, he still feels the pull of new life keeping him happy. After he visits home, he learns of his family continuous love towards him, and after helping the family while his father was ill, they respect him more for his ongoing familial commitment. With teetering feelings about going back to amish life or staying in the English world, he too must make hard decisions to choose his own future and not rely on what others have laid out for him.

"He was both torn yet longing to break free, just as she was." (62)

I enjoyed this different concept from Lewis, but the novel seemed a bit off. Firstly, everything in the book seemed to happen right at the precise place and moment to fall into some sort of divine occurrence. A storm blow Amelia towards Michael in a cabin, she willing accepts to stay with this stranger and then go on to spend the weekend in his Amish home community and she later gets an opportunity to play in Philadelphia which puts her even closer to Lancaster County. Something else in the book that seemed a bit off was the book's pace. Over half the book was written in the timeframe of a weekend, then the rest of the book was severely rushed to finish off the storyline.

"'The gumption, my dear, comes when you believe in your decision so much you simply have to follow your heart, come what may.' Ella Mae leaned forward on the table, her eyes fixed on Amelia. 'And like I said when we talked Friday...if ya believe God' nudging you in a certain direction, you best follow that, no ifs, ands, or buts.'" (209)

With the prologue told in first person by Amelia, switching to third person, and then back to first person by Michael, I found this structure interesting and quite liked it for that. Insta-love and hastening aside, the book was put in a beautiful light with a wonderful message, as all of Lewis' books usually do. What I got from the book was to put the Lord and yourself first and to keep in mind that there's only one person that you need to worry about pleasing. Follow your heart.

First Line: "Late-afternoon sun blinded me as I threw open the back door and stepped onto the porch, duffel bag in hand." (7)
Last Line: "Like a fiddle needs its bow." (323)

"Because I knew full well if I continued to walk the fence, I might end up on the other side- the outside, looking in." (10)

"It wasn't easy to push away the painful past; I knew that. But it was high time." (11)

"'No more fiddling around with your future, okay'" (30)

"Unfortunately, these days she more often heard the Lord's name spoken with disdain that love or reverence, not that she was a prime example of spiritual devotion. I need to pray more, she thought, missing her grandmother's own dedication." (36)

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Kindle Edition339 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Bethany House Publishers (first published April 6th 2012)

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