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The Guardian (Home to Hickory Hollow #3) by Beverly Lewis

The Guardian (Home to Hickory Hollow #3)The Guardian by Beverly Lewis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


"When schoolteacher Jodi Winfield goes for a morning run, the last thing she expects is to find a disheveled little girl all alone on the side of the Pennsylvania road, clad only in her undergarments, her chubby cheeks streaked with tears. Jodi takes the preschooler home with her, intending to find out where she belongs. But Jodi is mystified when no one seems to know of a missing child, and the girl herself is no help, since she can't speak a word of English. It's as if the child appeared out of nowhere. 

As the days pass, Jodi becomes increasingly attached to the mysterious girl, yet she is no closer to learning her identity. Then an unexpected opportunity brings Jodi to Hickory Hollow--and into the cloistered world of the Lancaster Old Order Amish. Might the answers lie there?" -Goodreads


The third book in the Home to Hickory Hollow series, The Guardian, is about rediscovering love and faith. This book can easily be read out of series as a stand alone as, like the previous two books, it is a separate story with a separate plot. Maryanne is an amish mother who has suffered great loss with the death of her husband, but also more recently with the disappearance of her youngest child, Sarah. Jodi, who has also suffered great loss with the death of her only sister, is a modern woman, house-sitting for her cousins in the Lancaster County area when she discovers a little amish child while out running. In The Guardian, these two women converge with what feels like divine intervention as both of their lives teach the other about rekindling the love of God and his will.

With Maryanne's reluctance to find a much needed step-father for her children, her view of men becomes distorted as she feels too pressured to take up such a task as replacing her deceased husband. I find her strength admirable as she does the best she can to take care of and protect her children. Her view towards her future, and her faith, is reinforced as she meets Jodi and softens on the idea of "fancy folk" and even on remarrying. Jodi's faith in God and view towards her own future are reinforced as she realizes the importance of children and sharing her life and love with others. Jodi's anger and confusion in God is addressed and eased as she implants herself in the local amish society of Hickory Hollow. In my eyes, Jodi's story is refreshing and addresses a lot of issues that people nowadays go through with grief and how it affects their faith in themselves, their loved ones and God.

"Jodi considered the possibility that finding Sarah along the road had been an answer to her own personal plea that morning--That the world would stop so she could step off and catch her breath." (Loc. 2669)

Although there are a lot of wonderful thoughts that go on throughout this book, I found just a couple of things in the beginning of the book a little off-putting. I found that, as displayed in the book, the amish community had absolutely no problem with going to a doctor to get their children checked-out, but when it came to going to the police to help find one of their own, this was frowned upon. I also was a bit mad at Jodi for not taking action and taking little Sarah to the hospital to at least assess if she had a concussion or any internal bleeding. "The knot on the girl's forehead still concerned her." (Loc. 547) but apparently it didn't concern her enough to alert her from keeping the girl from sleeping, or taking her to the emergency room. As much as these events peeved me, I could see how later in the book, these lack of events helped secure Jodi a place in the amish hearts as they felt they could trust her because she acted just as they would act in that situation; not contacting the police, and not taking Sarah to the hospital.

"Joshua became aware of the rumblings of a dispute when Smith Riehl took up the notion of contacting the police. He'd said it right into the air, like it was something folks might actually consider." (Loc. 561)

I've read quite a few of Beverly Lewis' series and I love how she enlightens her readers with tales of a quaint amish community. Lewis is very much the storyteller, and it's because of this, and her calm writing style, that I always find myself wanting to read more. Her writing evokes peace and each and every one of her stories has a message to it's readers (just as Ella Mae does!) I find The Guardian does a wonderful job in displaying faith in humankind and how keeping faith in God can help people move on from grief.

First Line: "Something about heading for home at nightfall tugged at my better judgment that Thursday evening." (Loc. 9)
Last Line: "Truly, God's love is the greatest miracle of all." (Loc. 3469)

"A lot can change in a year, she reassured herself." (Loc. 181)

"It took a whole lot of faith in the future, and in God, to bring a child into the world...and it was faith she just didn't have." (Loc. 1701)

Galley provided by NetGalley via Bethany House

*Quotes are from uncorrected advanced galleys and may change before going to press. Please refer to the final printed book for official quotes.

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Expected publication: March 26th 2013 by Bethany House Publishers

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