This is not a book that I would normally pick up–I like romances but the idea of a clean romance was not something I was looking forward to reading. Alas, when the next theme for my librarian reading round table is gentle romance, you read what you gotta read. One of the tasks we were assigned was to read an Amish romance so my author choice was obvious. Beverly Lewis is one of the most prolific gentle romance authors out there and her books check out like crazy at my library. While I can’t say that I disliked “The Fiddler” the genre just isn’t for me and I found the writing to be somewhat lacking.
Amelia is a classically trained violinist who has been secretly performing as a fiddler named Amy Lee in an attempt to have some fun and find her love of music again. While driving home from a performance, she gets caught in a severe thunderstorm and seeks refuge in a cabin occupied by Michael, an Amishman who is dealing with his own familial struggles. Upset that he hasn’t officially joined the church, his family and community is surprised when he brings Amelia, an Englisher, home to visit for the weekend. Amelia finds herself at peace for the first time in a while in the town of Hickory Hollow but can that peace last? And can such different people be together?
There were a few things I liked about this book, including the descriptions of Amish life and Amish people. As I know very little about this culture, it was interesting to read about their daily lives and how relationships are viewed in the church. Other than that, I found the writing to be basic and didn’t find myself invested in the story much. I thought that I would find the lack of romantic scenes to be my biggest issue but I was ok with the slow build- up of the relationship…my main issue is that I found the overall story to be boring with unnecessary plot points thrown in for no reason at all. I didn’t find it necessary to know that Amelia’s mom had started writing books and the Elizabeth storyline seemed to be there just to add some sort of drama to the story. Another minor complaint I had was the difference in character development between the two main characters. Throughout the story, Amelia seems to grow and learn to make decisions on her own while still honoring her parent’s wishes. Michael, however, doesn’t seem to learn anything, despite his decisions towards the end of the book. The reader also doesn’t know why he is so hesitant to join the church, other than he likes his car and likes music. I wish there had been more substance to him, especially given that he is the male romantic lead.
Overall, this book was what I expected it to be and while I am glad I read it from a reader’s advisory point of view, I don’t think I will be reading anymore Amish romances. Fans of Beverly Lewis will like this book but I don’t see much crossover appeal.
Author: Beverly Lewis
Rating: 3 Stars