A Reckless Heart
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Slipping. Lydia Bontrager’s youngest sister is frighteningly ill, and as a good Amish daughter, it falls to Lydia to care for her siblings and keep the household running, in addition to working as a teacher’s assistant and helping part time at her grandmother’s bakery. Succumbing to stress, Lydia gives in to one wild night and returns home drunk. The secret of that mistake leaves Lydia feeling even more restless and confused, especially when Joshua, the only boy she’s ever loved, becomes increasingly distant. When a non-Amish boy moves in nearby, Lydia finds someone who understands her, but the community is convinced Lydia is becoming too reckless. With the pressures at home and her sister’s worsening condition, a splintering relationship with Joshua, and her own growing questions over what is right, Lydia could lose everything that she’s ever held close.
Amy Clipston is by far one of my favorite authors. She has a way about her words and descriptions that truly draw you into the lives of the characters. As I read Reckless Heart, I was drawn into the home of Lydia and her family and the struggles there were met with in a severe illness. I could see the worry on each of the parents' faces. The frustration and concern and anger within Lydia as she tries to navigate this new life even if temporary and how permanent it felt for her in the moment. I had to fight back my own tears during some of the more intense conversations between different characters and could feel the warmth of Irma wanting so much to be her sisters confidante in the midst of the chaos. It was tied in well to the Kauffman Amish bakery series but also enough of a side story to read it without needing to read the Kauffman series first. (Though I strongly recommend you read those too!! They are also amazingly done.) Very few books truly bring me into the picturesque scenery where I can envision the homes and the fields around and how the community is laid out and the setting in such complete detail without making the majority of the story as "setting the scene." Reckless Heart was so well written, I would definitely suggest the read!