cover image A is for Amish

A is for Amish

Shelley Shepard Gray. Kensington, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-1-49674-884-3

Four siblings dream of abandoning the Englisch world for a simpler way of life in this solid series opener from bestseller Gray (An Amish Cinderella). Beth, Jonny, Kelsey, and Martin Schrock, whose father left the Amish community in his early adulthood, are all in their 20s and disillusioned with their ho-hum jobs when they decide to seek fulfillment on their Amish grandparents’ farm. The elder Schrocks, who are skeptical about the sudden interest in their way of life, stipulate that the siblings live with them—two at a time—for a year before being baptized. Martin and Kelsey commit to the trial period but hardly have to time to acclimate to the daily chores and lack of technology before Martin’s interest in his grandparents’ pretty neighbor, Patti Coblentz, and Kelsey’s budding attraction to Preacher Richard throw a wrench in the works—since neither sibling can get married until they’re baptized. Are the Schrocks serious about their faith or simply in love with the idea of “living happily ever Amish”? Gray effectively sets the stage for the rest of the series, leaving just enough loose ends dangling to keep readers on tenterhooks for the next installment. This is sure to charm Gray’s fans and net her some new ones. (July)