The Fiddler

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

 The Fiddler

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By Beverly Lewis

I have only read one other Beverly Lewis book, and that was years ago. So I didn't really know what to expect when I opened this book. Overall I enjoyed the book, but it didn't quite stand up to my expectations, as I had heard great things about Lewis' writing (I have only read one of her books and that was years ago).

The plot of the story was very simple, girl wants to change her life path, boy wants to change his life path; in process of trying to change their paths they fall in love. But will their paths match up? This is where the tension in the book lies for the romance aspect. Most of the book is waiting to see if they will ever be able to align their paths so they can be together.

Amelia is the main female character in the book. She doesn't want to live the life her parents have dreamed for her, the life she has been living thus far. Since Amelia was a child prodigy in the violin, they (her parents and her boyfriend Byron) expect her to continue on the fast track to fame. In fact she comes up with an alter-ego, Amy-Lee, who plays the fiddle and opens for country concerts. Amelia cannot find the courage to tell her parents, in particular her father, that she doesn't want the attention associated with being a famous violinist, and would rather have a career playing the violin/fiddle in one location in order to settle down and raise a family. This fear takes over and leads to her need for a break from reality - more of a break that her alter-ego allows even, especially as an opportunity to go on an European tour is presented to her.

The character of Michael, the male lead, was also a complicated character. He wanted to please his family, but he didn't feel like he belonged in the Amish world (strange huh?). This I find completely believable. How could someone who was raised to show the utmost respect to his parents tell those same parents he wanted to leave the church they raised him to be a member in. There's a hard conversation to have with your parents! Plus there were quite a few small details that prevented the opportunity for him to even broach the subject.

Besides the hangup with Amelia's fear of the European tour, I also had a rough time believing the events that led to Micheal and Amelia's first meeting. She gets stuck in a storm and goes to this cabin to ask for help. Mind you the whole time I'm reading this, I'm thinking, you are not supposed to get out of your car if you are stranded! However, this is fiction, and if she hadn't gotten of the car, gone to the cabin, and then spent the whole night with this stranger there would be no basis for the story. So suspend reality long enough to get into the story. If you can't, or don't want to, then this might not be the book for you.

For me the reason this book is on my shelf is because of the take away message. As Amelia tells her agent near the end of the book, "I don't believe we're chosen to simply receive gifts, whether musical talent or something else. The most profound ones come our way so we can extend grace and compassion to others." (281)

That and I have great appreciation for any story that includes the importance of muscle memory when it comes to practicing anything. For anyone who has ever taken lessons for an instrument, or even practiced a sport regularly, muscle memory is the key that allows you enjoy the gift of such a talent. The fact that such a detail was include in the story tells me how much thought was really put into Amelia's character and her passion for the violin.

 I will leave you with "Humouresque" one of the songs Amelia says she loves to play.

Did you read this book? Did you enjoy it? Any thoughts? How about others by Beverly Lewis - suggestions for follow up reads?






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** Please know I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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4 comments

  1. I have only read one Beverly Lewis book, but I have many sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read. The only reason I haven't read more of her books has to do with "so many books, so little time." I really enjoyed the first Lewis book I read, although it was not this one which you have reviewed. I enjoy reading books about the Amish and there are several good authors of Amish books out there. I do like it that these books tend to be uplifting and "filth free." I will look for this book and add it to my Beverly Lewis collection. Thanks for the review.

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  2. I've read quite of few of Beverly Lewis' books and usually enjoy them. It is bothersome sometimes, when the story is not quite believable enough. I read a book like that recently (reviewed it on my site) that had some spots that took me out of the story cause I couldn't quite believe it.

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  3. Appreciate this review.

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  4. You made me want to read a Beverly Lewis novel again. I read her first books and enjoyed them. However, I keep having problems with all the books written by the Amish. There can't be that many getting pregnant and giving up their babies for adoption and then to find their families again and fall in love with a aunt or cousin. I know I'm stereo typing these novels, but that is what it started to be like.

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