Friday, August 25, 2006

"The Bishop's Daughter"

The Bishop's Daughter
Wanda E. Brunstetter
ISBN 1597890006
Available Here

Finally, the long-awaited final installment in the "Daughters of Lancaster County" trilogy. I have to say, out of the three books, I enjoyed this one the most. This final book has tied up all the loose ends in the series, and has answered every question. The book has the most poignant romances, the most humor, and the most well-developed plot lines of the trilogy.

We first meet Leona Weaver, the local schoolteacher and daughter of the Amish community's bishop. She leads a life that while full of activity, is lonely. She had a bad experience with a fiance previously, and still hasn't gotten over the loss of him. She claims she hasn't any interest in marriage, yet it is painfully clear that she needs love in her life.

We next meet up again with Jimmy. As readers of the trilogy will recall, Jimmy is Naomi's baby brother that was kidnapped by a man who wanted to make his infertile wife happy. Linda, the woman who has raised Jimmy as her own, has recently passes away from cancer, and she insists that her husband inform Jimmy about his background of being adopted, however, Linda never knew about the kidnapping. Jimmy's 'adoptive' father turns to alcohol for relief after the death of his wife, and doesn't inform Jimmy of his birth. Jimmy finds out about his birth and kidnapping, and makes the decision to move to Lancaster County to attempt to discover if the 'wild' tale of his kidnapping really is true. He decides to blend in, and takes a painting job for an Amish worker to try to learn about his heritage. Then, to complicate matters, he meets Leona.

There is an attraction, nearly from day one, between Leona and Jimmy. Of course, they know that pursuing a relationship is not really an option, and Leona is Amish and Jimmy is an Englisher. Then, a tragedy strikes the Bishop, and he develops ammnesia, so Jimmy decides he must help the family out. While the reader must feel sorry for the Bishop's family, it is rather hilarious to read about the Bishop's new pet goat and the touble they get into together.

What will become of the secret, blossoming love between Leona and Jimmy? Will Jimmy find his family? Will he ever forgive the man that kidnapped him and raised him as his son? All these questions, and many more, are answered to satisfaction. The author has weaved another enchanting tale about the"Plain People", and my only wish is that this series was not merely a trilogy, but continued, as I would love to spend more time in the company of the "Daughters of Lancaster County".

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