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Fiddler, The (Home to Hickory Hollow) by…
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Fiddler, The (Home to Hickory Hollow) (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Beverly Lewis

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2114255,323 (4.29)1
Member:betsywpa
Title:Fiddler, The (Home to Hickory Hollow)
Authors:Beverly Lewis
Info:Bethany House Publishers (2012), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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The Fiddler by Beverly Lewis (2012)

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Amelia DeVries is a concert violinist who has spent her life preparing to play the classics in music halls around the world. Her fiance' is a musician as well and they have had to work at finding time for one another during the three years of their courtship. As the book opens, Amelia is enjoying her secret pleasure...opening for a county singer as a fiddler with a country band. Her stage name is Amy Lee and she has kept this guilty secret from her agent, and even more important, her mom and dad. They have spent Amelia's childhood years encouraging constant practice to hone her skills and refine her talents.

She is a big hit at the country concert, but she is startled when she sees her agent back stage afterwards. He is understandably upset with her, but reluctantly promises not to tell her dad if she will tell him as soon as she gets home. Her parents and her agent have set their hearts on a European tour to begin in just a few months. Amelia is torn between the heartbreak of disappointing her parents and her own dream of exploring the possibilities of a career in country music.

But as she starts the long trip home a heavy thunderstorm causes her to miss an entrance ramp back onto the Interstate and before she knows it, she is slowly driving in blinding rain on narrow roads through the hills of Pennsylvania. When she blows a tire, she notices a light through the woods not far from where she is stranded in the rain, so she walks to what turns out to be a rustic log cabin, and what do you know, there is country music pealing out from within!

Here Amelie/Amy meets a handsome young Amish man with troubles of his own. His sweetheart has just broken off with him and his father is exasperated with him for exploring English ways, refusing to commit to the Amish lifestyle, but not walking completely away from it.

Amy is charmed by Michael Hofstetler and is both eager to postpone her return home to her parents, knowing what she wants to say will hurt them deeply, and eager to see the home Michael has described to her, the Amish community of Hickory Hollow.

Will their friendship help or hurt the tenuous relationships that each has with their own parents? Is their any hope that this chance meeting of two people from very different worlds can lead to something more? Beverly Lewis tells a sweet story of two young adults making decisions about their separate futures that take into account their obligations to their families and their somewhat different takes on faith in God.

Beverly Lewis has done as much or more than any fiction writer to familiarize readers with the practices and culture of the Amish and the Mennonites, and she tells an interesting story, building characters that are easy to care about. I enjoyed it and will enjoy reading more about the folks who inhabit Hickory Hollow. ( )
  vcg610 | Mar 24, 2014 |
This book combines both Beverly Lewis' love of music and Amish country "together like a patchwork quilt." (Author's Note)

Amelia is troubled. As a renowned concert violinist, she must keep her passion of fiddling on the side, a secret. Her heart is conflicted with the path that has been laid out for her by her ailing father, her agent and her long-time boyfriend, but this is not the path she seeks in her heart. She finds herself enjoying the company of an amishman, Michael, who takes her to spend a weekend at his hometown, Hickory Hollow in Lancaster County. This brings upon an enlightening change as Amelia makes friends and learns a sense of community, love and how she can truly take control of her own life.

"'Courage is fear on its knees,' quoted Ella Mae, looking again at Amelia. 'And that, my dear, might just be the answer to the pickle you're in.'" (209)

Michael is troubled as well. Recently leaving his amish community to pursue a modern life has left a strain in his family. His family believe that he has become a bad influence on the younger generation, and while Michael still has time to get baptized and join the church, he still feels the pull of new life keeping him happy. After he visits home, he learns of his family continuous love towards him, and after helping the family while his father was ill, they respect him more for his ongoing familial commitment. With teetering feelings about going back to amish life or staying in the English world, he too must make hard decisions to choose his own future and not rely on what others have laid out for him.

"He was both torn yet longing to break free, just as she was." (62)

I enjoyed this different concept from Lewis, but the novel seemed a bit off. Firstly, everything in the book seemed to happen right at the precise place and moment to fall into some sort of divine occurrence. A storm blow Amelia towards Michael in a cabin, she willing accepts to stay with this stranger and then go on to spend the weekend in his Amish home community and she later gets an opportunity to play in Philadelphia which puts her even closer to Lancaster County. Something else in the book that seemed a bit off was the book's pace. Over half the book was written in the timeframe of a weekend, then the rest of the book was severely rushed to finish off the storyline.

"'The gumption, my dear, comes when you believe in your decision so much you simply have to follow your heart, come what may.' Ella Mae leaned forward on the table, her eyes fixed on Amelia. 'And like I said when we talked Friday...if ya believe God' nudging you in a certain direction, you best follow that, no ifs, ands, or buts.'" (209)

With the prologue told in first person by Amelia, switching to third person, and then back to first person by Michael, I found this structure interesting and quite liked it for that. Insta-love and hastening aside, the book was put in a beautiful light with a wonderful message, as all of Lewis' books usually do. What I got from the book was to put the Lord and yourself first and to keep in mind that there's only one person that you need to worry about pleasing. Follow your heart.

First Line: "Late-afternoon sun blinded me as I threw open the back door and stepped onto the porch, duffel bag in hand." (7)
Last Line: "Like a fiddle needs its bow." (323)
---------
Quotes

"Because I knew full well if I continued to walk the fence, I might end up on the other side- the outside, looking in." (10)

"It wasn't easy to push away the painful past; I knew that. But it was high time." (11)

"'No more fiddling around with your future, okay'" (30)

"Unfortunately, these days she more often heard the Lord's name spoken with disdain that love or reverence, not that she was a prime example of spiritual devotion. I need to pray more, she thought, missing her grandmother's own dedication." (36)


( )
  Dnaej | Mar 14, 2014 |
This book combines both Beverly Lewis' love of music and Amish country "together like a patchwork quilt." (Author's Note)

Amelia is troubled. As a renowned concert violinist, she must keep her passion of fiddling on the side, a secret. Her heart is conflicted with the path that has been laid out for her by her ailing father, her agent and her long-time boyfriend, but this is not the path she seeks in her heart. She finds herself enjoying the company of an amishman, Michael, who takes her to spend a weekend at his hometown, Hickory Hollow in Lancaster County. This brings upon an enlightening change as Amelia makes friends and learns a sense of community, love and how she can truly take control of her own life.

"'Courage is fear on its knees,' quoted Ella Mae, looking again at Amelia. 'And that, my dear, might just be the answer to the pickle you're in.'" (209)

Michael is troubled as well. Recently leaving his amish community to pursue a modern life has left a strain in his family. His family believe that he has become a bad influence on the younger generation, and while Michael still has time to get baptized and join the church, he still feels the pull of new life keeping him happy. After he visits home, he learns of his family continuous love towards him, and after helping the family while his father was ill, they respect him more for his ongoing familial commitment. With teetering feelings about going back to amish life or staying in the English world, he too must make hard decisions to choose his own future and not rely on what others have laid out for him.

"He was both torn yet longing to break free, just as she was." (62)

I enjoyed this different concept from Lewis, but the novel seemed a bit off. Firstly, everything in the book seemed to happen right at the precise place and moment to fall into some sort of divine occurrence. A storm blow Amelia towards Michael in a cabin, she willing accepts to stay with this stranger and then go on to spend the weekend in his Amish home community and she later gets an opportunity to play in Philadelphia which puts her even closer to Lancaster County. Something else in the book that seemed a bit off was the book's pace. Over half the book was written in the timeframe of a weekend, then the rest of the book was severely rushed to finish off the storyline.

"'The gumption, my dear, comes when you believe in your decision so much you simply have to follow your heart, come what may.' Ella Mae leaned forward on the table, her eyes fixed on Amelia. 'And like I said when we talked Friday...if ya believe God' nudging you in a certain direction, you best follow that, no ifs, ands, or buts.'" (209)

With the prologue told in first person by Amelia, switching to third person, and then back to first person by Michael, I found this structure interesting and quite liked it for that. Insta-love and hastening aside, the book was put in a beautiful light with a wonderful message, as all of Lewis' books usually do. What I got from the book was to put the Lord and yourself first and to keep in mind that there's only one person that you need to worry about pleasing. Follow your heart.

First Line: "Late-afternoon sun blinded me as I threw open the back door and stepped onto the porch, duffel bag in hand." (7)
Last Line: "Like a fiddle needs its bow." (323)
---------
Quotes

"Because I knew full well if I continued to walk the fence, I might end up on the other side- the outside, looking in." (10)

"It wasn't easy to push away the painful past; I knew that. But it was high time." (11)

"'No more fiddling around with your future, okay'" (30)

"Unfortunately, these days she more often heard the Lord's name spoken with disdain that love or reverence, not that she was a prime example of spiritual devotion. I need to pray more, she thought, missing her grandmother's own dedication." (36)


( )
  Dnaej | Mar 14, 2014 |
The cover makes me think Amelia is blind or so I thought before I read the book.

I wanted to like it more than I did. I liked how they met, and her visiting but I get tired of the miscommunication in most Amish books, I just don't see it as realistic. ( )
  jnut1 | Mar 4, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I have to say that Beverly Lewis is one of my favorite authors of Amish fiction. She has crafted a wonderful story where the characters are very believable. Their problems are such that no matter what your background you can relate to them. All of us have parents who have had dreams for their children. We don’t want to disappoint our parents. In this book Amelia’s father has a dream of her becoming a concert violinist. Amelia loves playing the violin. However, she really loves fiddling. Her father would think this is beneath her talents. The other main character is Michael. He loves his father dearly but would love to become an architect. That would mean not joining the church and entering college. Neither want to disappoint their parents. Yet, their dreams, if they followed them and their hearts would do just that. They must each face and make hard choices. There is a small romance in the story. Want to find out if either one of them follows their own path? Then I suggest you go out and get this first book in the series. You won’t be disappointed. ( )
  skstiles612 | Dec 25, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764209779, Paperback)

New from #1 Bestselling Author Beverly Lewis

Amelia "Amy" DeVries, a 24-year-old violinist, is disillusioned with life and love after the collapse of her long-running romance. Weary of endless rehearsals and performances, Amy sets out on a road trip through the Pennsylvania mountains. She leaves her cell phone behind so life's demands can't intrude on her solitude. She doesn't know, nor care, where she will end up.

When her car breaks down deep in the mountains, Amy realizes the flaw in her "no cell phone" plan. She abandons her car and walks the winding roads, searching for help. Following the smell of woodsmoke and the sound of music, she finds a rustic log cabin. There she meets a young Amishman--and through him a community--that will change her life forever.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:55 -0400)

"A wrong turn in a rainstorm leads Englisher Amelia Devries to Michael Hostetler, and the young Amishman's charming Old Order community of Hickory Hollow. Despite their very different backgrounds, Amelia and Michael both feel hemmed in by the expectations of others and struggle with how to find room for their own hopes. And what first seems to be a chance encounter might just change their lives forever"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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