Saving Gideon by Amy Lillard is the first book in an Amish romance series set in the fictional town of Clover Ridge, Oklahoma. Ms. Lillard takes lead characters from two seemingly incompatible worlds - Old Order Amish and the English world of a Dallas socialite - on a journey of self discovery and healing.
Gideon Fisher wants one thing out of life -- to be left alone. This is not the Amish way, but he’s devastated after the death of his wife and son to the point of losing his faith. He buys a farm on the outskirts of the district and pulls away from his community. But when a freak spring snowstorm brings a beautiful Englisher to his farm, Gideon has no choice but to let her in.
I found Saving Gideon to be a thoroughly enjoyable story. Gideon, burdened with grief and guilt over the deaths of his wife and son, withdraws from the Amish community. Avery, upset over the betrayal of her boyfriend, has an accident during a spring snowstorm and is rescued by Gideon. Thus begins a journey of self discovery and healing for both.
I don't always find the "Englisher-becoming-Amish" storyline enjoyable, especially when the Englisher is wealthy or has no Amish background, but this book was an exception. The tender romance between Gideon and Avery was developed slowly and with subtle humor. A cute theme was Gideon's growing fondness for Avery's pedigreed Yorkie, Louie V, described by Gideon as "punier than a barn cat."
The faith journey theme was also developed slowly and realistically. Avery felt that "Faith was believing that God would take care of the problems they faced. . . . Gideon still had faith. It had been trampled on and nearly taken from him in his grief, but it was still there, shimmering below the surface, just waiting to be rediscovered."
Some may find the romance between Gideon and Avery unrealistic, but that didn't make the book any less enjoyable for me. Anyone who enjoys inspirational Amish fiction should like Saving Gideon. There were several interesting secondary characters, such as Gideon's parents and his brother's family, and I hope they will be featured later in the series. Book number two, Katie's Choice, will be published in May 2013.
To learn more about Amy Lillard and her novels, visit her website:http://amywritesromance.com/
This book was provided by B&H Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.