Saturday, February 23, 2013

Review: Goodbye to Yesterday

By Wanda E. Brunstetter
The Discovery, A Lancaster County Saga - Book 1

Goodbye to Yesterday, by Wanda E. Brunstetter, is somewhat different from a lot of Amish fiction and I enjoyed it very much.  This is the first section of a six-part serialization entitled "The Discovery, A Lancaster County Saga."  Each part is approximately 120 pages in length and will be released monthly, from February to July, 2013.

Amish couple, Meredith and Luke Stoltzfus, are faced with the greatest challenge of their young lives. Financial struggles. Arguments. A suspected pregnancy. A last-minute trip to Middlebury, Indiana. A deadly encounter at a Philadelphia bus station. Will their love and faith be enough to bring them back together again, against all odds?

My thoughts:
Wanda writes in a comfortable, easy-flowing style which I find easy to read.  There's more narrative than dialogue or action in this part, but I think that's in order to set the stage - to provide necessary and relevant information to help us better understand the characters and their actions.  I thought the narrative was done well.

Goodbye to Yesterday has some serious overtones, as Luke and Meredith deal with Luke's job loss and the impact that has on their openness with each other, financial decisions, and Luke's desire to provide for his family without Meredith's help.  Although fairly short, part one caught my attention and I'm looking forward to the rest of this series.

The other issue is the serial format.  I think I like this style, but I'm not sure yet.  One advantage is that I get to spend a longer amount of time with these characters, letting the story really sink in.  Part one ends with a cliffhanger, and I don't believe there's any chance of forgetting what happened from one episode to the next.

Publishers seem to be experimenting with the serial format.  Will it be successful?  I think it will come down to pricing.  Rather than looking at the price for one episode, readers are smart; they will calculate the total cost and decide if they're willing to pay that much for a book.  So pricing is key.

I definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy inspirational Amish fiction.  Just realize that Goodbye to Yesterday is the first of six parts and therefore short.
Wanda E. Brunstetter

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This book was provided by Barbour Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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