The River by Beverly Lewis focuses on the lives of two sisters, Tilly and Ruth Lantz, previously of the Amish faith.
One day, Tilly receives a letter from one of her brothers, requesting she and Ruth return home to Eden Valley for their parents’ anniversary get together. A few days later, the same brother calls Ruth, urging them to come home, because their father is very ill.
Tilly ran to avoid memories. She married an Englisher and has two daughters, twins Jenya and Tavani. She rebels at the thought of going back to Eden Valley.
Ruth left Eden Valley after the heartbreak caused by a philandering boyfriend. She is both excited and resistant to returning home.
Neither Tilly nor Ruth really want to return home. Both are happy and settled into their new lives, far from the Amish and Amish way of life. Going back would resurrect memories and hurts best left alone. Memories of sweet Anna, their baby sister, drowned at age five; memories of a father who never seemed satisfied with Tilly and memories of Ruth’s boyfriend, who left her broken-hearted and bereft.
How will the sisters be able to fit into the Amish lifestyle again, even for a short period of time? They both love the ease of Englisher life and are reluctant to go; after all, it’s not really like the Amish to have celebrations.
Finally, overcoming the roiling, disconcerting memories, Tilly and Ruth set off for a visit to Eden Valley. As the visit advances, things seem to have remained the same even though many years have passed. Tilly and her father still have deep issues, and Ruth’s boyfriend wants to pick up where he left off when he broke her heart.
Through much soul-searching, painful honesty and openness, the sisters are able to resolve many issues before realizing they made the right choice leaving Eden Valley.
I received this book from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.