Saturday, May 26, 2012
Reckless Heart by Amy Clipston
And really, I enjoyed this book more than A Life of Joy.
Reckless Heart follows Lydia, who's suddenly overwhelmed when her younger sister Ruth is diagnosed with Leukemia. She reacts by alternately trying to bear the weight of the household on her shoulders and what she perceives as "lashing out/being disrespectful" towards her dad (her mom is at the hospital with poor Ruth). At the same time, she has to make a career choice and deal with a friendship with an English boy, a friendship frowned upon by the community.
Personally, I think the two subplots weren't as well dealt with as the main plot. While I didn't always agree with Lydia's perception of herself, I could understand her and I was hoping along with her that Ruth would get better. Plus, the characterisation of this household in turmoil was very well done, and brought the characters to life.
On the other hand, I think that the weight of the main plot crowded out the subplot. There wasn't enough space given to each that they could develop and honestly, I thought that the whole "school-or-bakery" crisis was a non-event. It didn't feel like a crisis anyway. But, the friendship with Tristan (the "English" guy) had definite potential. In fact, he was my favourite character in the whole book, a nice Christian guy who goes beyond the discrimination against him. It was a stronger sub-plot, but again, the resolution felt like a non-event. Perhaps more time was needed to build up the tension before the resolution?
All in all, this is an enjoyable book. The speech felt a bit confused at times (sometimes I didn't understand the Amish words, and sometimes I felt like the characters were speaking exactly like modern teens), but it wasn't a very big impediment. I'd recommend it if you're looking for a fiction book centered around the Amish.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.