Select one of the keywords
The Betrayal    by Beverly Lewis order for
by Beverly Lewis
Order:  USA  Can
Bethany, 2003
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio
* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Amish teenagers Leah Ebersol and Jonas Mast have been courting by mail. Unbeknownst to them, Leah's father Abram set up a cabinetry apprenticeship for Jonas in Ohio, far away from their little town of Gobbler's Knob, Pennsylvania. Abram still holds out hope that Leah will marry Gid Peachey, son of the local blacksmith. But the romance between Leah and Jonas has not been thwarted, much to Abram's dismay. Letters fly back and forth between the young people, cementing their relationship and allowing them to court long distance.

All is not well for Leah's sister Sadie. After birthing her stillborn son, Sadie falls into a deep depression. Leah and Aunt Lizzie, the only two who know about the birth, are both increasingly burdened by the secret. Despite their pleading, Sadie will not repent to the church elders. Even when circumstances reach a breaking point, Sadie won't allow the two women to betray her confidence. Leah is afraid that this unconfessed secret will cause a rift between her and God. Will Leah kneel in covenant with the church and be baptized, or will the secrets she is keeping cause a break in fellowship? Will Jonas and Leah marry, or does Gid still have a chance?

The Betrayal is the second book in the Abram's Daughters series. Very few issues are resolved, although the reader does discover one secret the family tried very hard to keep under wraps. I found myself irritated that I have to wait until May 2004 to read the next installment in the series, because this book ends with a great deal of tension and strife and no conclusion to any of the storylines. I would almost recommend readers wait for the next book before diving into this episode.

The characters are so well drawn that I react physically to the strife they are experiencing. Beverly Lewis has a way of helping the reader to feel exactly what her characters are feeling. Leah matures in Jonas's absence and also from her struggles to keep such a large secret from her family and her church. Although these young people are Amish, their issues of betrayal and decision-making mirror typical teen lives and will ring true for everyone. The family's devotion to the Lord and their faith permeates the entire novel, and will lead the reader to examine their own beliefs more closely.

It is important to read the books in order, as The Covenant gives background to the plot and the characters. The Betrayal is an excellent addition to the series, which I do recommend with the reservations mentioned above. It gives a peek into a lifestyle that is familiar to few, and helps to paint a picture of the similarities and differences between Amish and non-Amish life.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Contemporary books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews