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The River

Beverly Lewis
The River

Tilly and Ruth, sisters who are formerly Amish, face memories of the family's trauma when they return back to Eden Valley for their parents' wedding anniversary. Each woman carries a burden of past guilt, unknown to one another, along with unresolved relationships with their... Read More

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Item # 1526125


Item # 1526125

Tilly and Ruth, sisters who are formerly Amish, face memories of the family's trauma when they return back to Eden Valley for their parents' wedding anniversary. Each woman carries a burden of past guilt, unknown to one another, along with unresolved relationships with their six married brothers and aging parents.

Headstrong Tilly urge Ruth to flee from them as well, welcoming her into the fancy English world. Neither joined the Amish church. Tilly has since been married and is the mother of identical twin girls, but Ruth remains single. When she encounters her former love once again, old feelings resurface, leaving her to wonder how things might have gone had she stayed in Lancaster county.

As past and present collide, Tilly and Ruth struggle to find redemption and embrace acceptance. Can they face the future in the light of a past full of things they can't change?

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Product Details:
Pages: 352
Release: 09/2014
  • Store Only: Yes
  • Product type: Book
  • Format: Softcover
  • Release Date: Sep 2, 2014
  • UPC: 9780764212451
  • Volumes/Discs: 1
  • Pages: 316
  • Publish Date: Sep 2, 2014
  • Language: English
  • Audience Age Maximum: 0
  • Audience Age Minimum: 0
  • BISAC: "FIC042000"
  • ISBN: 0764212451

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If Beverly Lewis is the author, you are assured 100% you will be reading a good book. This one is another in a line of many of excellent stories! The River is a wonderful example that all families have conflicts, even the Amish.

Tilly left her Amish life and married an Englisher. Her sister Ruth also made the choice to leave. She and Tilly have a close bond, but still love and miss their family. Tilly is very happy with her twin girls and her new life. You can only imagine the discord this created with their Amish family.

A brother calls and invites them to come to a celebration of their parent’s anniversary. Due to the difficult relationship with her family, especially her father, both girls decide not to attend. Ruth receives another call telling of their father’s bad health which influences them to go. Having been several years since they have been home, they are understandably anxious about the reception they will receive.
As I read I could actually feel the tension and uneasiness Tilly felt. Some of her family received her with open arms, others were distant, but her Dad was as he had always been toward her, unloving and critical. She was the only child in the family he treated so harshly. She decides to stay and her uncle and aunt’s house to ease the situation. Tilly not only is confronted with her father’s lifetime rejection of her, but also guilt involving the death of her younger sister years ago. She blamed herself for the little one’s drowning, when she was supposed to be watching her.

Misunderstandings and unknown facts can cause a family to fall into a trap of living in conflict, hurting one another, and never experiencing the closeness they could have. Ms. Lewis weaves a beautiful story of a family finding their way back to each other amid great conflict with in and among themselves. Through forgiveness, love, and confronting their inner hearts, they find their way back. The story has many surprises and made me think of how longstanding secrets can cause people to act in ways we don’t understand. You will want to read this book!

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Unsure of what the title “The River” had to do with an Amish story, my choice to read this book was easily made when I saw Beverly Lewis was the author. This story is written with twists and turns different from other Amish writings. The Point of View was about two Amish sisters who had left Eden Valley, Lancaster, Pennsylvania before their baptisms to live the “fancy” life – in the English world. The Conestoga River plays its part as the location where little sister Anna drowned one July afternoon leaving behind broken emotions on the entire family. Tilly blamed herself that she was unable to save Anna and locked her feelings deeply within. Tilly left her plain life behind – the memories of Anna’s drowning still raw and real. She couldn’t face seeing the Conestoga every day. She moved to Rockport, Massachusetts and eventually married Kris and gave birth to twin daughters, Jenya and Tavani. Tilly’s younger sister Ruth left for different reasons two years after Tilly. Will Kauffman had been courting her for a couple of years and suddenly jilted her. With damaged emotions Ruth sought Tilly’s help to move to Massachusetts.

In 1977, eight years since Tilly had left; the Amish family was planning an anniversary celebration for their parents, Lester and Sylvia Lantz. An older brother Melvin wrote a note to Tilly about their plans. Tilly and Ruth decided to ignore the invitation and not attend – until Melvin called Ruth and told her of the recent news that their father was very ill and needed a pacemaker. They reluctantly decided to go for the four day weekend. They were apprehensive about being accepted and dreading their time in Eden Valley for different reasons. For reasons unknown to Tilly, she and her father batted heads constantly and no love shown in Daed’s sternness toward Tilly. Ruth did not want to see Will. Particularly because she had a new love interest in her life, Jim Montgomery who was quite active in the church she and Tilly had joined.

Ruth planned to stay in her parent’s home, but Tilly decided it was best to stay with her favorite Uncle Abner and Aunt Naomi. The large Lantz family spread over Eden Valley included twins Melvin and Joseph, Chester, Sam and his wife Josie who had been Tilly’s best friend. The reunion did not go well at first mainly for Tilly – but wait – there is plenty to come!! Tilly had kept Anna’s kapp without telling her Mamm and decided she needed to risk the telling of that secret. It seems everyone had secrets and I wondered how the web would ever be unwound. Ruth sees Will again and resists him at first, but finally joins him for a meeting at his insistence. Uh oh, would she be tempted to return to the plain life? You will need to find that out by reading the book.

Unresolved issues and relationships continue to plague all concerned. It is not as though the sisters forgot the values and good upbringing they had, they remembered and still kept a deep faith In God. Unexpected circumstances complicated life even further when Daed had an attack and needed to spend time in the hospital. The sisters found out that their parent’s property had been deeded to Sam and plans were to move their Mamm and Daed into the Dawdy house. They decided to stay a week longer to help. Tilly moves to her parent’s house and sleeps in the Anna’s room where nothing had been changed since her death. It was there that Tilly discovered a box which holds a long kept secret. Now I must stop, because I’ll be telling you the entire story.

Let me just add that I felt much anger at the father for his treatment of Tilly. I speak from experience of a relationship close to me where the father treated his step-daughter in that manner. It is impossible to tolerate – only constant prayer will help. I was also angry with Mamm for allowing it. The truth will shock you, but good things begin to happen when God takes over. Ms. Lewis has indeed written a very intriguing story and I am thankful from a personal standpoint to have read it. There were some parts of the book that I deemed unnecessary to the story. Overall it was excellent and I congratulate Beverly Lewis for still coming through with new ideas after the numerous novels she has written.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

A great story! by Kati on 10/14/2014

*** I was given a copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review of the book.

I "like" Beverly Lewis on Facebook which means I can see when her new books come out, and I've read almost all of them. Her latest three books I've been fortunate to get through Bethany House Pulishers.

The River is about Tilly and Ruth. The two formerly Amish sisters who left the community after the death of their little sister. After years of being away, they return to their family for their parent's anniversary party. Once they get home, they are confronted with the troubles of their past.

Although this wasn't one of my favorites of Beverly Lewis's books, it was still a great story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. (There are books of hers I like better, such as all the books in her Abram's Daughters series.) There was a little bit of mystery in the story involving Tilly and her father's relationship which makes for an interesting read. There was some sadness regarding little Anna who died in a drowning accident, but there was also joy in reading about the rekindling of friendships and healed relationships.

If you like Amish fiction I would recommend you read this book. I think you would enjoy it!

Review from Rambles of a SAHM by Fitzysmom on 10/6/2014

It is the fall of 1977 and Tilly finds herself contemplating going back to a place she thought she had left behind forever. Years ago she left her family's Amish farm in Eden Valley and expected to never return. But a letter from her older brother requesting that she visit has weakened that resolve.

Tilly's sister Ruth followed Tilly out of the Amish lifestyle and is settled nicely in the Englisher community near Tilly's family. She's hesitant to go back for a visit as well, but not for the same reasons. Can the two sisters go back home for a visit without tearing open old wounds?

Family ties go deep in the Amish community. Lester and Sylvia Lantz have spent their days raising a godly family that they assumed would carry on the family's Amish faith. When first Tilly and then Ruth leaves their home to seek a life outside of the community it deeply affects the entire family. Can old hurts ever be healed? Can things be brought to light that will free everyone from the burdens they have been carrying?

Beverly Lewis has once again penned a beautiful story of a broken family in need of healing. She reminds us that love does heal and forgiveness frees both parties. The story of the Lantz family in Eden Valley is fresh and new even though this author has written numerous accounts of Amish fiction. The story has a familiar setting, but the characters are unique. The situation is as old as time itself.

I think you will be blessed and uplifted by reading this account of a flawed family in need of grace. I always enjoy a journey into the world that Beverly has created for her readers.

I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.

Incredible! by Ginger on 9/18/2014

The River, by Beverly Lewis is just another phenomenal book by Ms. Lewis. I am so in love with her writing style. She just never disappoints. So when The River came up for review, there was no way I was going to say NO. The River captivates the reader. I could not put it down to sleep. I could not put it down to even work here on the computer. Beverly Lewis writes in a style that totally moves the reader into the storyline.

The River, by Beverly Lewis is about two sisters, Tilly and Ruthie who have left the Amish faith. First Tilly, then Ruthie. Tilly and her dad always had a strained relationship, never getting along. Ruthie, younger than her sister followed suit as soon as she was able too. Neither joined their church. Both living in the English world. Tilly blames herself for her sister Anna that died when she was a young child in the river. Ruthie left with a broken heart.

The River, is an exceptional story that just keeps you wanting to read more. I give The River, by Beverly Lewis 5 stars. I wanted to reach out and just hug Tilly so many times! To never feel the love of a parent is so heart-breaking to me. Don't you think? I want to just take her hand and go out for a walk or coffee, or whatever just so she can talk about her feelings about the death of her sister and the feelings she has towards her dad.

I received a free copy from Bethany House in hopes of an honest review on my blog My MisMatched World

Facing Your Past by Maureen on 9/2/2014

Tilly has tried to put her past behind her, she is happy now living with her husband and twin daughters. She still lives rather plain, but does live in the English world. She has one member of her Amish family living English near her, and enjoys Ruth and her new life.
Tilly was the black sheep of her Amish family; she blamed herself for the death of her baby sister Anna. When the note comes that the family is holding an anniversary party for her parents, she doesn’t want to go. Ruth also has decided they will not attend.
Then comes a call to Ruth about their Dad’s health, and their decisions are reevaluated, and both go home to face the family. Can’t even imagine, you feel almost split in two. Leaving behind your safe life, and wanting to see your family, but knowing how they feel about your leaving.
This is the story of secrets, forgiving, and a loving relationship with God. How life changes and feelings are soothed when we submit to God’s will, not our own. A very hard, fulfilling way to live, with God in the center, but will all be able to accept what he wants?
A different Amish story here, things are not always as they appear, and not just Tilly blames herself, others also feel responsible, and all need forgiveness. Will this family ever find peace, a locked room, a stolen cap, and an old love?
This is a great page-turner of a read, I wanted to find the answers to the clues that were offered, and what a surprise. Also the title of the book, and the effect that the River has on this story. Enjoy!

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.

Touching and Heartwarming! by Judy on 8/24/2014

I hope everyone that reads this review gets a chance to read, The River. My wish is that everyone enjoys the good times in this story and mourns the bad times as I did. This story tugged on my heart. The emotions I went through and the tears I shed was cleansing. I was touched!

Author Beverly Lewis takes you on a trip to Eden Valley and places you in the Lantz family in such a way that you experience what each and every family member is going through. This family has some hidden secrets, holds unforgiveness, bitterness, pain, and hurt in their hearts.

Pick up a copy of this great read and let your mind and your heart take a trip to Eden Valley. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

God’s Love, God’s Forgiving Way, God’s Mercy and God’s Grace shines through.

I want to add that I am a huge fan of Beverly Lewis. I have read all of her Amish fiction books. This one is by far one of my favorites.

I won this book on LibraryThing to read and review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.

A great feel-good book! by Kim on 8/9/2014

I am a huge fan of Beverly Lewis and her Amish books. Was very excited to get an ARC of The River by Beverly Lewis. Two sisters Tilly and Ruth have left their Amish roots behind to live fancy as their Amish family calls it. They have also left bad memories behind as well. Then they recieve a call from their brother inviting them to come home for their parents anniversary celebration and they decide to go. Tilly leaves her twin daughters with her English husband while she takes this trip with her sister, not sure how her family will react to them or her English husband - none of which they have yet met. There seems to be a lot of unresolved issues for both sisters as they go home and the past meets the present. Secrets have been kept hidden over the years can they be forgiven? One of my favorite bible verses that is quoted in this book has to do with forgiveness.

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 KJV

I read this in one day , as I found it to be a page-turner that I couldn't lay down. I highly recommend this book if you like reading a feel-good book.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review rather it be good or bad. Thank you.

Look for this book on September 2, 2014

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