Author: Leslie Gould

Publisher: Bethany House

Reading a novel is like solving a puzzle (for me anyway). Where will the ending wind up? Can I guess the ending? I like to think I know where the author is going with their story. With A PLAIN LEAVING, it was more interesting to guess the outcome as Leslie Gould intertwines two stories.

Jessica’s story begins with her background of leaving her Amish home three years prior only to be called homes because her ‘Dat’ (dad) has passed away. She knows she will be shunned, which is the custom when you’ve turned your back on your Christian heritage and Church. She also has to come to terms with Silas, the childhood love she left behind as she headed for a life with the English culture.

Ruby’s story was set centuries before Jessica’s on the same family farm as Jessica. Ruby’s story is her struggle to keep the farm going, take care of her ill ‘mamm’ (mom) as all the rest of the family moves away to avoid fighting for the British. As Anabaptist, fighting is against their religion. Once ‘mamm’ feels better, Ruby will rejoin the family and the man she’s going to marry ~ but will she? Ruby faces some hard life choices that aren’t fitting for a woman of her Amish heritage.

The author does a good job of keeping interest in both story lines. I personally found that I was more drawn to the story of Ruby and how her story ends. Did I guess right? Did I guess right how Jessica’s would end? I can say, the author kept the interest, and I only knew for sure if I’d guessed right at each story’s conclusion.

Jessica and Ruby were both Amish women with lots of life altering decisions.

The story is an easy read that kept my interest without unnecessary dull fill in reading. I give this book 5 stars because it is an awesomely, interesting read.

Excerpt from the Author:

Leaving Was the Hardest Thing She’d Ever Done . . . Until She Had to Return Three years ago, Jessica Bachmann walked away from everything: her family, their beloved farm, her Amish community, and Silas Kemp. After clashing with the new bishop and her brother about her role in her family and the future of the family farm, anger and restlessness wouldn’t allow her to stay.

When she is forced to return home because of her beloved father’s death, her arrival stirs up all kinds of emotions–sorrow, grief, and yearning alike. Jessica knows things can’t return to the way they were, but, especially upon seeing Silas again, she can’t help wonder what might have been–and what still could be. The stakes grow higher when she learns that her brother, Arden, is still pursuing potentially hazardous fracking on the family’s land.

As Jessica wrestles with her next step, she learns the cautionary tale of Ruby Bachmann, a Revolutionary War-era ancestor who faced similar struggles. Will Ruby’s decisions motivate Jessica to leave her family, the land, and her community forever? Or is there healing, love, and belonging yet to come for her in Lancaster County?

A Note About the Author

In the decade and a half since my first contract I’ve written twenty-five novels, from Beyond the Blue, a story about international adoption set in Vietnam, to Courting Cate, a retelling of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to the Cousins of the Dove series, co-authored with Mindy Starns Clark about the French Huguenots. No matter what I write, I aim to reveal truths about God’s love, beauty, and redemptive work in our lives. My goal is to connect more deeply to God, family, long-time friends, and new friends through my writing. My hope is that my stories encourage readers to deepen their own connections too. You can read more about the Author, Leslie Gould HERE


I received A PLAIN LEAVING as a free copy from the publisher. No review, positive or otherwise was required. All opinions are my own.

The reviews on my blog are specifically my own interpretation of my like or dislike for a book that I read.

You can find A Plain Leaving at the following:


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