Starting from Scratch- Four Star Review
by: Kate Lloyd
En Alt Maedel—an old maid.
At age twenty-nine, that’s what Eva Lapp considers herself. And who could argue with her? Finding a good Amish husband at her age will be next to impossible. Plus, Eva’s unwarranted bad reputation in Lancaster County precedes her. Maybe living the Englisch life would be better.
Squeezed out of her childhood home by her brother’s boisterous family, Eva finds lodging and a new job managing a small café at a local plant nursery. But the challenge of her new position isn’t enough to distract from her current predicament.
To Eva’s surprise, her first love, Jake Miller, suddenly returns to Lancaster County. Flooded with emotions and filled with questions about Jake’s past, can Eva trust what she’s feeling?
Jake and Eva face many obstacles in their quest for a fresh start in the community, but perhaps with God’s help, they can find the redemption they both desperately need.
Starting from Scratch is book 2 of the Lancaster Discoveries series by Kate Lloyd, book 1 being A Letter from Lancaster County. At first, I didn’t realize the two books were in the same series, (I read A Letter from Lancaster County earlier this year.) There is little that connects the books, so each are easily read as a stand-alone. A few of the characters from the first are present or mentioned in the second, so it would still be fun and beneficial to read them in order.
We all go through times in our life when we “Start from Scratch.” I remember that from a time right after my husband and I married. I realized that I had to buy grocery staples- flour, sugar, and the like. Living at home, those things had always just been there, but not anymore.
Our family has “started from scratch” several times when moving to a new state. We’ve had to re-establish doctors, banks, insurance companies… as well as frequented establishments and a new church family.
Maybe, you have “started from scratch” after a fire or a death of a close loved one– a parent or a spouse. It’s hard, but life continues to move forward and it’s up to us to draw strength from the Lord and push on.
Eva Lapp is “starting from scratch.”
“I felt like a child might on her first day of school in a different district where she knew no one.”
After a fire… After a death– of her dreams… after being relocated in a move that wasn’t altogether of her own doing.
“The last thing I needed was to be seen as a loose woman, something I wasn’t and never had been. But shaking a bad reputation was like pulling your foot out of a wasp’s nest without getting stung.”
She ready to build a new life for herself- a new job…new friends… a new church district… possibly a new beau… but the past has a way of repeating itself. Eva is trying to decide if she wants to join the church and remain Amish or if she’s better suited for the Englisch life.
I enjoyed this story- for the most part. We You’ll enjoy this Amish romance with a little mystery and danger on the side. I loved the character of the Italian “housekeeper,” a prickly yet lovable old lady with only Eva’s best interest as heart; and Stephen, the sweet Englischer with his cap set for Eva.
“My, he was an attractive man and two years older than I was. A shame he wasn’t Amish. Would I leave the Amish church if I fell in love with an Englisch man? No, I wouldn’t break my parents’ hearts the way Jake had broken his. A least I didn’t think I would.”
I felt the ending to be a little awkward and cut short. I felt bad for the string of beaus attracted to Eva, while she had her sights set only on one man– a man, I have to say, I didn’t like very much. I was almost sorry to see the book end the way that it did. I also felt some things resolved too sudden or too easily.
Other than that, this was a good, clean romance and if you enjoy Amish stories, be sure to read Starting from Scratch!
About the Author
Author Kate Lloyd is a passionate observer of human relationships. A native of Baltimore, Kate spends time with family and friends in Lancaster County, PA, the inspiration for her bestselling novels Leaving Lancaster, Pennsylvania Patchwork, and Forever Amish, the third book in the Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy. Her novel, A Letter from Lancaster County, released July 1, 2017. Starting from Scratch will release April 3, 2018 and in and is available for preorder.
Kate is a member of the Lancaster County Mennonite Historical Society. She and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest, the setting for Kate’s first novel, A Portrait of Marguerite. Kate has worked a variety of jobs, including car salesman and restaurateur. For relaxation and fun, Kate enjoys walking with her camera in hand, beachcombing, and playing with her two young grandchildren.
Find out more about Kate Lloyd at her-
Kate loves hearing from readers!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own, a positive review was not required.
A positive review does not guarantee that I endorse or recommend all publications by the author/ and or publisher.