Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, is The New York Times bestselling author of more than ninety books. Her stories have been published in eleven languages worldwide. A keen interest in her mother's Plain heritage has inspired Beverly to write many Amish-related novels, beginning with The Shunning, which has sold more than one million copies and was recently made into an Original Hallmark Channel movie. In 2007 The Brethren was honored with a Christy Award. She has been interviewed by both national and international media, including Time magazine, the Associated Press, and the BBC. Beverly lives with her husband, David, in Colorado.
Visit her Web site at www.beverlylewis.com for more information.
The Fiddler Q & A
1. You recently reached the #2 spot on The New York Times bestseller list, your highest position ever. How do you feel about your expanding popularity?
I am continually amazed and truly grateful for God’s hand of blessing on my work, and for the opportunity to share His love through story. So many thousands of readers write to say my books speak directly to them, that they believe my intimate writing style is for their hearts and eyes alone, like an open letter from a friend. I also think the fascination with the Amish tradition has taken on a life of its own due to a general longing for peace and a less hectic lifestyle.
2. Your new series, Home to Hickory Hollow, returns to the fictional Lancaster County setting that graced your inaugural Amish series, tHe Heritage of lancaster county. (The first milestone in what eventually became the current “bonnet fiction” craze!) What led you to make that decision? So many readers continue to express their fondness for idyllic Hickory Hollow, which I created back in 1997 with The Shunning, the first book in The Heritage of Lancaster County. The longtime interest in that place has grown tremendously in recent years, in part because of the recent Hallmark movie adaptation of The Shunning, as well as the enormously popular musical, The Confession Musical. I took a poll on my Facebook fan page and discovered that readers were just “a-hankerin’” to come back to this beloved setting where it all began. Truly, Hickory Hollow is as real to me as it is to my readers, and fans will be in for some fun surprises! Although this new series offers peeks into the lives of some of the most memorable characters from The Shunning and its sequels, the primary characters in The Fiddler are brand-new, with compelling stories of their own.
3. In what way is this series different from your previous ones?
Home to Hickory Hollow is really a collection of books rather than a continuing saga. Each novel will be a related stand-alone that can be read in any order the reader chooses. I wanted to write a series where readers can pick up any book and know they will find a satisfying and complete story.
4. Amelia Devries, the main character from The Fiddler, isn’t your typical leading lady. What inspired her?
In this book, my passion for music, as well as the Plain community of Lancaster County, where I grew up, come together like a patchwork quilt. Like my protagonist, Amelia Devries, I studied violin, although I was never as proficient a fiddler as she! The story begins with Amelia at a crossroads: A classically trained musician, she’s been moonlighting on the fiddle circuit and is about to be found out. She subsequently takes a wrong turn in a rainstorm…which leads her to Michael Hostetler, an Amishman from Hickory Hollow with a dilemma of his own. The juxtaposition of an “English” girl with an Amish love interest really appeals to me, and I know my readers will love it, too. Readers can get an early peek at The Fiddler via the wonderful book trailer my publisher has posted on YouTube, as well as on my website and official Facebook fan page.
5. What are some story questions that run throughout The Fiddler? Is it possible to balance the expectations of our families and communities with our own hopes? How do we find our purpose in life? What can happen when our hearts are open to others? Virtuoso or not, everyone has talents and gifts that can make a difference in this world!
6. Fans have been ecstatic about the film and stage adaptations of your books. Are more in the works? It’s been an absolute joy to see my stories fleshed out for the screen or in live theatre, with fabulous music. The filming schedule is about to be released for the movie sequel, Beverly Lewis’ The Confession, the continuation of Katie Lapp’s saga from my Heritage of Lancaster County series. I’m delighted that Michael Landon, Jr., will once again be at the helm as director and co-producer, just as he was for Beverly Lewis’ The Shunning, available now on DVD. Also, due to its enormous popularity, The Confession Musical is expanding to more locations—opening on June 7 in Sugarcreek, Ohio at the Carlisle Inn, as well as opening for its third run in Shipshewana, Indiana at the Blue Gate Theatre, and its second run in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania at the Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant and Stage. My website and Facebook fan page offer more information.
7. What are you working on next? Presently I’m writing The Bridesmaid, the second novel in my new series, Home to Hickory Hollow. That will appear on shelves September 11, 2012.Facebook fan page offer more information.
8. How can readers keep up with your work? To sign up for my free newsletter, they can visit www.beverlylewis.com or my Facebook fan page, www.facebook.com/officialbeverlylewis. My website also features my monthly blog, book excerpts, delicious Amish recipes, and news about my upcoming book tour, which kicks off April 10 at Barnes and Noble in the Har Mar Mall in Roseville, Minnesota. I will be visiting bookstores and libraries in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota.Facebook fan page offer more information.
Series: Home to Hickory Hollow, Book 1
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5
Number of pages: 336
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: Apr. 2012
Formats: Paperback | Hardcover | Large print
Amelia "Amy" DeVries, a 24-year-old violinist, is disillusioned with life and love after the collapse of her long-running romance. Weary of endless rehearsals and performances, Amy sets out on a road trip through the Pennsylvania mountains. She leaves her cell phone behind so life's demands can't intrude on her solitude. She doesn't know, nor care, where she will end up.
When her car breaks down deep in the mountains, Amy realizes the flaw in her "no cell phone" plan. She abandons her car and walks the winding roads, searching for help. Following the smell of woodsmoke and the sound of music, she finds a rustic log cabin. There she meets a young Amishman--and through him a community--that will change her life forever.
Where to buy:
Barnes & Noble
Englisher Amelia Devries is performing the opening act for a Tim McGraw concert in Philadelphia. Amelia is a champion fiddler going by the stage name of Amy Lee. But this is her secret life. In her real life she is famous concert violinist. As she is leaving the concert her agent and family friend has found out her secret and has come to confront her. He feels this is below her and that her ailing father would be very disappointed if he every found out. She agrees to call him once she gets home to discuss a tour overseas. This is not something she wants to do in fact she is considering taking a hiatus from performing with her violin. She feels more alive around the people at the country concerts.
As she heads home it comes a downpour or as we say around here a gully washer. She can't she where she is going and makes a wrong turn. She looses control of her car and blows a tire. As she tries to get her bearings she has no idea where she is all she see is fields. When the rain slacks up a bit she sees a faint light and realizes it is a small cabin. She makes a run for the cabin fearing what or who she was fixing to face. A handsome young amishman opens the door and without hesitation invites her out of the rain and into his cabin. He introduces himself as Michael Hosteler. From the looks of the things sitting around the room, like a laptop and an iPod, she wonders what kind of Amish has this kind of technology.
The rain does not let up and from the sounds of the storm it would be tomorrow before the flat tire could be changed. So against better judgement she decides to wait it out. They end up sharing each others life story, to an extent, they decide to play chess. As it gets late they knew they should try to get some sleep. With the privacy of a curtain between the two sleeping areas it was difficult to not be aware of the stranger on the other side of the curtain.
The next morning after they had breakfast Michael's invites Amelia to visit his Amish community and friends. She agrees to go and makes new friends then decides to stay the weekend with her new Amish friend Joanna. It is such a peaceful place and she goes out into a field and plays her fiddle, but not the country music. She plays and practices the music she plays on her solo violinist tours.
What is going through her mind? Does she plan on staying with the Amish permanently? How does the community feel about her music especially since they don't allow such instrument as the fiddle?
Are Amelia and Michael becoming more than friends? Is Michael planning on leaving the Amish since he is so hesitant to join the church? He wants to further his education and enjoys his car and his new found electronics.
The author has given us two young people pondering and drifting from the lives there families expected and raised them to live. Confused as to what God's will is for their future.
This is a lovely coming of age story. The parents are so concerned and fearful for their children's future. I read something in "River's Call by Melody Carlson" that said, to "Sometimes we have to give up the oars and let them row the boat by themselves". But that is not so easy do when we want to protect them from themselves.
I hope I left you wanting to know more about God's will for Amelia's and Michael's future. So go get the book you will not regret reading THE FIDDLER by BEVERLY LEWIS.
I highly recommend this book!
I rated this book a 5 out of 5.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.