Carol Award: Long Contemporary Romance Finalist: Anna’s Return
Title: Anna’s Return
Author: Marta Perry
Publisher: Penguin Praise (Ellen Edwards, Editor)
Genre: Long Contemporary Romance
Reviewed by: Lisa Carter
When her irresponsible behavior led to a tragic accident, Anna Beiler ran away from her Amish community and embraced the English lifestyle. After three years, she returns home, bringing with her a baby girl and secrets that threaten to destroy the peaceful Amish environment Anna once despised.
Perry throws in enough mystery, plot twists, and tension to keep readers turning the pages.
At first, the community is suspicious of her desire to return to the Plain life, especially as they believe her to be an unwed mother. But in seeking sanctuary from her adopted daughter’s violent father, Anna is forced to come to terms with her estranged family.
She finds a common bond with a childhood friend, Samuel, who for reasons of his own left the Amish and yet also returned to the fold. Amidst their burgeoning love story, Anna realizes that if she wants to stay with the Plain People, she must confront the actions of her past and seek the forgiveness of others she has wronged. Will Anna stay for good this time or drift back to the enticing lures of the English world?
Like an intricately patterned, jewel-toned Amish quilt, Marta Perry creates an evocative storyworld in Book Three of her Pleasant Valley series. It is small wonder that Anna’s Return is a finalist in the 2011 Carol Awards.
Perry’s characterizations of Anna and Samuel are memorable and developed well. The unfolding tender love story between Anna and Samuel is richly drawn. In typical fashion, Perry throws in enough mystery, plot twists, and tension to keep readers turning the pages until the surprising conclusion. Readers of Anna’s Return will be left with a feeling of satisfaction and, conversely, a longing for a little more of Perry’s compelling Amish world.
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