I had a young friend read Plain Paradise by Beth Wiseman for this book review. As you can see from her comments below this book is aimed at young adults and the story mainly focuses on the mother/daughter relationships that are formed in the teen years. One of the reasons I personally thought this book would be interesting to me was the topic of adoption. The teenage girl, Linda, was adopted and not told until her biological mother wanted to meet her. This was a secret that was not shared with her as a child and came as a shock as her adoptive parents were forced to tell her of how she became a part of their family and community.
Beth Wiseman is the best-selling author of the Daughters of the Promise series -- Plain Perfect, Plain Pursuit, and Plain Promise. She is contracted with Thomas Nelson Publishing for ten Amish novels and three novellas - releasing into 2013.
As she puts it, her writing has been "all over the place." As a former newspaper reporter, she was honored by her peers with eleven journalism awards, including first place news writing for The Texas Press Association.
She has been a humor columnist for The 1960 Sun in Houston and published articles in various publications. Those articles included a wide array of topics - an article on premature birth, an article about performance boating, and an article about her mother--a whitewater canoeing enthusiast who still paddles the rivers at the age of 75. However, writing novels is where her heart is. She left her job as a journalist in 2008 to write novels fulltime.
"Writing about the Amish lifestyle within fictional love stories has been a wonderful experience," Beth says. "The Amish and Mennonite contacts I have established in Lancaster County help me to keep the books authentic. These very private people might dress differently, avoid the use of electricity and modern conveniences, but they are just like everyone else. They love, hurt, have daily challenges and struggles, and strive to be the best they can be. An often misunderstood sect of people, it has been a privilege to learn about their ways."
For this review, Karrah Duncan writes "Plain Paradise was a very interesting book. It was very good and I enjoyed reading it a lot. It had everything in it from young romance to death. I would recommend young readers to read Plain Paradise even if they were not interested in Amish life. Although the setting takes place in Lancaster County and the main characters are Amish, the story mostly focuses on the bond between a mother and her daughter, Linda. Linda doesn't know that she is adopted and this story shares what happens when she finds out 17 years later when her birth mother contacts her unexpectedly. Anyone who likes romances with a twist will enjoy Plain Paradise."
Karrah Duncan is fifteen, a sophomore in high school and an avid reader of all types of books.