Addie Cramer’s parents are thrilled that Phillip Eicher has come to call. He’s good, kind, wealthy, and a real catch. Addie wonders, though, if this is love. When she meets Jonathan Moosier, she simultaneously discovers what love at first sight is and understands the depths of the old feud between her family and the Moosiers. Can Addie’s and Jonathan’s attraction survive the many counts against it?
This does sound like a sweet and fluffy little Amish romance, doesn’t it? But it isn’t. It is meant to parallel Shakespeare’s tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, and in some senses Adoring Addie is a tragedy too. Lives are spoiled; personal, family, and community dysfunction are rampant; and the whole mood of the book is dark.
Because the book is much more about family relationships, mental health, and the results of sin, than about the romance between Addie and Jonathan, it is not a light, pleasant read. After all, family feuds are inherently unpleasant. However, Adoring Addie explores the sadness and dysfunction involved in such feuds, a valuable thing to do, and is therefore worth reading and pondering.
Spoiler alert: Although Leslie Gould does share God’s hope, the book left me with a certain degree of hopelessness and made me feel as I did after reading Camus’s The Plague. Not that the ending isn’t happy for Addie and Jonathan; it’s just that so much evil and sickness has happened in the past.
In terms of homeschooling: Unlike Leslie Gould’s earlier book Courting Cate (reviewed here) which goes so well with Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, Adoring Addie does not contribute significantly to an understanding of Romeo and Juliet.
Not your average Amish romance, Adoring Addie is a thoughtful novel of human relationships, sin, and reconciliation. Recommended.
Disclosure: This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and is available at your favorite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.