The Judgment by Beverly Lewis was sent to me as a review copy by Bethany House Publishers. It is the second novel in The Rose Trilogy by this author.
This novel continues the stories that began in "The Thorn.". Rose Ann Kauffman is engaged to Silas Good, an upstanding young Amish man who will make an excellent husband. But Rose Ann still thinks often of Nick Franco, the foster son of the bishop, who left the Amish community amid suspicion of his involvement with the death of the bishop’s biological son. While fighting these feelings for Nick, things also come to light about her relationship with Silas.
Meanwhile, Rose Ann’s sister, Hen, continues to live with her daughter, Mattie Sue, in the Amish community. She is currently separated from her ‘English’ husband, Brandon, who wants Hen and his daughter to move back home or he will sue for custody of Mattie Sue. Hen wants to restore her relationship with Brandon, but she does not want to once again leave the Amish way of life.
Rose Ann and Hen must come to terms with their relationships, while their Amish community must decide what will be done concerning the death of the bishop’s son and the absent Nick Franco.
Overall, I enjoyed this second installment of “The Rose” trilogy. I liked it better than the first book, mostly because it had a better flow to it. (During the first book, I was so confused by all of the characters and multiple storylines that my head was spinning.) The Judgment also wrapped up more nicely at the end while still leaving more to be explored in the final book in the series.
I enjoyed the character of Rose Ann more in this book, too. She didn’t seem to be as childish, and she made a very mature and honorable choice at the end of the book. Her choice sets up the third book in the series very well.
The main issue I had with this story was once again with Hen. I understand that Hen wants to go back to her roots and to rear her daughter in a moral environment. I just don’t think she should insist that her (non-believer, English) husband become Amish in order to do so. Hen and Brandon both have issues that they need to work through, but the reader only gets Hen’s very biased side of the story. As I said in my review of "The Thorn," I need to “…just enjoy the story rather than analyze the theology behind the story.” While I think I was able to do this better during The Judgment, I need to get even better at it when I read the final book in the series!
Even though I was once again frustrated with Hen, the event that occurs in her story near the end of the book also sets up the third book very well.
The Judgment was an easier read for me than the first book in The Rose Trilogy. Maybe it was because I was familiar with the characters and familiar with the story. Maybe it was because the novel was written cleanly compared with the first one. While this novel may have been a little lacking in depth of storyline, I do think that The Judgment is a good bridge between the first and last books of The Rose Trilogy. I look forward to reading and reviewing The Mercy when it is released.
I will give The Judgment by Beverly Lewis … 3 BookWorms.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers/Baker Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”