Bontrager's youngest sister is frighteningly ill, and as a good Amish
daughter, it falls to Lydia to care for her siblings and keep the
household running, in addition to working as a teacher's assistant and
helping part time at her grandmother's bakery. Succumbing to stress,
Lydia gives in to one wild night and returns home drunk. The secret of
that mistake leaves Lydia feeling even more restless and confused,
especially when Joshua, the only boy she's ever loved, becomes
increasingly distant. When a non-Amish boy moves in nearby, Lydia finds
someone who understands her, but the community is convinced Lydia is
becoming too reckless. With the pressures at home and her sister's
worsening condition, a splintering relationship with Joshua, and her own
growing questions over what is right, Lydia could lose everything that
she's ever held close.
Reckless Heart was a very relaxing read. I haven't read any of Clipston's other (separate) Kauffman Amish Bakery novels. So the family tree at the beginning was very helpful. :-) This novel circles around a topsy-turvy year (or very close to) of Lydia Bontrager's life.
Lydia is an ordinary sixteen Amish young woman. She is works as a teacher's assistant at the school most weekdays and she spends the rest of her weekdays at the family Bakery. But at home, things are less than normal.
Her youngest sister Ruth is very, very, sick and is diagnosed with pediatric leukemia. So when her sister is taken to the hospital and their mother leaves too Lydia is left to run the household, parent her other two younger siblings, and balance two jobs. Then, as if things couldn't get harder on Lydia, her close friendship with Joshua begins to crumble..
Although Lydia strives to do the right thing after her mistake, her guilt hovers over her like a cloud. After all, keeping a secret from your parents and best friends isn't an easy burden. Nor was it the right choice. I was reminded frequently of how important it is to just come clean and not let lies fester and eat away at you.
Personally, through this part of the novel things really dragged. But this is also coming from the mystery/suspense lover that I am. Hehe. Clipston's characters appeared very realistic. They weren't perfect, they had their own set of problems, and they certainly came to life! Another brief complaint of mine is that the ending felt extremely rushed.
To conclude, this was a very refreshing read and I wouldn't mind reading a little more about Lydia.
I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review, which I have done.
Interested? You can purchase the book here!