Brightest and Best by Olivia Newport
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 1st 2015 by Shiloh Run Press
ISBN 1628366338 (ISBN13: 9781628366334)
Series: Amish Turns of Time #3
As the new education rules are set in place, the Amish find themselves at a crossroads between their religion and obeying the law. Ella has her future mapped out, but when the Amish school house burns down and her community is turned upside down by the new education rules, Ella finds herself facing a huge personal sacrifice for the future of the Amish children.
I really struggled with this book. I'm not sure if it's because I didn't read the first two in the series or if it was just the story line. I'm not sure there was enough of a personal story line with anyone. The names that popped up the most to me were Ella and Margaret, both of whom I'm still not sure I know much about.
I felt a lot of times, there would be a scene being laid out so delicately, then all of a sudden it stopped. The scene never finished out. I took it as maybe it really wasn't important how the scene ended, but then I found myself getting irritated that if it wasn't important, why put it in there in the first place? For example, one scene James hitchhikes back to his home. However, the scene ends with him getting in the car, beginning a conversation, and then just stops. I wanted to know the rest of the conversation!
I thoroughly enjoyed the main plot of the Amish community needing to figure out how to educate their children, but not be forced to make their children attend public school. It really made me want to know how the Amish did get it approved to educate their own children, in their private schools, and only up to the 8th grade. I never really thought about it before, so I enjoyed this whole thought process and venture into how Amish educating their own came about. I also appreciated that the author gave a brief overview of the history of how this really happened in the prologue.
Brightest and Best was my first read by Olivia Newport. While I didn't completely enjoy this book, I would be more than willing to check out one of her other books.
I was graciously provided a free digital copy of this book from Shiloh Run Press in partnership with NetGalley to review it. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
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