The Bridesmaid (Home to Hickory Hollow)

by Beverly Lewis

Paperback, 2012



Call number



Bethany House Publishers (2012), 318 pages

Original publication date



Twenty-seven-year-old Joanna Kurtz has made several trips to the altar, but never as a bride. The single young Amish woman is a closet writer with a longing to be published something practically unheard of in her Lancaster County, Pennsylvania community. Yet Joanna's stories aren't her only secret. She also has a beau who is courting her from afar, unbeknownst even to her sister, Cora, who, though younger, seems to have suitors to spare. Eben Troyer is a responsible young Amish man who hopes to make Joanna Kurtz his bride, if he can ever leave his parents' farm in Shipshewana, Indiana. Yet with his only brother off in the English world, intent on a military career, Eben's hopes for building a life with his dear Joanna are dimming, and patience is wearing thin. Will Joanna ever be more than a bridesmaid?… (more)


Original language


Physical description

318 p.; 8.5 inches



User reviews

LibraryThing member Maydacat
This is a gentle tale about a gentle people. Joanna Kurtz is 24 years old, and is still unmarried with no serious prospects. Her younger sister warns her that there is truth to fear behind the old saying “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride,” but Joanna ignores her warning and accepts yet
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another request to be a bridesmaid. This leads to bad feelings between the formerly close sisters. During an out-of-town visit to attend a funeral, Joanna meets Eben, a single Amish man, and an attraction on both sides ensues. But since they come from different Amish communities in different states, their courtship is fraught with difficulties. Their pending marriage is dependent on the actions of other people, and is further complicated by the desires and ability Joanna possesses for writing. Trusting God, Joanna and Eben work to discover His plan for their lives, still hoping to be together but fearing it is not to be. This second stand-alone installment in the Home to Hickory Hollow series will appeal to fans of inspirational Amish fiction, but, echoing Amish life, the pace is slow and even the conflicts are mild. No page turner, the character development of the secondary characters is almost nonexistent, and even the main characters lack details that would better define them. A balm to the hectic life most of us lead now, this novel will sooth you to sleep rather than keep you awake, but maybe that is a good thing, after all.
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LibraryThing member Lindz2012
Note: I won this book Though LibraryThing Early Reviewers for my Honest Review.

This book is about Joanna and her struggles and a bit about Hickory Hallows. I really enjoy this book though the eyes of Joanna. There some so strange about how it starts and ends. She so want to be a wife and mother and
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waiting for her special someone.

Eben is happens to run into her while they are at the Virginia Beach for Joanna great, great Uncle funeral. Thought Eben has is struggles at home in Indiana. What he has a dilemma and he so love a girl. Will they get what they both want in terms of each other?

They both have their struggles. Joanna struggles with Eben is mean for her or not. Joanna has to work something out while in Hickory Hallow and Eben has to work though his delimma with is family and brother and his family farm.

The book tell you about keeping your faith in the Lord, and teach about separation along with long distance Relationship and that you may need to give a little sometimes. Though I would rather you read this for yourself and decide if this is what you get when you are reading it. I would recommend it folks to read if they enjoy fiction and or Amish. You choose for yourselves.
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LibraryThing member jpogue
The quaint lifestyle and simple faith of the Amish people provide the backdrop for Beverly Lewis’s “The Bridesmaid”, a gentle story of a young Amish woman’s search for God’s will in the midst of love and loss. Joanna, the book’s protagonist, is “old” at 24 years to still be single
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in the Amish culture, and the pressure is mounting, especially from Joanna’s little sister, to marry a good man within their community. The story follows her journey as she finally finds love, only to see the smitten couple’s future threatened by circumstances beyond their control.

I especially enjoyed this author’s insight into a culture so different from my own. The simplicity of the characters’ faith was incredibly encouraging, and I enjoyed Lewis’s ability to share God’s love and light through this unique lens without being preachy or overbearing. The meandering pace of the story, the vivid descriptions of the countryside’s surroundings, and the twists and turns in the book’s plot all captivated me. I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next in Joanna’s small world!

If I had one complaint, it would be that Lewis wrapped up the story a bit too quickly in the last part of the book. I was so thoroughly enjoying the tale that I couldn’t believe it came to an end when it did. I would have liked the conflict’s resolution to keep the same leisurely tempo that Lewis had so masterfully woven in the first half of this book.

“The Bridesmaid” is a light, endearing book that will both refresh and renew one’s soul. It also provides a blessed peek into the mystique and veil of the Amish culture. I highly recommend this engaging piece for women who need a break from the heaviness and toil of our driven, industrialized society.
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LibraryThing member myoldkyhome
I so enjoy Beverly Lewis' books. She does such a wonderful job of detailing Amish life. It makes it easy for my mind to escape to the different lifestyle of this culture. I particularly like the relationship that she created for Joanna and her sister in this book. Another great story from Beverly.
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I can't wait for the next one.
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LibraryThing member jenvorm
I received and read this book by Beverly Lewis. I always appreciate the insight to the Amish culture that she provides in her books.

This book was a bit difficult to read as a standalone book. I have not read the book prior to this series and it took me a bit to sort out all the names and
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relationships. It seemed that she took for granted that the reader would know them all already.

Other than that, I enjoyed it thoroughly. I got caught up in the emotions of the sisters, as I have a younger sister and could relate to how the relationship changes and sometimes feels like a roller coaster. It was nice also to see the faith of Joanna - that she was not caught up in superstition, but chose to believe in what God said.
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LibraryThing member Davidvoz
I highly recommend this book. It is classic Beverly Lewis. She draws you into the characters immediately and you don't want to put the book down. I really liked the main character, Joanna. She seems very believable and the relationship change with her younger sister was interesting and very real. I
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liked the distinct difference between the two sisters, growing up in the same house but having very different ideals and beliefs. I always like how they build a very believable family structure and the friendships that are weaved into the story from people their own age to older and wiser people within their community. I look forward to the next book!
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LibraryThing member PhDinHorribleness
Beverly Lewis has yet to disappoint me! This book follows, but is not a direct sequel to, her last book, The Fiddler. It is not necessary to have read The Fiddler, but if you have you will be excited for further development and insight into the character of Joanna Kurtz. Past the age where most
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young Amish women are already married, she is being courted from afar. But there are circumstances getting in the way of her love at every turn. Even when it seems like she will never be able to marry, she keeps her faith in God that everything will work out for the best.
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LibraryThing member starbritejan
Another great Beverly Lewis book to enjoy! I love reading her stories about the Amish life. I am looking forward to a sequel in the near future!!
LibraryThing member purplethings
Set in Hickory Hollow, the same place as the Heritage of Lancaster County trilogy, The Bridesmaid tells the story of Joanna Kurtz, an Amish woman who is always a bridesmaid, but not yet a bride. Many in the community already think she will be forever single, but Joanna meets Eben Troyer from
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another Amish community in Indiana. The two fall deeply in love, but Eben must stay in Indiana to help his father run their farm and Joanna cannot imagine leaving her close knit community of Hickory Hollow. What started out as a happily ever after love story now looks as if it will have a tragic ending. Joanna also secretly enjoys writing fiction stories, which is not allowed by the bishop of her community. After her sister tattles on her to the bishop, Joanna is close to losing two things she loves: Eben and her writing.

A great read, especially if you enjoyed the Heritage of Lancaster County books. A nice love story that will make you root for Joanna and Eben! Joanna is a great character, gracious, kind, creative, and always hopeful. Cora Jane, her sister, is a character you will love to hate as it seems her mission is to make Joanna's life miserable! Nice to see an appearance by the Wise Woman, Ella Mae Zook too! Fans of Lewis's books will definitely enjoy this one! Although set in Hickory Hollow, it is a stand alone story, so new readers will enjoy as well.
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LibraryThing member julie.billing
Advanced Reader Copy for review

Beverly Lewis' latest in the Hickory Hollow setting is very well done. Joanna is a strong character who faces her problems head on and is a joy to read. Her relationships with her cousin and sister seemed very authentic. The ending wrapped up a little too quickly, but
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generally the story is well paced, and provides plenty of characters to visit in future books.
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LibraryThing member hobbitprincess
I've read most of Lewis's novels, and this one is about like the others. It's fairly predictable - within the first few pages, I knew what the ending would most likely be. Still, I enjoyed the journey to get there. The characters are likable, and I found myself caring about what happened to them.
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(Except for one. One of the main characters was someone I never did develop a liking for, and I think the author means us to.) There is some insight into the Amish culture, but no more than I picked up from her other books. In this novel, Joanna has a sister that keeps reminding her "three times a bridesmaid, never a bride." On a trip to Virginia, she meets and falls in love with a young Amish man from Indiana, a long way from her home in Pennsylvania. This is Christian fiction, and the message is there, but you aren't beat over the head with it.
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LibraryThing member polarmath
I really enjoyed reading another book by Beverly Lewis. This book tells the journey of Joanna Kurtz as she is courted from afar. She is past the age when most have married and wondered when her turn would come. It is a great book and really gives you insight to Joanna and her family.
LibraryThing member WCallister
True to Beverly Lewis fashion. Excellent story that keeps you enthralled and captivated thru the entire story. Wonderful Amish details that we all love to know.
LibraryThing member Godsgirl
This was a very sweet book that had you guessing until the end of what was going to happen. Loved the way the people in their small town love and care for each other. Such an example for all people of the world to follow and the world would be a better place.
LibraryThing member kitchenwitch04
What can I say....another great book by Beverly Lewis. I had already fallen in love with Hickory Hollow before this book, and was so glad to return there again! Beverly Lewis has fast become one of my favorite authors, as I really enjoy reading about the Amish and their way of life. Each book puts
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you right in the middle of Amish country - the detail is always fantastic, and I always find myself feeling as if I am experiencing everything right along with the characters in the book. THAT is how you know you are reading a really good book by a really great author. If you love Amish fiction, Hickory Hollow, or Beverly Lewis, you can't go wrong with The Bridesmaid. It is definitely a keeper!
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LibraryThing member DivineMissW
This is wonderful book. A christian Amish romance. Beverly Lewis does it again. Wonderful tale of romance set in Amish Pennsylvania. Twenty four year old Joanna Kurtz is a maidel, the Amish term for an old maid. Finding true love and marriage has just not been in the cards for Joanna until a trip
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to Virginia Beach changes everything.

Beverly Lewis is a master storyteller of Amish life, from the horse drawn buggys to the strick rules of The People. She effortlessly weaves in details of Amish life, complex family relationships and the impact of the Englisch on everyday life and throws in the many delightful details of plain life that keep me coming back for more.

I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of the publisher.
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LibraryThing member wearylibrarian
Beverly Lewis is the well known author of Amish fiction. I have enjoyed many of her books in the past but this book, while good, was not up to par with past books. I thought this book just muddled along and I could not find the normal flow of past books.

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride seems to
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be true for Joanna. While serving as a bridesmaid at manny weddings, she doesn't even have a boyfriend and, at 24, it looks as if she might become an ald maidel. Her superstitious sister, Cora Jane thinks it is a mistake to accept another invitation to be a bridesmaid. While attending a funeral, Joanna meets Eben and they begin a long distance romance. Eban's brother has jumped the fence and his father needs him at home to help on the farm. Joanna's parents and sister want her to remain in Hickory Hollow. It looks like Joanna is doomed to always be the bridesmaid.
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LibraryThing member EdnaT
I received this advanced reader copy of Beverly Lewis' newest book. I enjoy all of her books and own almost all of them. There is just something about looking at books on my shelves that touch my heart.
I just recived this one yesterday and have not read it yet, but just wanted to post that if it is
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anything like her other books I will enjoy it. Thanks again for the book.
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LibraryThing member mookiekat
This is the second book in the series “ Home To Hickory Hollow”. A young Amish girl named Joanna Kurtz is reaching the age where she is soon to be considered an “Old Maid” and has dangerously attended too many weddings as a bridesmaid. She starts to think that she will never know the joy of
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having a husband and children of her own. Discouraged, she travel to another wedding that takes place in Shipshewana, Indiana where she is attracted to a young man named Eben Troyer. They fall in love after a whirlwind romance where she pledges her heart to Eben and he promises to come to Hickory Hollow to court her and meet her family. Eben banks this future with Joanna on the chance his estranged brother who left the Amish order for the Englisher life will return and take his place beside their father on the family farm. When his brother returns and Eben realizes he has no plans to stay he makes a trip to Hickory Hollow to break the news to Joanna that their dreams of a life together are over. Eben returns home and both he and Joanna try very hard to look to the future by courting others but neither can remove from their hearts the deep bond they have for each other. When they finally realize that their hearts can never belong to another Joanna resigns herself to becoming a spinster and Eben to running his father’s farm. Then something, happens because of a special someone and an wedding ring quilt from long ago that turns everything upside down and brings the worlds of Shipshewana and Hickory Hollow back into balance once again.
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LibraryThing member Coranne
I know I have mentioned this before, but I am a fan of Amish fiction now- I think it is pure fascination of how an entire community lives near me, and yet I have no idea how they live and get by on a daily basis.

The first book in this series was The Fiddler, and I reviewed it here on the blog a few
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months ago- Beverly Lewis seems to an expert at cranking books out very quickly- she has a large fan base that buys all of her books, so I suppose that is a good reason to keep putting out many books a year.

I did love the first book in this series, but I struggled a bit with this one. I loved Joanna's character in the Fiddler- and her character didn't change, but I wasn't a fan of Eben. For as much as Joanna and Eben talked on the phone and in letters- they didn't seem to actually communicate with each other. I felt that Eben was lacking a bit in the story hero that I enjoy. This was a very short book compared to Lewis' other novels, and it felt a bit like a novella.

There was an entire second storyline of Joanna and her sister and Joanna's writing- I felt like this was never "tied up" at the end of the book. I have no idea what happened- was she still allowed to write? Did she and her sister get along better? All in all this was an enjoyable read, but this is not a Lewis book that I will revisit.
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LibraryThing member alekee
I have read all of Beverly Lewis's books I can get my hands on. This is another sweet Amish story. Joanna Kurtz has been a bridesmaid several times, and her sister Cora Jane is always reminding her. Joanna at 24 is almost considered a old maid.
Eben Troyer from Shipshewana, Indiana and Joanna from
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Hickory Hollow, PA have a chance meeting on a beach in VA. Guess not to far fetched considering they are all there to pay their respects to her Uncle who has passed...he is an Amish Bishop.
Eben and Joanna are able to spend three glorious days together, and then promise to write. So begins a long distance romance. Can they ever get together? So many miles.
Eben's family need him in order to keep their farm going...his brother has left and gone English. Joanna's roots are deep in Hickory Hollow, can she give everything she loves up?
I loved spending time with these families....the meals, quilting bees, the gardening and canning. Visits with loved one, and new babes....feel good moments.
Enjoy this fast great read! Hard to put down once you begin!!

I received this book through Net Galley and the publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.
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LibraryThing member MandaT
I was privileged to get a review copy of Beverly Lewis' new book The Bridesmaid. This is the next book in the Home to Hickory Hollow series. Not too long ago I was able to read the first book called The Fiddler. The Bridesmaid begins with Joanna of the characters from the first book. She was a good
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friend to the Englischer, Amelia. In The Bridesmaid, Joanna and her younger sister Cora Jane do not see eye to eye on everything. Cora Jane warns Joanna about the age old saying... "3 times a bridesmaid, never a bride", but Joanna doesn't listen and wonders if she is risking meeting someone by being a bridesmaid so many times especially considering that she is already 24 years old. Cora Jane becomes pretty upset with Joanna when Joanna meets a young man from another state and becomes romantically attached to him. Joanna is not sure that her long distance romance will last and maybe she will be written off as a maid.
This was a fun, easy read. I like to read continuing stories of characters I've previously met. This book can be read as part of the series or a stand alone novel. It was interesting to see the characters grow as they each encountered disappointing circumstances choosing to trust God in spite of what was happening in their lives. The plot was well written, and I would recommend this book.

**I received this Bethany House Publisher's book free from Library Thing in exchange for an honest review.
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LibraryThing member george1295
This is not the Beverly Lewis that I am used too. Somehow this novel did not rise to her usual outstanding level of authorship. What it lacked in substance, it did not make up for in style. This would, for the very first time, be one of Lewis' books I could not recommend to a friend.
LibraryThing member meg.staggs
I enjoyed this easy-going romantic book. Most of the characters really do try to live their lives the way God wishes them to, however, being human like all of the rest of us, they make mistakes anyway.
This is a clean, healthy book that has taught me just a bit more about waiting on God; things
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don’t go as well when we try to rush through problems or activities in life. God’s timing, and learning how to live with it, trusting Him, is the main message I received from this story.
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LibraryThing member LiteracyRocks
Lighthearted inspirational romance. Beverly Lewis does not disappoint with her Amish fiction series. The ending feels a bit rushed, and the book could have been a few chapters longer. All in all, a good story!
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