Plain Paradise (Daughters of the Promise)

by Beth Wiseman

Paperback, 2010



Call number



Thomas Nelson Inc (2010), Edition: 1, 313 pages

Original publication date



Josephine will discover more than she bargained for as her world collides with the Plain people of Lancaster County. Josephine Dronberger was a scared teenager when she left her baby in the care of an Old Order Amish couple. But seventeen years have passed and Josie longs to reconnect with her daughter. Linda -- as the couple named the child -- is promised to Stephen Ebersol, the bishop's grandson. They plan to marry in the fall. When her birth mother comes to Paradise, Linda is drawn to a world she's never known. Will the direction she's been heading since birth be suddenly derailed, and who will stand by her convictions -- mother or daughter?


INSPY (Winner — 2010)


Original language



1595548238 / 9781595548238

User reviews

LibraryThing member wearylibrarian
When Josie was a teenager, she gave her newborn daughter to an Old Order Amish couple who had just lost their newborn daughter. Josie has always longed to re-connect with her daughter and be a part of her life.

Josie's daughter, Linda, has no idea that her birth mother is English. She has been led
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to believe that her Amish parents are her birth parents. Though they always meant to tell her the truth, the time never seemed right for the discussion.

Josie has come to the Amish community to find her daughter and when they meet, she begins to draw her into the English world.

This is another book I couldn't put down. I highly recommend it.
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LibraryThing member skstiles612
Plain Paradise surprised me. I've known several Mennonite families that have become foster parents or adoptive parents. I never once thought about the biological parent(s) wanting anything to do with the child after they have been indoctrinated into the Amish world.

Linda was adopted by an old order
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Amish family. She has a great relationship with her mother until the day her biological mother Josie shows up. Her mother had never told her she was adopted. Linda isn’t sure she wants anything to do with Josie and Linda’s mother is afraid of losing her. Josie didn’t come back to cause problems. She has an inoperable tumor and wants the opportunity to get to know the daughter she gave up.

What I really liked about this book was how realistic it was. How the message of love conquers all is still an important message today. It made me ask myself what I would do If I was in Linda’s shoes or her Amish mother’s shoes. Would I be as loving or forgiving?
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LibraryThing member mrsjason
Adoption stories tend to be very predictable in Christian fiction and they seem to be prevalent in Amish fiction. Usually what happens is a kid who's birth parents were not Amish, grows up in an Amish household, meets birth parents who are totally the opposite of what they grew up with and then get
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tempted to leave the Amish world. I could usually tell you the ending of the book by the end of the first chapter. Luckily, this book is not that predictable and doesn't fall into the cliche of most adoption stories and most Amish stories for that matter. That has been the case with the books in Beth Wiseman's series. They are Amish but enjoyable to read.

There are three main characters in this story who are all closely knit together. Linda is the daughter that binds Josie and Mary Ellen together from two different worlds. I liked Linda's character very much. Throughout the book she shows that she is still faithful to her Amish family and roots but she's willing to see what the outside world is like. She's down to earth and respectful yet is giddy to try out things like taking a bath in a jacuzzi. Josie is her birth mother who is coming to terms with what she did 17 years ago as well as trying to hide a secret of her own. I really appreciated that she did NOT want to take Linda away from the home she grew up in and to leave her faith. Mary Ellen, understandably, is very wary of Linda meeting Josie and is scared that Linda will leave her. I was glad to see both her and Josie grow closer and change character throughout the book.

There's more to the story than just Linda's adoption. Also at hand is her relationship with with her boyfriend who, while a bit wary of her going into the outside world, still has faith that she will remain true to her roots. I was pleased that there was no condemnation or backlash for Linda's decisions. I was a bit surprised at the swimming scene. It seemed very risque to me compared to other books I've read involving the Amish. If they weren't Amish, I wouldn't have batted an eye but seeing how strict they are about other things it's rather surprising.

The only bit I didn't like was at the very end involving Lillian and Samuel. I haven't been a fan of Samuel throughout the series so I wasn't too surprised at his brash decision without explanation. Unfortunately we have to wait until the new series that comes out in the summer to find out what happens to them. Overall, I have really enjoyed this series. This book was probably my favorite out of all four. It embraces both the Amish culture and the outside world and allows them to co-mingle without anyone switching sides or disagreements and without any preachiness or hidden agendas. Beth Wiseman has written a series about the Amish that I have grown to love and do find comfort in reading. I'll be looking forward to the new series.
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LibraryThing member drebbles
Linda Huyard is in many ways a typical Amish teenager - she is in her Rumspringa and during that time she has had a taste of the Englisch world but is in love with the Bishop's grandson, Stephen Ebersol, and hopes to marry him one day. Her life seems like paradise until one day when it is turned
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upside down. She finds out that she was adopted and her birth mother, Josie, is back and wants to get to know her. While Linda is dealing with her anger over not being told she was adopted, she is getting closer to Josie and the Englisch way of living much to Steven's dismay. But Linda doesn't realize her adoptive family isn't the only one keeping secrets - Josie has a devestating secret that may tear her and Linda apart just as they are getting to know each other.

"Plain Paradise" is the fourth book in Beth Wiseman's Daughter of the Promise series set in the Amish community, and it takes the series in a new direction. For starters, while the first three books (Plain Promise (Daughters of the Promise, No. 3) Plain Pursuit (Daughters of the Promise, Book 2) and Plain Perfect (Daughters of the Promise, Book 1)) could be considered romance novels this book really isn't. Yes, there is the romance between Linda and Stephen, which has a few complications as Linda explores the Englisch world, but that is only part of the story. The book is also about the love between a mother and her child - whether the mother is the birth mother or adoptive mother. Josie's anguish as she wonders if she's done the right thing is very real as is the fear of Maryellen that Linda will like the Englisch life too much and leave the Amish community. While all of the Daughters of the Promise books revolve around the Amish faith in God, religion and the power of prayer play a very important part in this novel. Finally, events at the end of the book (have a tissue ready while reading it) take the series in an entirely new direction. It will be interesting to see what Beth Wiseman has planned for the next book.

"Plain Paradise" is a nicely done novel set in the Amish community.
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LibraryThing member jguidry
I enjoyed this story about faith and family. It was sweet, touching, and at moments heartbreaking. It was an interesting look at two very different ways of life through the connection of an adopted daughter. A lot of different family dynamics are covered in one well-woven storyline.
LibraryThing member judyg54
The author does a good job of writing "feel good" stories (meaning I feel good after reading her books). This is book 4 in this series, and I continue to enjoy myself in Paradise, PA. I encourage people to read these in the order written, so you can get to know all the characters in the story, but
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they can also easily be read as stand alone books.

Josie was a young 17 year old unmarried girl when her parents made her put up her newborn for adoption and gave the baby to an Old Order Amish couple. The Amish couple named her Linda and now it is 17 years later and Josie wants to get to know the girl she gave up before she dies of an inoperable tumor on her brain.

Linda has a very good life and is looking forward to hopefully marrying Stephen Ebersol, whenever he gets up the courage to ask her. She is shocked to learn she is adopted and that her real Mom isn't Amish, but an Englisher. Mary Ellen, the Mom who raised her, allows Linda the chance to get to know her birth Mom, and then comes to know the truth of Josie's illness and how she doesn't have long to live. This is a story of two Moms learning to let go and to love and I appreciated so much the bond these two women will create by the end of this story.
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