Posted in books

Amish Or Englischer?

The ebb tide, when the tide is at its lowest, revealing things otherwise hidden beneath the ocean, half-buried in the sand. An apt title for this book, where when we feel everything is stripped from us, only to discover a bit of shiny we were supposed to be all along.

The publisher’s blurb:

When a well-to-do family asks Sallie Riehl to be their daughter’s nanny for the summer at their Cape May, New Jersey, vacation home, she jumps at the chance to broaden her horizons beyond the Lancaster County Amish community where she grew up. Sallie has long dreamed of seeing more of the world, but her parents are reluctant for her to put off baptism yet another summer, and the timing is unfortunate for Perry Zook, who has renewed interest in courting her.

Though she loves nannying, Sallie has free time on the weekends to enjoy the shore. It is there that she meets Kevin Kreider, a marine biology student who talks freely about all he’s learning and asks about her interests, unlike most of the guys she grew up with. Time with Kevin is invigorating, and Sallie realizes she’s never felt quite this alive around Perry. Then again, Kevin is Mennonite, not Amish.

Sallie tries to brush aside her growing feelings for Kevin, but she fears what her parents would think about her new friendship. Just as concerning, however, is Sallie’s realization that her time in Cape May is increasing her desire to see the world, challenging her plans for the future. Has she been too hasty with her promises, or will Sallie only find what her heart is longing for back home in Paradise Township?

What I thought of it:

The story was good. The tug-of-war inside Sallie between her yearning to travel and explore this beautiful wide world and the baptism and settling into the Plain life that is expected of her thrums along throughout the whole book.

At home, Perry Zook wishes to court her. He is good looking, very kind, and a true “catch” for any of the young women in Paradise Township. He will even wait until she returns from her adventuring to begin courting her. In Cape May, she meets Kevin Kreider, a terribly handsome marine biology student whose grandparents left the Amish world for the Mennonites. He opens a new door for Sallie to step through, one that opens out into a wider world, and her heart begins to open to him as well.

But she has promised her Mamm and Dat that she would take classes and be baptized next summer. She has to push Kevin out of her mind and heart, settle into the life expected of her, and search for those same feeling with Perry Zook that she has experienced for Kevin.

I have been wanting to read a book by Beverly Lewis for quite awhile, having heard so many good things about her novels. I liked the story in “The Ebb Tide”. I was wondering nearly to the end which way Sallie would go. The writing itself, to me, was a bit more simple than I am used to. This is a book a junior high student could read pretty easily – which is good, but just not what I had been expecting. Sallie, Perry, and Kevin were all believable characters, people I could see meeting in real life. The daughter of the family who hires her as a nanny is nine-year-old Autumn. Autumn struck me as a very fictional character. Adorably sweet, very smart and outgoing, never causes any trouble or makes any problems. The only issue Autumn seems to have is not understanding her mother loves her just as much as always, even though she now has a baby brother. She just rang false to me.

Other than that one thing, I did enjoy this book quite a bit. It’s something nearly anyone can read, and should be a great addition to your beach or poolside bag.


**I was sent this copy from Bethany House in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.**



Syd is a Midwestern girl who doesn’t think the term “girl” is sexist in the least – especially after she left her 20s. She holds a huge love for history (from WWI through the end of WWII, Victorian, Regency, and Elizabethan eras), some science fiction, and likes to pass the time reading, working with photography and needlework, and writing things. Lots of things. Syd likes to dance, too, but she looks like an utter goob doing so!

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