Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Crime of the Heart by Cheryl Reavis

I had every intention at the beginning of the year to whittle down the number of category books in my TBR. I haven't had much success so far. But the other day I picked up an old category and it turned out to be very deep, a bit dark, and a real buried treasure.

ACOTH is an excellent story of an inter-faith relationship between Adam who is Amish and Quinn who is ... not Amish. And here lies the main confict of the book. Adam and Quinn are childhood friends who become sweethearts then lovers. This story is filled with angst and very deeply emotional. Before reading this book I have always thought of the Amish people as sweet and gentle. But there is a dark side to their religion that I found disturbing. When a member goes against the rules of their very rigid community they can be 'shunned'. This is an extremely cruel practice where the person shunned is never spoken to again and they lose all their posessions. This is the way the leaders control their members so they don't dare step outside their world and I found it very cult-like and cruel. Of course if that person were to repent and ask forgiveness which I think involves prostrating themselves in front of the whole community, they are forgiven. Nice. So the person can live in misery as a non-person within the community, or leave their family and friends never to see or speak to them again, or kowtow to their rigid rules and leaders.

So when Adam and Quinn fall in love and want to be together, he has a choice of being shunned or leaving his family. Quinn makes that decision for him trying to do what she thinks is best for him and she goes away. The story begins 11 years later when she buys her parent's old house and finds Adam is doing the restoration work. And he still wants her. I think I was on the verge of tears throughout most of the book. Reavis is an excellent writer and I read it in one sitting. The characters were well drawn and so real. The sex scenes were steamy, emotional and well written. The HEA was unusual in that it was both happy and sad. An excellent book, but the h/h plight was so painful that I don't think I'll be able to read it again. If you like Reavis, definitely give this on a try.

My grade: B+


Avid Reader said...

I really like Cheryl Reavis contemporary books more than her historicals. You should try to read The Older Woman, SSE#1445 whenever your next in the ubs.


Kristie (J) said...

Have you ever read Sunshine and Shadows by Tom & Sharon Curtis? This one deals with an Amish woman who has to make that decision. It has a very good end. I don't know how realistic it is - but I liked it. And of course there is The Outsider. And Sarah's Sin by Tami Hoag is another one that deals with this conflict. I like all of them and I will be tracking down this one too

ReneeW said...

Keishon: I have read The Older Woman. A real tearjerker and I have it on my keeper shelf along with the other two in the series (Little Darlin' and The Long Way Home). More buried treasures.

Kristie: Yes, I have read Sunshine and Shadows and it is also on my keeper shelf (in fact, I gave my extra copy to Cindy). IIRC the ending on SAS was not nearly as sad as ACOTH which had me crying in one scene (SPOILER: when Adam's mother says goodbye to him knowing she will never get to talk to him again. I have a son 27 yo and just imagining what it would be like to know he was getting married and never being able to talk to him again. It would be like he had died!) I sobbed my eyes out. Too sad.

I haven't read the other two you mention. I'll track them down.

sybil said...

LOL I so knew kristie would be pimping The Outsider. It was good but for the same reasons you mentioned here I can't see ever reading it again.

That whole do as I say or I am gonna pretend you are dead but if you want to agree with me again I will give you back life thing... touches a nerve. Love CR so I will keep an eye out for this one.

Wow, I haven't touched my blog in over 6 years and I'm still logged in!  Good thing because I have no idea what my password is.  In ...