Shannon does not have it all but she does have goals for summer vacation that won't see her sitting idly by. Not bad goals for a girl of sixteen! Life does take a turn in this story though and sometimes reality is harder to believe than fiction. No matter how you plan it seems that life often takes those unexpected turns. Summer vacation has just begun and Shannon learns that her mother's parents are alive. Not only alive but they are Amish! Shannon and her chronically ill mother are to take the bus to Ohio the very next morning so that her mother can get well again. Hard to absorb this piece of news, it is harder yet when Shannon gets off the bus and waits for her uncle to pick them up in a horse and buggy.
As Shannon is adapting to living a plain life she is captivated by a young Amish man named Ezra who has all the looks and charms to sweep her off her feet. His smooth talking ways are sincere to Shannon, who has just met her first love. Is he truly in love with her? Would he love her more if she converted to the Amish faith? Would her mother's family accept her more too if she became one of them?
Her mother, Anna, is not improving and Shannon is faced with serious decisions to make that are not supported by her Amish family. She must take responsibility and come into her own identity. This is a coming of age story unlike many you have read. Melody Carlson tells a story of love and being true to self. I love how she weaves so many ideas through the story. A simple life is not as simple as it looks. Anyone who lives past their teen years knows from experience they are difficult in and of themselves.
I am impressed with the well written plot and character development of My Amish Boyfriend. My granddaughter saw my copy on my desk and is waiting to borrow it. It will be a fun book to discuss with her and I am sure we will talk at length of the characters. I wonder how she will react when she sees the plot twist and turn; I wonder what she will say about Ezra and his loyalty to his faith and family. This is the first time I have read one of Melody Carlson's books and I understand her appeal to young readers. The characters are easy to identify with and the story keeps the reader's interest.