The only surprising plot twist in the series was Dan's resurrecting from the dead, which ended the first book to get you to read the second book. What kept most of us reading after the second book, I am sure, is to find out whether Dan and Katie get back together.
I believe the second book is every bit as good as the first book, but in a different way. Katie is Katherine now and we are whisked away to the world of the wealthy instead of the home-spun life of the Amish. Electricity has its good and bad points, but I can tell Mrs. Lewis thinks everything that runs on electricity is better than their non-electric counterparts, including microwave ovens, which literally sap, zap and deplete food cooked in them of nutrients. But, many things modern tech can and are used for good, and equally abused, like the Internet, for example. I have yet to find any good that has come of chat rooms and [...]--there may some be, but the bad far outweighs the good, but e-mail (for keeping in touch with faraway friends, as non-Amish folk do not live in the same area all their lives and can just hitch up their buggy and go; of course, there are still letters written by hand the old-fashioned way, but they are time-consuming, time that could be used to make a home-cooked dinner, and I include far more information in a typed letter) is a good thing, though a telephone call is better (for those who like talking on the telephone, which I do not, so I love the e-mail), with an in person visit the best. There is much good about the Amish ways, which I am glad Mrs. Lewis pointed out, despite her blatantly obvious bias. Though Amish women are modest in dress, it has to be very hot for them, and especially with no air conditioning. How they do not all suffer from heatstroke, I do not know. And the bonnets--hair is a woman's crowning glory and I liken wearing the kapp to hiding one's light under a bushel (especially Katie's, as titian/auburn/red as it is, though I am sure the light spoken of in the Holy Bible is not referring to any outside attributes). Just as the Amish are much more works based, mainstream Christians are much more faith based, and the concentration on one to the detriment of the other is not a recipe for being a good Christian.
As for Justin Wirth, Katherine's, I am assuming, unsaved beau, was definitely not the best match for her, even though he did love her as Katherine, I do not believe he would have loved her as Katie, and Katie being who she really was, it was best she go back to Dan, who was willing to wait for her, and forgive him.
I do think Mrs. Lewis created Mr. Wirth in such a way that made it too easy for Katherine, I mean Katie, and the readers, to decide he was not the man for her. Whereas Mrs. Lewis's characters in The Shunning were strong, the new characters introduced The Confession were much more stereotypical--Laura Mayfield-Bennett, the saint of a woman, who even has a birthday cake made for Christ on Christmas, which, forgive me, is a bit corny. Then her husband, Dylan D. Bennett, was the total opposite, an opportunist she would not divorce, even though it was alluded to that he cheated on her because he was away so much, which right there is the only grounds for divorce according to the Bible. Their marriage was a sham and though I do not believe in divorce, sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Would God rather a person remain in a loveless first marriage or find true love and happiness in a second marriage? When Laura thinks of how she used to think of divorcing him, but then thinks farther back to her vow of in sickness and in health, I just want to shake her because Dylan is not sick. The author obviously believes one should stay married no matter what and even though I know it is wrong, these are the kinds of sins Jesus died for, because He knew we were human and would not always pick nice people to marry, etc. Sad to say, I did not find Laura's dedication admirable because she is basically saying he can do anything he wants to her and she will stay with him. Dylan never loved her which rendered their marriage unworkable. Had he loved her once, perhaps it could have been saved with lots of work, but I never really got the feeling that Laura loved him, ever. I think she still had scars from her first boyfriend, who left her and resulted in the birth of Katherine. And that's another thing, Katie did not even seem remotely interested about her birth father. I know he left her mother pregnant and desolate, but his name was never even mentioned, and he did play a part, even if only as a semen donor. And you never know, people grow up, they change. Perhaps now he felt genuinely sorry for the way he treated Laura, but thought it best he stay out of her life--I would say child's life, but I am thinking he knew she had given away their baby. Katie may have half-brothers and half-sisters she never knew she had, though that would have made the story too complicated and I do like it the way it is, these are just thoughts from a fellow writer who writes in Mormon themes (being a former member of the church) as Mrs. Lewis likes to include the Amish angle. I just fear she will milk the Amish well dry and will run out of ideas but perhaps the Amish lifestyle has as many stories to tell as the typical American lifestyle.
As for Alyson Cairns, the Katie Lapp imposter, I think Laura was just so good to her, her conscience (that and the fact that she was missing her boyfriend and perhaps her family for Christmas) got to her and she blurted out the truth (again, Mrs. Lewis made it too easy, because wouldn't Dylan have made absolutely sure he had the best talent girl possible, considering such a fortune was at stake? This girl obviously was not very experienced or professional, though Laura wasn't very bright about the whole thing, considering it was her husband who found the girl).
Forgive me if I have accidentally mixed in a little of what should have been part of my review for The Reckoning.
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR,
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