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Kate’s Song (Forever After in Apple Lake #1)  by Jennifer Beckstrand

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published April 4th 2012 by Summerside Press (first published January 1st 2012)
Available on: Kindle, Paperback

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I got this book without even realizing it was going to be an Amish love story. I know, I know, from the cover it’s obvious but when I got this book I didn’t pay much attention at the cover.  Actually I thought it was going to be a “little house on the prairie”-ish story ha ha ha. I got attracted to this book by the title.

I didn’t know what to expect from this one. I must confess I had no notion of the Amish religion. In fact, after reading this book, I watched the Breaking Amish show (Team Kate btw), to know more about them. And have done some reading on the www. Not that I’m planning to join them, because I love my religion, but my curiosity on this topic grew after this book. (Yeah, I know the TLC show as all of those ‘reality’ shows are scripted and fake but I got what I wanted from watching it.)

Anyway, back to the book. It is a fast paced Amish love story. I read it in 4 days. So if you’re in the mood for a quick read, this one is for you.

I have to say that right from the start I found the story predictable. Kate has two options. She has to chose between following her dream or following her heart. I would’ve been highly surprised if in the end she chose the not predictable path, but like I said, right from the start you kinda know what way she’ll go. She had already made her choice. She just took a long while to realize and accept that fact.

*SPOILER*

And here’s proof of that:

Kate’s soul floated to the top of the barn with the heavenly sounds. It didn’t matter the circumstance, she loved to sing. She could be standing all alone on the stage singing an aria or here, in a barn among the Plain People, breathing in the spirit of the surrounding voices, each so different yet united in purpose.

She loved to sing and that was it. She didn’t care for the fame and big opera houses. She was content with being able to sing regardless if she had an audience or not. Thus, choosing with her heart was easy.

*END SPOILER*

On the other hand, don’t let this predictability factor fool you. The story has interesting twists that make it entertaining. It surprised me to read certain attitudes I didn’t expect to find in the Amish culture. It was a little misleading to read that people who believe in finding good and God’s grace in everything,  had no problem to rudely and harshly criticize, judge and condemn Kate for taking her time to make the decision she was expected to make.

Kate had to deal with a lot of gossip, hate, bullying and betrayal. They all seemed to hate her because she was different. They didn’t have a problem alienating her without even letting her explain the situation. I couldn’t believe how naive and close minded these people were portrayed and how fast they can make bad radical judgments without even thinking of giving the benefit of the doubt.

The love story per se is one for the hopeless romantics. Nathaniel, even though he’s a little too corny for my taste, said everything you want the man you love to say. He had his way with words, not only on the romantic side but also on the spiritual side. I ended up highlighting certain things he said, and found them spiritually uplifting.

Grief is a stern teacher, but I am confident I could not have learned some lessons in any other way. For that, I am grateful. Grateful to God for loving me enough to stretch me and push me and crush me, to refine me in the furnace of affliction, to force me to stretch my faith beyond what I could see.
God loves me more than I can possible comprehend. He watches over me. He watches over all of us. But if the way were easy, how could we grow into who He wants us to be? How could our faith become unshakable?

But why will God not speak to me?…I think when God is silent, He wants us to prove in our hearts that we are willing to follow Him no matter the cost. If all answers were crystal-clear, how could we show our devotion to Him?

God will make known to you how He wants you to use this gift.

I cannot give up chasing after happiness simply because there might be pain down the road

How could I understand my weaknesses if my strength had not been tested?

But even though he said the right things, his actions were contradictory. His reaction to the big conflict in the story made me want to punch him in the face. Thankfully the non-Amish brought him to his senses.

The title ends up making sense until the end. Kate’s Song was a beautiful one and I liked how the song could also be considered as a character in the book.

The end is a happily ever after one. Which could be enough, but not for me. Even though and I quote:

Every choice involves some kind of pain. Choosing one path means rejecting another along with everything down it. – Jennifer Bekstrand, Kate’s Song

I wish she would’ve found a way to have it all: her dream and love. It’s a fake story, so everything is possible in fake-land. Make me believe that you don’t have to give up anything to find happiness. That’s why this one didn’t get 5 stars.

Another reason it didn’t get 5 stars is because I wanted to know more. I could read one more chapter on their happily ever after life. I mean, you can never have too many sprinkles or frosting on a cake, can you?

*SPOILER*

It would have been nice to have an extra chapter in the end, where we could picture the first days post wedding. See how she adjusted back to her Amish life. Oh and definitely it would have been nice to read something about Kate rocking a baby on her perfect chair and singing a lullaby. A baby that got Kate’s gift .

*END SPOILER*

I would have given this book 3 stars, but the fact that it was on my mind for a few days after I finished it (3 days to be exact) made me give it 4 stars. This quote resonated in my head:

Understanding what I give up and knowing that I choose freely makes my choice more precious to me.

If a story is able to revolve in my mind, it gets at least 4 stars. I would read this author’s other books. Not that I’m eager to do it, but if I stumble upon her other books later in life, I would read them.

Kate’s Song is an easy read. If you’re in the mood for a sweet, fast paced love story in the Amish country with a mix of jealousy, betrayal, conflict, confusion, and a battle between choosing with your heart or with your mind, this one is the book for you.

NewWords Button by Bloggeretterized

  • kerfuffle: Informal chiefly Brit commotion; disorder; agitation.
  • rumschpringe: period of adolescence for some members of the Amish, a subsect of the Anabaptist Christian movement, that begins around the age of sixteen and ends when a youth chooses baptism within the Amish church or instead leaves the community.
  • ferhoodled: Chiefly Pennsylvania German Area. to confuse or mix up.
  • vexes: to:confuse or annoy.
  • meek: humble.
  • kinner: One’s family and relations.
  • bequeath: to hand down; pass on, as to following generations.
  • hernpecked: (of a man) continually harassed or tormented by the persistent nagging of a woman (esp his wife).
  • deerich: No definition found. 😦

Definitions by thefreedictionary.com & collinsdictionary.com

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Kate's Song

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Kindle // Paperback

click to buy on Amazon UKKindle // Paperback

DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
I was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review this book. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links as stated in my disclosure policy.
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