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The Atonement

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A Must-Have Novel from the #1 Name in Amish Fiction

The mistakes of the past haunt Lucy Flaud, who years ago stopped attending the activities for courting-age young people in her hometown of Bird-in-Hand. Now twenty-five and solidly past the age of Amish courtship, Lucy has given up any hope of marriage, instead focusing her efforts on volunteering in both the Plain and fancy communities of Lancaster County. Yet no matter how hard Lucy strives, she feels uncertain that she'll ever find redemption.

Dale Wyeth has a deep mistrust of modern-day "advances" and the dependency they create. The young Englisher's interest in living off the grid is fueled further when he meets Christian Flaud, Lucy's father. Dale appreciates the self-sufficient ways of the Old Order Amish, and Christian invites him to learn more about them by staying at the family farm.

As Christian and Dale grow closer, developing a father-son rapport, Lucy begins to question what Dale's being there might mean for her. Could God be testing her? Or is it possible that even the most unworthy heart--and two people from very different walks of life--can somehow find a new beginning?

325 pages, Paperback

First published March 29, 2016

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About the author

Beverly Lewis

404 books2,671 followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Beverly Lewis, raised in Pennsylvania Amish country and both a schoolteacher and an accomplished musician, has been an award-winning author for over a dozen years. Her acclaimed novel, The Preacher's Daughter, was a 2006 Quill Book Award finalist in the romance category. Her books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including USA Today and The New York Times. She and her husband, David, live in Colorado."

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5 stars
591 (44%)
4 stars
445 (33%)
3 stars
230 (17%)
2 stars
56 (4%)
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11 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 153 reviews
Profile Image for Ashley.
399 reviews6 followers
June 19, 2016
3 stars is still "I liked it." People seem to think it's bad when it's 3 stars, when really you just enjoyed it for what it is. 4 and 5 are reserved for "wow" and "amazing" reads.
Profile Image for Jeanie.
2,852 reviews1 follower
June 17, 2016
Striving to fill an empty heart or to earn favor - favor already given thru grace, it starts with forgiveness towards others and yourself.

Lucy has built a wall of protection around her heart by keeping busy with volunteer work. With the encouragement from her father, she starts to attend a community church small group that deals with grief and loss. Both father and daughter befriend an English man (Dale) who teaches them different lessons. Her parents start to worry that the past will catch up with Lucy as her relationship with Dale starts to have the implications of being something much more.

I liked how this book progressed. You did not know what Lucy was running away from but bit by bit you are taken into her heart as she struggles with her past. It sometimes takes baby steps of faith to find redemption and grace to live in gratitude. I was taken captive by Lucy's journey.

A Special Thank You to Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

Profile Image for Christina DeVane.
362 reviews31 followers
November 1, 2018
3.5 on this one. The story didn’t grab me like many books have lately. You’re trying to figure out the backstory to the characters when the book starts which I enjoy, but the characters seemed common and she didn’t get back with the guy until the last 4 pages of the book! 🙄 The forgiveness and family struggles were real and the healing process and truth of God’s Word was on point! 👍
Profile Image for Debi Stout.
740 reviews18 followers
April 28, 2016
This is a story about a twenty five year old unwed Lucy Flaud an Amish girl living in Lancaster County, PA. It begins with mystery and intrigue that will unravel in bits and pieces throughout this novel. As I read this story, I felt that had I known Lucy's past and her mistakes earlier on in the story, I might have enjoyed this novel more but since I didn't know, I felt that I rushed through the story just to find the answers.

Lucy had done something in her past where she made a grave mistake. By holding on to her past, she is unable to let go of her sins by forgiving herself and asking God for forgiveness so she move forward. Somehow this mistake help create a strained relationship with her parents especially her father Christian.

Trying to find redemption - or "atonement" for her past - Lucy fills every day volunteering at charitable organizations, helping her married sister with her children, and working at home helping her twin sisters and Mother. No matter how hard she works, she cannot fill the empty hole in her heart. I had a hard time understanding her relationship with her twin sisters. Lucy’s journey held lessons on love, faith and forgiveness as she found her way back to church. On her journey Lucy meets an elderly couple who met on a bridge to celebrate. While she listens to their story of love Lucy begins to heal.

Lucy's father, Christian, starts attending a local grief support group where he meets, Englisher, Dale Wyeth. Dale seems to be looking for a more simple life and he owns a local hardware store. Through their friendship, Dale starts spending time around the Flaud farm, and Lucy begins to know Dale as they become friends. People are worried, though, that the friendship will lead to more and Lucy past will be revisited when they spot her riding in his truck

Meeting Dale brings back all of the painful memories Lucy has avoided. She begins to help a homeless girl she has become friends with and in doing so, she begins to restore her broken relationship with God. This story was provoking and made me look inside myself at mistakes I’ve made in the past. Like Lucy, I had a hard time asking God for forgiveness and let go of my sins to find peace. This is an emotional story that Beverly Lewis tells so well and it is an excellent look at redemption and forgiveness. I enjoyed reading this book.

Thank you to the Bethany House Blogger Review Program for the opportunity for a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kristi.
506 reviews6 followers
April 19, 2016
The cover of this book immediately caught my attention. I loved the combination of bright and muted colors and the way there was a mixing of two different lifestyles with the Amish house and the truck. Being someone who judges books by their covers, I chose this one as my monthly review book from Bethany House Publishers.

At first, I was disappointed with this book. I found it extremely hard to connect with Lucy, the main character. Lucy lives with a secret from her past and it is revealed slowly throughout the first half of the book and I would have rather had all the information at the beginning. With the way the secret was revealed I felt like I was missing out on something and felt a bit lost at times. Also, I found it hard to connect with her family, especially her father, who has a major role in the book.

Once Lucy's secret is revealed completely I felt the story take a different turn and found myself enjoying the story and not wanting to put the book down. I then realized that every character in the book plays a role in Lucy letting go of the past and being able to concentrate on the future and also to forgive herself.

Overall I found the book enjoyable and was a little sad to see the story end. I had finally found the connection to Lucy and found her to be a flawed, yet likable, person. I thought at the beginning this might be the beginning of a new series but it is a standalone as all of the character's lives are tidied up at the end and no storyline is left unfinished.

Diehard fans of Beverly Lewis are sure to like this book. I also think it is an enjoyable read for fans of Amish fiction or those looking for a good read for a lazy day or weekend.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Andrea Cox.
Author 3 books1,638 followers
August 4, 2020
“Even if heaven’s silent, I won’t quit knockin’.”

That’s how I feel too, that I want to never give up on seeking the Lord, because He is faithful to those who seek and trust and love Him.

This book covered so many good things, and I enjoyed my time reading it. I especially liked how forgiveness played a big part of the plot. Forgiving oneself for past mistakes is sometimes the toughest thing of all, and that was highlighted here in Lucy’s story.

The heartbreak and deep emotions of this one pinched my heart in a great way. I love a good emotional story, and this one certainly delivered. Between the familial issues, the past regrets, the community service, and the second chance at romance, my heart didn’t really stand a chance at not getting invested in this one.

The theme of unwed pregnancy was an overall arc. However, it was handled with grace and shown to be a mistake. I liked that it was shown in this truthful light and that there was still hope for the woman. Our past does not have to define us, because Jesus paid the price for every mistake we will ever make. All we have to do is repent and ask His forgiveness. I like how the process of forgiveness was shown in this book.

Content: unwed pregnancy (theme; the deed itself was not shown)
Profile Image for Maureen Timerman.
2,820 reviews469 followers
March 27, 2016
The Atonement is about a young Amish woman who feels she will never be worthy of Gods love, she is unable to forgive herself for past mistakes.
Because Lucy Flaud won’t let go of her sins, and ask God and herself for forgiveness she is unable to move forward. We meet a Christian man who takes an interest in Lucy when he meets her father at bereavement sessions. Lucy’s father Christian invites the young man to come over to his home and shows him around, as Dale is interested in becoming more plain.
Will his growing interest in Lucy lead her astray again, or will Dale embrace the Amish life. There is also a long time friend, Toby whom wants to make Lucy his wife, and she turns him down.
Lucy spends a lot of her time helping her family and helping mankind, with soup kitchens and going to the nursing home. You are going to love her, and hope that she is able to move on from what has happened in her past. I loved her selflessness, and how her nieces and nephews adored her, your going to enjoy walking in her shoes for a while.
I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.
Profile Image for Elaine Nickolan.
462 reviews3 followers
May 31, 2021
A nice story of a "plain" woman trying to make up for her sins, and the family dynamics surrounding her. How will she come back from almost leaving her family? Who are the people she encounters that help her to understand, sometimes you have to forgive yourself before you can be forgiven by others. A quick read, used to cleanse the brain palette from the usual evil books I love to read. I can always count on Ms Lewis to write a good "Amish" theme story, a culture that I have always admired and would love to understand more about.
266 reviews3 followers
June 10, 2020
Another winner by Beverly Lewis, all of her books are so good. I couldn't put it down a mix of Amish and the young girl that helped so many Englishers. loved the storyline.
Profile Image for Janelle.
607 reviews
October 10, 2019
This review appears on my blog: https://confessionsofabookwormweb.wor...

It has been several years since I have read a book by Beverly Lewis, and it was great to revisit the Amish of Lancaster County in this book. It took me a while to get into it, but once I hit the 50 page mark I flew through it because I had to get answers.

Once again, Lewis does a great job of describing the Amish culture. She weaves a tale that should how holding onto the past can hinder moving on in the future. The main character, Lucy, is 25 and not married yet and it all has to do with something that happened to her when she was 20/21. Her relationship with her father is also strained. However, over the course of the novel, through the various people she comes into contact too, she finds redemption for her past and she is able to move on.

I can't go into detail about what happened because it will give away a lot of the novel. But the synopsis is kind of misleading because it mentions the character Dale, and it comes across as if he is going to have a big role in the novel and that the novel would also be told from his perspective, but it isn't. The only times he was seen was if he was interacting with Lucy and her father, Christian.

I did not like how Lucy's past was revealed in small snippets throughout the novel, because I felt like the same phrase was used every time she is thinking about her past. I also found the characters to be little bit flat at times.Although I loved the characters of Clinton and Dorothea and how their story in way kind of foreshadows what will happen to Lucy in the end.

The story was somewhat predictable, except the ending which was a nice because I hate it when the whole novel is predictable. Like I mentioned before it was a good look at redemption and forgiveness and how holding onto the past can make us bitter. It was great to read Beverly Lewis's work again, and I look forward to reading more of her novels in the future.

I am giving this book 3.75/5 Stars because even though I enjoyed the novel and read through it quickly, the plot wasn't the greatest and a lot of the characters were not well-developed.

Thanks to NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Deana.
353 reviews3 followers
April 25, 2016
Well, as you or may not know, depending on if you read my blog or not, Beverly Lewis is one of my "automatic" authors. I read every book that she writes. But, this one may just be my favorite.

This one focuses on Lucy Flaud, a young Amish woman who is almost past courting age. She fills her days with volunteering and helping those less fortunate. Lucy has a wonderful heart but there is an underlying reason that Lucy fills her days, almost frantically. There is a time in her past where she made a grave mistake...one she can't seem to shake and forgive herself for. Plus, is she destined to make the same mistake again? Or, will she find redemption in her future?

Who CAN'T relate to this? Who has a perfect past? Who DOESN'T have something in their past they would rather forget? Lucy's journey trying to find peace is something I could really relate to. I think we all struggle for peace at some point. The good news is we CAN find peace through faith.

Anyway, I digress. The more I read this story, the more I got into it. I really cared about what happened to Lucy and her family. Like I said, I will read anything Beverly Lewis writes, but this one really resonated with me. Thank you very much to Bethany House for an advance reader copy. I enjoyed it very much.
2,913 reviews1,727 followers
April 21, 2016
There's nothing quite like a Beverly Lewis novel to settle a reader into a happy bubble of reading bliss. And this one starts out in a very profound way: Fill up the empty places in your heart... Words that Lucy strives to live by and, oh my, she has a lot of emptiness to fill! Past hurts are revealed by slow degrees as the story progresses and I loved trying to fit the pieces together in order to make sense of her desperate need to serve herself free of her sorrow. Her skewed idea of grace and forgiveness has taken over her life, creating a barrier between herself and her family and friends. It even carries her into the Englisch world where volunteer work is threatening to consume her. But while she might find satisfaction in her labors, the peace she seeks continues to evade her.

Lucy's father becomes the unexpected catalyst for change though the journey towards recovery isn't an easy one. Lewis has created a compelling story with a solid cast of characters that bring meaning and insight into Lucy's broken world. An incredible testimony of the powerful impact of God's saving grace. The Atonement is a story to cherish. My copy has taken up residence on my keeper shelf. (Well, one of many shelves.)
Profile Image for Jen.
248 reviews19 followers
August 5, 2016
I hesitate to give this two stars. I've read every single book by Beverly Lewis, with the exception of Love Letters. In my opinion, she is the queen of Amish fiction.

All of that being said, this book frustrated me to no end. I cannot believe how incredibly judgmental these characters were, and sometimes just plain arseholes, let's be honest. As someone who grew up in a religious background (though nothing like the Amish), perhaps that's why it bothers me so much, but I found myself getting incredibly frustrated with these characters. They are inwardly snarky at the most innocuous things.

There is an "Englischer" character, Dale, who throughout the book shows himself to be kind, generous and godly with no ulterior motives. And these Amish people act like he has the plague, because they are scared he is interested in dating Lucy, the main character. Oy. He did not deserve to be treated the way he was. Did I mention this book frustrated me to the extreme??

The writing style itself is still good, and I don't believe she has lost her touch there. I just could not stomach these characters and couldn't wait for the book to be finished. Not recommended.
139 reviews
March 21, 2016
The Atonement is a beautiful story about love, forgiveness, and redemption. It reads, in my opinion, like it's a sequel. As you read through the novel, the back story slowly unfolds.

I found myself greatly sympathizing with Lucy as she reveals her past and struggles with her present and future. On certain issues, I've been in her shoes and how she can function while keeping it all bottled up is beyond me. Perhaps her packed schedule is evidence that bottling up your past isn't healthy.

One thing that really stuck out to me is the notion that what we've done is to bad for God to forgive, either by will or ability. I guess when fretting over our problems we forget that the God who put the earth just close enough to the sun for us to be warm and just far enough away to not burn us to a crisp, can surely forgive us our past.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves Amish fiction or if you've ever dealt with loss.

*This novel was given to me by NetGalley for an honest review.
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 40 books630 followers
April 21, 2016
THE ATONEMENT is Ms. Lewis' latest. Not really a romance (despite the back cover copy), this is more women's fiction. The romance is very back burner.

Written in many different points of view, it includes Lucy's, her married sister's, Marty's, her father, Christian's, and others. Some parts of the story were very confusing and I went back and read them twice, three times, sometimes not understanding anyway. I couldn't relate to these characters.

Very slow, this is not the Beverly Lewis book of years gone by. Seems she's lost her edge. It also seems Ms. Lewis was trying to mimic other Amish authors with some of the themes included.
Profile Image for Christine.
196 reviews
May 2, 2016
I enjoyed this book, but the story went a bit slow at times. A good story, easy read, mostly well written.

*Was given this book for an honest review.
Profile Image for Danelle.
91 reviews1 follower
June 6, 2016
I absolutely loved this book and think it's one of Beverly Lewis' better ones. It kept me guessing until the end. Lovely light, summer read. I enjoy her character development in this one.
Profile Image for Andrea.
623 reviews19 followers
July 30, 2016
A bit disappointed in this book but I read till the end. I felt like the end was rushed. Will pass on to my friend Rachel who also likes Amish romances.
Profile Image for M.C..
Author 4 books16 followers
November 3, 2018
The Atonement by Beverly Lewis is about Lucy Flaud, a single Amish girl who has long since given up hopes of marriage, instead focusing her time on charitable works. Mistakes from her past constantly haunt her, and she works furiously in the hopes that she can find a sense of purpose. But when an outsider walks into her family circle, she starts to wonder if maybe some things in her life should change...
I really enjoyed this book. Unlike other Beverly Lewis heroines, Lucy was far from perfect. She has a temper, a stubborn streak, and scars from her past. This made her both realistic and relatable. Christian Flaud, Lucy’s father, has his own issues to deal with. He’s also not perfect, but it’s obvious he wants to do what’s right.
The theme of the book was beautiful. Lucy has spent the past three years desperate to atone for her sins. But despite all her efforts, God still feels far away. The story focuses on the grace aspect of salvation, which I really appreciated.
Finally, the ending was a surprise. I had gone into the book assuming I already knew the ending, based on the characters’ initial reactions with one another. But I was constantly guessing throughout the book as to how it would end, and was pleasantly surprised.
I think I can safely say this is my favorite Beverly Lewis book. It’s different from the others I’ve read and comes with a wonderful message. Every fan of Beverly Lewis or Amish fiction should give this one a read.
Profile Image for Andrea Everett.
94 reviews3 followers
March 16, 2019
This was an experimental read, for sure. I’m compiling application materials for an internship at a publishing company, and as preparation I wanted to read something well beyond my typical realm. I’ve been amused by the presence of Amish romance fiction on library/bargain bin shelves for years, so I figured I’d give this a whirl (I also have a couple weeks off of school, so I can give my brain a break from the heavy modernist novels for a second).

I went into this with few expectations, but I was hoping that this would be more entertaining (and maybe a little trashy? Maybe that’s an unholy thing to say). Unfortunately, it was fairly boring and contained nothing but bible verses, platitudes, and romanticized spins of Amish life. I suppose the “real” story of the novel (dark exposition and potential romance with an Englischer aside) pertains to Lucy’s redemption arc, which was...fine. It almost feels insufficient to call the novel anticlimactic. It was more like a series of anticlimaxes.

I will say that, while the prose style is not my favorite, it was grammatically sound through and through.

Conclusion: Amish romance may not be my genre. That’s ok, though.
537 reviews1 follower
November 23, 2017
Lucy Flaud was beyond courting age in her Amish community.
She wasn't interested in a relationship with Tobe because she
felt she was not good enough. Previously she had been dating
an "Englisher" & became pregnant. Her parents sent her away
where she ended up having a miscarriage.
Now her father has befriended another Englisher who is interested
in learning about the Simple life. They seem to meet often, by
accident. Then her parents start to worry that they are spending
too much time together & she's even seen by members of their
community in coffee shops or riding in his car. Is Lucy falling
into another forbidden relationship? Is so, she will be shunned.
This is not one of the author's better books in my opinion. I
didn't think there was enough happening and not many interesting
Profile Image for Elizabeth Meadows.
74 reviews12 followers
July 11, 2018
I read this title for a book club. The writing itself is okay, but there's no plot to speak of and little character development, other than to make abundantly clear the characters are Amish or Plain. I'm sure I'm looking at this wrong, but my biggest impression from the book is that the Amish seem intolerant of "Outsiders," as we non-Amish are called. If an Amish person wants to marry an "Outsider," they are shunned/excommunicated from their community and family. I find this difficult to reconcile. It sounds prejudiced, close-minded, and cruel. I admire anyone able to live more simply in an effort to conserve resources and better the planet, but when that edict creates division to the point of excommunication...I don't know. I don't mean to say the Amish are Nazis or white supremacists, but it is rather confusing to me.
Profile Image for Aaron Heil.
77 reviews
March 3, 2020
Lots of readers have asked me about Amish and Christian books and I have been recommending Beverly Lewis because her books are everywhere. I realized at some point that I had no idea what her books were even about so I read this one. I didn’t expect to like it but I didn’t think I would dislike it so much. Plot is predictable. At the end of the book, I sympathize way more with the characters whom I’m not supposed to like than the protagonists. Clearly there’s a niche market, and the appeal is lost on me. But try anything once, right?
102 reviews
February 14, 2018

Another excellently written book by Beverly Lewis. Story details included were most appreciated. Beverly goes beyond storytelling with her writings. This is not a short story, but one which explores our humanity's need for atonement, be it self imposed, or God imposed. We have all failed God with our human sins and God is always listening, to our prayers. Beverly delves deeply into Lucy's need for atonement.
All things work together, for good.
Profile Image for Mayda.
3,031 reviews57 followers
September 9, 2019
Lucy can’t seem to get past a mistake she made a few years ago. She feels unworthy and has dedicated herself to volunteering to help those in need. But while she says she is sorry and forgives others, she can’t quite forgive herself. This tale is thought-provoking and the characters are quite interesting, as is Lucy’s ultimate journey towards forgiveness and ultimately, happiness.
Profile Image for Kimberly.
649 reviews6 followers
October 17, 2019
The Atonement by [Lewis, Beverly]I know when I read a book by Beverly Lewis I will come away from it feeling at peace. Her writing is amazing. I feel like I can connect with each of her characters easily and like I am a part of the story. The Atonement is a very good book filled with Christian love and faith in God.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 153 reviews

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