Beverly Lewis, the bestselling author of adult Amish fiction novels that bring hope and faith into the lives of her readers through her genuine and touching stories, doesn’t let her readers down in her latest work. The Guardian is the third book in her Home to Hickory Hollow series, and has so far received some rave reviews.
According to Lewis, The Guardian plot is simple: “When Jodi Winfield comes to Lancaster to house-sit, the last thing she expects to find is a disheveled little girl alone on the side of the road. The young teacher is mystified when she learns there have been no reports of a missing child, and the girl herself is no help, since she can’t speak English. It’s as if the child appeared out of nowhere. Then Jodi turns her attention to Hickory Hollow – and the cloistered world of the Old Order Amish – in search of answers.”
The Guardian follows young Jodi as she struggles with her own small day-to-day worries, and as she discovers a greater meaning in life through her meeting with this small child. This book would be great for someone looking for Christian enlightenment, a way for readers to remind themselves of what it means to be a friend and neighbor to our fellow man.
When reading The Guardian, we are reminded of a few key Bible verses, with the first being:
Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me. —Mark 9:37, KJV
In this story, Jodi finds this young girl on the road, apparently lost and unable to communicate or find her way home. Jodi utilizes traditional Christian values, showing compassion for those less fortunate than her, and receives the young girl into her arms, using all the avenues she can think of to discover where the girl came from. Of course, in a way it could be said that the little girl was sent from God, a way for both girls to touch one another’s hearts in a way neither could have dreamed possible.
Although this is the third in the series, The Guardian can easily be read on its own, out of sequence. Each book (The Fiddler and The Bridesmaid complete the trio) features a strong-willed young woman who finds her way through love and life. Sarah, the child in The Guardian, is naturally drawn to this confident and compassionate woman who finds her, and we are reminded of one of the most-quoted verses in the Bible:
Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. —Matthew 19:14, KJV
Jesus knows that children are a blessing. When Jodi discovers Sarah, and finally discovers Sarah’s home in the Amish country, Jodi’s life is transformed and she, a teacher, finds herself learning from the children instead.
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them. —Psalms 127:3-5, KJV
Not only is little Sarah drawn to Jodi, but it seems the whole village of children is attracted to her outgoing and caring nature, and Jodi discovers she has made many friends by the end of the book. One final lesson that we learn in this book is to trust God and to have faith.
We follow not only Jodi’s personal story, but the story of Sarah’s family as well, who are heartbroken to learn that they have lost their little girl. When they realize little Sarah has fallen off the wagon, they do not despair completely – the entire community spreads out and searches, using every resource they have. And again, we find a relevant Bible verse:
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them. —Genesis 50:20-21, KJV
Even when we think all is lost and we begin to despair from something terrible, we are proven that God has other things in store for us. Everything happens for a reason.
In The Guardian, the temporary loss of this little girl leads to a new family member in Jodi and a new perspective on life from all characters. A novel of learning and accepting from one another, The Guardian is a book written with a Christian audience in mind, and one that you will love to read and get swept up in the emotional ride Lewis presents.