Reckless Heart

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Reckless Heart
Author(s)
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
April 23, 2012
ISBN
978-0310719847
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Slipping. Lydia Bontrager's youngest sister is frighteningly ill, and as a good Amish daughter, it falls to Lydia to care for her siblings and keep the household running, in addition to working as a teacher's assistant and helping part time at her grandmother's bakery. Succumbing to stress, Lydia gives in to one wild night and returns home drunk. The secret of that mistake leaves Lydia feeling even more restless and confused, especially when Joshua, the only boy she's ever loved, becomes increasingly distant. When a non-Amish boy moves in nearby, Lydia finds someone who understands her, but the community is convinced Lydia is becoming too reckless. With the pressures at home and her sister's worsening condition, a splintering relationship with Joshua, and her own growing questions over what is right, Lydia could lose everything that she's ever held close.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Lovely tale of family and God
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
First of all, I'm a big fan of author Amy Clipston. Ever since I read her book 'Roadside Assistance' I have put her on my "favorite authors list". So, I was pretty excited to read RECKLESS HEART, even though I'm not a huge fan of Amish books. However, Amy Clipston does a fantastic job of keeping the story realistic to those outside the Amish community, while still keeping it true to Amish tradition.

Lydia is the eldest of 4 children. As the oldest of 4 in my family as well, I could relate. A lot of times the eldest (especially when they are a girl) gets handed a lot of responsibility, and even more so in the Amish community. My heart was breaking for Lydia with all the stress she was under with her two part time jobs, her youngest sibling being very ill, and strict limitations being put on her that she wasn't quite sure how to handle. Lydia is a very strong female lead character and I think she is a great role model for teenage girls. Not only did she have her faith shook up a bit (which, come on, what teenager doesn't), she had to find the strength within herself to be selfless and faithful (which is hard to do, especially during those late teenage years).

I admire the family unit that Lydia has. Not only her parents and siblings, but her aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, not to mention her entire Amish community around her. It's what I would love for my community to be. Just knowing that I would have that much support from those around me is encouraging. It was a bit hard for me to get past the obvious "issures" the Amish community had with the "Englishers", but I thought Ms. Clipston did a wonderful job of exploring that side of the community, and I was pleasantly surprised with how it ended.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! A great book for religious teenagers. It's not too "in your face religious", but the religion is strong and I think a lot of young readers could relate to Lydia's struggles.
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Reckless is relevant
Overall rating 
 
2.7
Plot 
 
2.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Lydia has a very busy life-- she is an assistant teacher at the local Amish primary school, and also helps out at her grandmother's bakery. Her four-year-old sister has been very ill, and after consulting doctors, the family has a diagnosis-- leukemia. In order for Ruth to receive treatment, she will have to stay at a hospital, and the mother will stay with her. Lydia now has to add household chores to her schedule. It's little wonder that when she was at a youth group meeting and the attractive Mahlon plies her with beer, that she drank it to try to escape the reality of her life. She starts to feel that this was not a good idea, since Josh, the boy she likes, seems to think less of her because of that incident and also because she has made friends with Tristan, a neighbor boy who is not Amish. Lydia's strict parents are also unhappy with her and group her from all activities. Will Ruth get better? Are Tristan and Lydia just friends? Will Lydia become a full time teacher, or decide to work in the family bakery.
Good Points
Zondervan is, of course, a religious press, and they turn out a fair amount of books with characters who do have some religious bent. This, of course, had more than others. This made me think a little about Virginia Sorenson's Plain Girl, which is still available.
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