Running Around & When Strawberries Bloom by Linda Byler
Byler, Linda. Running Around (and Such) and When Strawberries Bloom. Intercourse: Good Books, 2010.$13.99. Purchase at Amazon for less.
Linda Byler grew up Amish and remains an active member in the Amish church today. She regularly contributes to a weekly Amish newspaper as a columnist. She lives with her husband in central Pennsylvania where her children and grandchildren also live.
In Running Around, Lizzie discovers that turning 16 is not as cool as she once thought. Her dad just sold the family business in order to purchase a farm…in a non-Amish community. At least it is such a small community that there are not very many suitors for the Running Around phase of one’s teenage years. To complicate matters, Lizzie’s mom gets sick and is hospitalized leaving Lizzie to get another job so that her older sister’s hope chest can be filled.
In the second book of the series, When Strawberries Bloom, we find Lizzie a much older and more mature seventeen year old though she still struggles with an inferiority complex. She is not as whiny and is attempting to accept life as it is. The highlight for young Lizzie is that she gets to teach school. Also, you read of a young woman becoming more convicted of her faith and how she ought to live in light of her faith.
I reviewed these two books together because I did not want to give too much away in the plot line yet still have substance to the review. The first book, Running Around, took quite a bit of time to set the scene and introduce the characters to the reader. Once the groundwork was laid, however, things got very interesting. The second book was by far the better of the two but the first book is necessary to understand the intricacies and nuances of the second.
The reader watches as Lizzie grows into a young woman and finds that she is not unlike most young teenaged women. She struggles with her self and what she is supposed to do in her life. Her faith in God becomes her stronghold to trying to walk the path that is her life. My only concern is that while God plays a central role in her faith, there is hardly a mention of Christ.
Linda Byler has authored a series that is mostly pleasant to read. The story itself is enjoyable and easily related to by the reader. The humor interspersed throughout helps to move the story along. I would recommend both of these books to a young lady looking for a good fictional read.