A SIMPLE FAITH Rosalind Lauer
Lancaster Crossroads , Book 1
Ballantine
ISBN: 978-0-345-54326-2
November 2013
Amish Inspirational Romance

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania - Present Day

Elsie Lapp works in her family store, aptly named, The Country Store, in Halfway, Pennsylvania.  The Country Store is the Lapp's only source of income, and Elsie has long wanted to open up their sales to outside vendors.  After finally persuading her father, Thomas, to meet with potential customers in Philadelphia, they are on the long ride home.  Sitting in the back of the passenger van with other Amish riders, Elsie stares in horror as headlights of an oncoming car veer into their lane and they are hit head on.  Thrown about and not noticeably injured, Elsie rushes to her father's aid after the crash.  Thomas Lapp was riding in the front seat.

Nursing student Haley Donavan is traveling behind the passenger van when she witnesses the unthinkable.  She dials 9-1-1 and starts helping the injured.

Dr. Dylan Monroe is a psychologist hoping to open up his practice to the local Amish citizens in Halfway.  Luckily, he is available to them after the horrendous accident.  The Amish don't often seek outside help for their problems, preferring to turn to their families or their bishop if they need to talk.  And since the accident, Elsie resists counseling until she confides to Haley that she is having trouble sleeping.  Haley encourages her to see Dylan.  Once Elsie finds solace in Dylan's therapy, others turn to the doctor as well, and they all begin a group session right in Halfway.

Reuben Zook was also in the back of the passenger van. He was unhurt, but his friends were not so lucky.  As circumstances begin to throw Reuben and Elsie together, they grow to be fond of each other.  Rueben has always been known as the prankster.  A large young man, who jokes and gets the best of others before they can laugh at his disabilities and his limp, Reuben feels an affinity for Elsie, who suffers from a disease that stunted her growth and twisted her teeth.  As a "little person," Elsie has learned to adapt to her disabilities, and she has decided she will never marry and take the chance of passing on the genetic disorder which causes dwarfism in the Amish.  Her personal decision breaks all the rules of her faith and puts Elsie in danger of being shunned by her community, but she refuses to budge.

A SIMPLE FAITH is a complex and heart-warming story about a multitude of people with imperfections and problems who all seek the same thing: love and happiness.  Elsie and Reuben become fast friends and begin to form a lasting relationship while they deal with the grief caused by the accident.  Elsie and Reuben are as opposite physically as they can be: Elsie is a tiny person and Reuben is tall and big, but both have disabilities that have shaped their lives and their attitudes toward the future.  Dylan Monroe left the city for a complete change of scenery after his wife and child died.  Now, he is a therapist who helps others deal with the same issues, even though he cannot heal himself.  Haley Donavan struggles to finish nursing school.  She loves the work, but the academics are hard for her.  Dylan and Haley share the same dedication to their medical professions, but both have chips on their shoulders that need to be knocked aside before they can be happy.

A wonderful story, A SIMPLE FAITH is a book you need to read!

Diana Risso