Title: Minding Molly
Author: Leslie Gould
2014, Bethany House
Genre: Amish Fiction, Christian Fiction
Capable and optimistic Molly Zook has a slight issue with control: She doesn't like giving it up. So she's chafing against her mother's wish that, to save the family farm, she marry Mervin Mosier--especially after she meets Leon Fisher. He's from Montana but is working in Molly's district, training horses at a nearby ranch. He is tall and muscular, with a confident demeanor. Molly has never met anyone like him, and he seems to feel the same about her.
Determined to let nothing get between them, Molly decides the best course of action is to get Mervin to fall back in love with her best friend, Hannah. Molly organizes a weekend camping trip hoping to bring them together, but things quickly go awry and it seems Leon and Hannah might be falling for each other instead. Will Molly keep struggling to control everyone and everything around her? Or will she learn to let God handle the twists and turns of her life?
This was not my favorite Amish novel of all time. I found the main character of Molly fairly unlikable throughout most of the novel. She is extremely controlling to the point of being off-putting. I tried to keep in mind that she had just suffered some heart-breaking life events (her father had died, her mother was having scary health issues and she had some boyfriend issues), but she was still so annoying.
This novel is set in present day and is told from the POV of Molly. It is the 3rd book in a series. I had not read the first two books in the series before starting this one, but I felt that this one could stand alone. I did not feel lost or like I had missed anything by starting on the 3rd book.
Some points that I liked about this novel though were that I enjoyed not being able to quite figure out who she was going to end up with in the end. Was Leon going to move back to Montana? Was Mervin going to transfer his affections back to Hannah or continue to want to marry Molly and help her save the farm? Was Leon going to be so turned off by Molly's control issues that he lost his affection for her? I honestly had no idea who she was going to end up with in the end (if anyone, for that matter) and I liked it that I had a hard time predicting. I was also unsure what was going to happen to the farm in the end and what the motives of her half-brother Ivan were.
Another thing I liked about his novel is that it gave small little examples of some of the problems associated with a closed group of people like the Amish. One example was a family with a daughter with some physical abnormalities, which the author pointed out was not uncommon among the Amish - I'm guessing because they intermarry so much. Also, Molly's friend Hannah has some depression issues requiring the treatment from a counselor at some point. Both things that I feel most Amish fiction author's avoid addressing.
So other than really not enjoying the main character, this was a fairly good book. I may give this author another try and hope that I like her other main characters better.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review. No other compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.