A Plain Leaving by Leslie Gould is the first book in The Sisters of Lancaster County series. Jessica Bachman is at work when she receives a call from her sister, Leisel that their father has passed away. Jessica left their Amish community three years prior and is shunned (she was baptized when she left). She returns for the funeral and receives a less than warm welcome from her relatives. Jessica is filled with mixed feelings upon her return. She misses her home and family, but Jessica still remembers why she left. Silas Kemp (courted Jessica for two years) works on the farm and Jessica realizes that her feelings for him have not faded. At their father's funeral, Arden (her older brother) has a heart attack. Jessica is the one person who can keep the farm running while he recovers (and he really does not want to ask for her help). While on the farm, Jessica spends time with her Aenti Suzanne who shares a special story with her about their ancestor, Ruby Bachman. When the time comes for Jessica to return to her home, will she want to leave or return to her roots?
A Plain Leaving was such a lovely story. I was drawn into the book from the very beginning. The characters are nicely developed. There are characters that readers will love and there are ones that you will love to hate (Arden, Marie, Bethel). In the face of such dislike and contempt, it can be hard to turn the other cheek. A Plain Leaving has a good pace, beautiful setting, and good writing. Leslie Gould managed to combine the two storylines (Jessica and Ruby's) into one pleasing book. Some of the themes in A Plain Leaving are love, hope, forgiveness, foolishness, choices, history, trusting in God and having faith. I appreciated the growth of the characters in the story. I am rating A Plain Leaving 5 out of 5 stars (I loved it). I did not want A Plain Leaving to end. It is an inspiring story. I am eager to read the next book in The Sisters of Lancaster County series.