Something Old: Plain City Bridesmaids by Dianne Christner
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Christian Romance
Book Description: Katy Yoder lives a simple, sheltered lifestyle ensconced in the traditions of the Conservative Mennonite church and holds a naive black-and-white worldview. With her parents' approval, she moves in with a childhood friend. But after taking a temporary position as a nanny, gray begins to cloud her world as she finds herself forced to bend the rules.
On top of that, her friends clutter her mind with their progressive ideas - like ditching the prayer cap - forcing Katy to delve into these issues herself. She emerges even more obstinate about her cherished traditions. And she turns judgmental toward those who believe differently...
...including former flame, Jake Byler, who has returned from sowing his wild oats to win back her heart. Certain he's not the man for her, Katy's not prepared when Jakes' patience begins to wear a hole in the wall she's built around it. But this time, can bending keep her heart from breaking?
Colleen's Thoughts: The title for this book is fitting, although I didn't realize why until much later in the book. Katy Yoder is a very conservative member of the Mennonite religion. However, her community is struggling between conservatism and incorporating some of the more liberal traditions of the outside world, such as television, dance, and the internet. Because Katy cleans house for a few families not of her faith, she is exposed to many controversial, and sometimes shocking, outside influences. This sets her on a journey of self-discovery that whether the reader believes in the Mennonite religion or not, he/she can identify with to some degree.
Part of Katy's journey includes the choice to reconcile or not with her ex-boyfriend, Jake, who left the church for a time. She feels betrayed by his decisions and allows herself to judge rather than forgive. The personal struggles she endures through the ups and downs of her relationship with Jake teach the reader about the importance of refraining from judging others and looking to the Lord as the answer to finding forgiveness for yourself and others.
I enjoyed the romantic element and relationship development between Katy and Jake. Since this is a Christian Romance, it is very clean. Yet, it was frustrating at times because I just wanted them to communicate! But, isn't that the nature of real life relationships as well? ...another good lesson to learn from this book.
So, a 3 because I liked it, but .5 because of the important life lessons in the story.