The Parting is the first book in The Coutship of Nellie Fisher series. Beverly Lewis really has a way of drawing you in to the story. This book is set in a Pennsylvania Amish community. Amish teen Nellie Mae Fisher and her family are grieving the tragic loss of Nellie's sister Suzy. There are so many unanswered questions about what Suzy was up to the last months before her drowning. Suzy's private thoughts were kept in her journal which she made Nellie Mae promise to destroy if anything ever happened to her. Did Nellie Mae destroy it after her sister's death? If not will she read it? What things could possibly be uncovered in that journal? Beverly Lewis has a way of weaving this story to keep you intrigued and guessing up until the end.
Nellie Mae has her own little bakery which helps the family with income and she has a beau, Caleb Yoder. Things seem to be looking up for Nellie and she even sees wedding bells in her future. Just as everything seems to be going perfectly, change seems to be coming to this small community. This change threatens to break up families and come between Nellie's newfound love. Nellie's own father begins reading scripture which is forbidden and learns of salvation and what it means to have a real relationship with God. (I loved the development of this and how passionate some of the characters got about their newfound salvation.) Other characters are introduced in this book such as Rhoda and Nan who are Nellie's other sisters. Rhoda works for "Englishers" as a housekeeper and Nan is dealing with the end of a serious realationship. One of my favorite characters is Rosanna King, a friend of Nellie's, who is unable to have children of her own. Her cousin Kate offers to give her next baby to Rosanna to raise as her own. These characters are set up beautifully and you finish the book wanting more. An excellent read and a must for any Beverly Lewis or Amish fiction fans!