Title: Farewell for a While
Author: Sharon A. Lavy
Series: Sometimes We’re Asked to Forgive . . . the Unforgivable (Book 2)
Major Themes: German Baptists, Romance
Synopsis: Dustin and Rebekah, just a few weeks before their wedding date, discover that they have some issues they must work through before they are married.
I have now done something I never did before in my life: Read a novel about German Baptists. To my knowledge, Sharon Lavy is the first person who has written such a thing. There have been a lot of Amish novels written (and in my opinion most of them are rubbish—don’t get me started on that one), but none set among German Baptists. Since my husband and I were both raised German Baptist, Farewell for a While caught my eye when I heard about it. I also remember meeting Sharon Lavy many years ago when she and her husband spent the night with my family.
Farewell for a While is based on a church split that actually took place in 2009. Incidentally, we have family members who ended up on both sides of the division. I found Sharon’s description of the events leading up to the division quite fascinating. She did a good job of describing Annual Meeting, and German Baptist social life.
The main character, Rebekah, is engaged to Dustin. They are eagerly anticipating their wedding in a few weeks, but then comes a stressful Annual Meeting when the world Rebekah has known all her life is turned upside down by a group of elders who seem to want to control everyone’s beliefs. With Dustin unable to attend with her, she spends the weekend trying to figure out what is going on, while her best friend Heidi can’t think of anything beyond getting a date. Back home again, Rebekah continues preparing for the wedding and helping a young girl who loses an eye from cancer. Rebekah can empathize, because she herself, as a young girl, lost an eye in an accident. Then, Rebekah discovers that Dustin has not prepared a house for them to live in, and feels that she has no choice but to postpone the wedding. When Dustin gets involved with the lives of the renters he can’t bear to evict, things really get crazy. Will Dustin and Rebekah be able to sort their lives out enough to get married?
Farewell for a While is a very realistic story. I found that it rung true all the way through; I could really believe that these events could happen. Of course, the background to Dustin and Rebekah’s story, the divide in the German Baptist church in 2009, was true. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and would recommend it for anyone who wants a true-to-life romance set among a church most people have never heard of!
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults