I've read several of Olivia Newport's books and truly enjoyed every one. Meek and Mild is no different, with a cast of characters that range from overly self-righteous to kind, caring people, to everything in between.
Clara Kuhn lost her mother when her little sister was still-born. When she was eleven, her father remarried and Clara loved her step-mother, Rhoda, and the children her step-mother bore. In fact, Clara loves her cousin's daughter, Sadie, and loves to tell her stories from the Bible. She's just scared spitless about having her own children, afraid that what happened to her mother will happen to her, as well.
Andrew Raber is sweet on Clara and would marry her in a heartbeat if only she'd say yes. He's not sure that every rule in the Ordnung is biblical, and he's drawn to the Model T Ford that he found on the side of the road. He has his own place and he works hard. This car, though, takes every spare thought and every spare moment he has, even to learning how to repair it under the tutelage of a nearby mechanic.
Yonnie Yoder is Andrew's best friend, but he holds a tighter rein on what he thinks is right and wields his opinions with a bit of superiority. He feels that he needs to tell the bishop about the transgressions he sees in others without considering his own sins.
Moses Yoder is a relative of Yonnie and is the bishop of the meeting. He uses his position to hold sway over the meeting and anyone who disagrees should come under the shunning.
Mose Beachy is the new bishop who takes over after Moses Yoder becomes too ill to keep up with the duties of the office. Mose Beachy is expected to enact the changes that would reverse some of the decisions Moses Yoder pushed through the congregation. Eventually this caused a split in the group and a more lenient form of the Amish was formed.
Fannie is Clara's cousin and she is wishing for another boppli to fill her arms. She has Sadie, but she has more love to give. When her mother becomes pregnant, she can hardly stand it.
Every character in the pages of this book have a need only God can fill and Olivia skillfully and seamlessly weaves these needs into her novel to make a tapestry that is rich in color and texture. Her plot tells a history of how the Beachy Amish sect came into being and why. It is very easy to insert one's self into the story of the book and see how the events could have played themselves out.
Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a ride in a Model T.
My thanks to Barbour Publishing for allowing me to read this novel in exchange for my honest review.