As is too often the case, our worlds can change suddenly, without warning, and without mercy. The journey of our lives becomes foreign, the road untested, and best with complications we never could have imagined. Our will, our hearts, and our faith are all put to great duress all at once without any tolerance or patience for our adaption.
In “Minding Molly”, author Leslie Gould brings us the tale of a young girl faced with just such a trial, Molly Zook, whose father has just passed away. In his death, the security of the family farm becomes in doubt and as her mother’s health problems mount, Molly does her best to assume the responsibilities of the eldest child.
As the pressure mounts, options narrow when Molly’s ailing mother decides that her daughter’s marriage to a neighbor offers a path of rescue. As the cruel, crooked hands of Fate once again play their game, Molly is awash in overwhelming affections for a newly arrived young Amish man from Montana, Leon.
I enjoyed this book (the third in a series) because it had a good storyline that was easy to follow despite my not having read the previous volumes. Despite the characters being new to me, I thought the author did well to help me quickly understand and relate to Molly. She, like me, feels a need to be in control of situations when the challenges are at their biggest. She also, like me, can be lost to the desires of the heart held only to anchor by a sense of duty to family. It was enjoyable watching her grapple and grow through her situation and to this, the story had great strength.
Some of the challenges for me were in the extensive, sometimes extra, character interactions. There are sections in passing that are best served with some patience and characters work through some bulky dialogue. Whatever the book’s shortcomings in character efficiency, there is no corner-cutting on the morality and lessons Molly has to tell us.
Her strength and ability to address conflict and obstacles that could easily sweep her away offer us lessons in faith and in honor – especially when we question our own accountability. Ms. Gould has done well to bring us a worthy tale and, seeing through the complexities inherent to any major life drama, I found this a good read. I would recommend this book for middle teens to adults.
I received an e-copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for the promise of an honest review.