Becoming Bea by Leslie Gould ~ Contemporary Amish Fiction Review

The Courtship of Lancaster County, Book 4
Leslie Gould
Contemporary Fiction / Amish

Can Bea and Ben Turn Rivalry Into Romance? 

Beatrice Zook knows God wants her to learn patience toward others. When assisting a family overwhelmed by triplets proves surprisingly successful, her confidence in dealing with others, both young and old, grows.

One person she'll never be able to find peace with though is Ben Rupp. They've known each other forever, and Ben understands precisely how to antagonize her. What neither she nor Ben will admit is that beneath all their bickering, attraction awaits. When friends decide to try and bring the couple together, will the pair be able to find true love? Or will they damage their relationship beyond repair?


My Thoughts

If you haven't been reading The Courtship of Lancaster County series you have been missing out. Leslie Gould has put together four Shakespeare meets Amish tales that are very clever. In this fourth installment, Becoming Bea, Leslie loosely bases the story on the Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing.  

I have long been a fan of Shakespeare's works and when I first came across this series I was a little skeptical about how such well-known plays would parlay into Amish fiction. I was pleasantly surprised by how the storyline fit the setting. Pure brilliance on Leslie's part!

Becoming Bea does have some deviation from the original play but in each instance that the two works didn't completely align I thought that the new story twists gave a depth to the overall novel and added to the convictions of the characters. If you are familiar with Much Ado About Nothing you are also aware that there is a very serious and adult misunderstanding. From the outset I was curious how the subject was going to be addressed. Would the author skip it? Would she change that part of the story? I'm pleased to say that she didn't skip it. She did alter it in a way but not so it is left out. In fact I was pleasantly surprised by the way she wove the situation into the overall story.

My one and only dislike of this novel is that it is the final installment in The Courtship of Lancaster County series. There are a few other plays that I think would be fun to read as an Amish retelling. I do have to say that I was thrilled to read that Leslie is already working on her next series entitled The Neighbors of Lancaster County. If it is anywhere near as entertaining as this one, it will be wonderful.

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