The Heirloom (Prequel to The Shunning) by Beverly Lewis | Amish Fiction Review

The Heirloom by Beverly Lewis

The Heirloom
Prequel to The Shunning
Christian Fiction / Amish

This heartwarming prequel to The Shunning is a tender story of love, belonging, and the courage to move forward.

After her widowed father remarries, nineteen-year-old Clara Bender is no longer needed to help run his household. Marriage seems like her best hope of moving out, but there are few young men in her tiny Indiana Amish community. When she comes across letters from her mother's aunt Ella Mae Zook, she sets off to visit Lancaster County's Hickory Hollow to decide where her future lies.

Ella Mae is not quite ready to move from the farmhouse where she and her recently deceased husband spent over fifty happy years, but her children are eager to resettle her, making Clara's visit seem like an answer to prayer. The two women form a warm bond while restoring an heirloom wedding quilt and sharing their lives, with Ella Mae confiding about a tragedy from her courting years. Eventually, Ella Mae suggests Clara stay for the summer, allowing Ella Mae more time with her and giving Clara an opportunity to meet the area's eligible young men. But when the unexpected happens, will Clara find where her heart truly belongs?

Read an excerpt.

My Thoughts

Like many people I first read The Shunning and the books that followed in the late 90's. I also saw the movies and enjoyed them as well. So naturally when I found out there was going to be  a prequel I knew I had to get it and read it. I'm so glad I did. 

The story in The Heirloom does not center around Katie Lapp who is the main character in The Shunning. Instead Katie is a side character and the main character is Clara Bender. Clara isn't from Hickory Hollow but she takes a trip to visit her aunt, Ella Mae Zook, who does live in Hickory Hollow.

While in Hickory Hollow Clara finds a sense of renewal. Even though the Hickory Hollow community is more strict than her district she finds a freedom that her very soul was craving. She is able to begin emerging from the grief of losing her mother and opening up to the prospect of not spending the rest of her life as an old maid. 

I really liked that this was a completely new story. It takes place shortly before the timeframe of The Shunning which gives a lot more insight into what led up to Katie's story and why the punishment was so severe. Someone that hasn't read the previous series is going to thoroughly enjoy how seamlessly this storyline goes when they read the prequel first and then the series. 

By the way, this would also make a good stand alone read if you aren't interested in reading all four books together. But for those of us that have already invested in the series, I say you are in for a real treat when you add this book to your reading list.

The Heritage of Lancaster County

1. The Heirloom
2. The Shunning
3. The Confession
4. The Reckoning

Connect With The Author

Beverly Lewis
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Aimee Christenson


I received a copy of this book from the publisher to facilitate my review.


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