Book Review: ‘Running Around (and Such)’

   Posted by: Faith   in Tasty Tomes

Running Around (and Such)

Lizzie Searches for Love, Book 1

by Linda Byler

Contemporary / Amish

Release Date: May 2010

lizzie Publisher’s Description:

     Lizzie Glick longs to fit into her quiet Amish community. Her sisters, Emma and Mandy, are ready to get married and settle into the traditional rhythm of having children and keeping house. But Lizzie isn’t sure that’s what she wants for her future. It isn’t that Lizzie doesn’t want to stay Amish. It’s just that there’s so much to figure out!
     Stephen, her quiet, gentle friend, hints that he might be interested in a relationship deeper than friendship, but Lizzie is also drawn to the charming Amos who seems to have eyes for everyone but her.
     She has certainly attracted the attention of the egg-truck driver. A thrill runs through her every time the worldly man comes to pick up an order, each time extending his stay a little longer. How long will she keep this a secret from Emma — and Mam and Datt?
     What will become of Lizzie? She has too hot a temper. She hates housework and dislikes babies. She loves driving fast horses but is petrified of going away from home for a week to work as a maud (maid). Is she too spirited, too innocent, and almost too uninhibited for a young Amish woman? 

My Thoughts:

For a book that’s subtitled ‘Lizzie Searches for Love’, you’d think that there’d be… well… more of a search for love involved.

On the contrary, Lizzie doesn’t actually ‘search for love’ until three quarters of the way through the book, and even then, it isn’t much of a search. More like a few sideways glances at this boy or that man.

So, why would this be the case?

Well, here’s one clue: the main character is fifteen. Yes, that’s right. This is a novel packaged like an adult book, with a fifteen-year-old main character and language that reflects an even younger voice. Now, it’s not entirely unusual to have a young female main character in an adult novel, however, the rest of the book needs to rise to the occasion and present the story in such a way that a mature reader’s interest is sustained.

But from the juvenile sentence structure, all the way to the overwhelming SHOWING and not TELLING manner in which the story is presented, this isn’t a book that lives up to the  expectations of readers of Amish-themed fiction.

I wanted to love this book. I wanted it to restore my faith in what has lately become a cookie-cutter genre full of rehashed plots and characters. The problem is, the writing just isn’t there, and the story doesn’t deliver on what it promised (in the back cover copy or title).

I could detail all the specifics concerning what exactly irked me and provide you with examples of the clunky, flat narrative, but I think I’ve done my job here.

In one sentence: The book couldn’t figure out who its audience was.

Maybe if you’re a die-hard fan of Amish fiction, you’ll find something to like here. Otherwise, leave this one on the shelf.

About the Author

Linda Byler grew up Amish and is an active member of the Amish church today. Growing up, Linda loved to read and write. In fact, she still does. She is well known within the Amish community as a columnist for a weekly Amish newspaper. Linda and her husband, their children, and grandchildren live in central Pennsylvania.

I received this book from FSB Associates in exchange for an honest review.

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 30th, 2010 at 7:19 pm and is filed under Tasty Tomes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 comments so far


I really loved your review of the book. So honest, and so refreshing.

Know your audience- that’s what I blogged about on Wednesday, so nice to hear that mantra repeated by you.

November 25th, 2010 at 5:39 am

Thanks Rayna! Knowing your audience is so key to a successful novel… I’ll have to pop over and read your post :)

November 26th, 2010 at 4:26 pm

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