Message From The Author

Beverly Lewis

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Inspirational

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Author's Message

“No one’s stuck anywhere unless they choose to be,” said Ella Mae, her eyes shining. “The Lord God guides those who are moving forward, my dear girl.”

The words of Ella Mae, the Old Wise Woman in my new novel, The Bridesmaid, would have resonated strongly with my Old Order Mennonite grandmother, Ada Ranck. Grandma Ada must have felt “stuck” within the strict rules and regulations of her church. At sixteen, she attended a revival meeting — against her father’s wishes — and received Christ. There, she also met a handsome, blue-eyed ministerial student, Omar Buchwalter. From that time on, Ada believed God was calling her out of her rules-based church in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. And she obeyed His call.

My grandmother was a young woman of profound faith — and spunk. She wasn’t afraid to follow her heart, even though it meant leaving everything she’d known. Because of her marriage to my grandfather, Ada was excommunicated by her bishop and shunned from her Plain community. Though she removed her head covering, Ada continued to dress as an Anabaptist woman and honored the Lord throughout her life, as a preacher’s wife.

In the fall of 2006, I was delighted to discover an old friendship quilt made for Ada and Omar as a welcoming gift from their first congregation. This quilt had been passed down through my maternal family tree since 1927, lying forgotten in one of my uncle’s blanket chests. I knew that I wanted to bring it out into the open, just as Grandma Ada’s story has now been shared with millions of readers through my novel, The Shunning, and in the musical play and the Hallmark movie inspired by her story.

This family quilt serves as a continual reminder of the blessed rewards of obedience and courage—it even found its way into my novel, The Bridesmaid!

The words “stuck” or “trapped” are rarely used among my Plain relatives. They rejoice that Ada had the courage to follow not only her heart, but God’s guidance. She was a shining beacon of faith and light to all who knew her. There is no doubt that she is one of the key reasons that I, a painfully shy young writer from Lancaster County, have now published more than 90 books that have been translated into eleven languages.

And that once “lost” quilt? It beautifully graces our guestroom, so all who stay there might hear the story of divine grace extended toward Grandma Ada…and to all the children of God.

Look for Ada’s colorful quilt in The Bridesmaid! I hope you find encouragement in Ada’s story, as well as that of The Bridesmaid’s Amish heroine, Joanna Kurtz. And when next you come to a crossroads in your life, I trust you remember wise Ella Mae’s words: “God guides those who are moving forward.”

Visit to watch the book video and find out more!

- Beverly Lewis

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