Debut fiction author Lodge, a freelance photographer with a background in journalism, enters the popular arena of â€œplain peopleâ€ fiction with a surprisingly funny, refreshing and strong story line. Lodge creates the lovable and always acerbic protagonist Jayne Tate, reporter for Portland'sOregonian. Forced by her employer to take time off to regain her edge, Jayne goes hunting for a feature in Oregon's Amish country. What this independent and thoroughly modern journalist finds is an alternative lifestyle that keeps her slightly off-balance even while, in good reporter form, Jayne tries to remain coolly objective. Enter Levi Burkholder, formerly Amish, presently a carpenter, and Jayne's heart goes off kilter as well. Jayne joins the household of Levi's estranged parents for some real Amish experiences, learning to respect the hardworking family. Smart, fast-paced and chock-full of endearing characters, Lodge's entry into inspirational fiction is a keeper, plain and simple.(Jan.)
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