Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Beverly Lewis & The Orchard

Posted September 5, 2022 by meezcarrie in Amish, Author Interview, Beverly Lewis, Christian, giveaway, romance / 25 Comments

I’m delighted – and honored – today to welcome beloved author Beverly Lewis to the blog to chat about her new Amish romance, The Orchard!

Beverly Lewis is a bestselling and awardwinning novelist whose stories have been published in 12 languages and have regularly appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times and USA Today. Beverly and her husband, David, live in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, making music, and spending time with their family.

You can connect with Beverly on her website and Facebook.

THE ORCHARD by Beverly Lewis
GENRE: Inspirational Amish Fiction
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: September 6, 2022
PAGES: 350

“She realized there was peace right here in the midst of this heavenly sort of place, despite the unpredictable storm churning around her family.”

For generations, Ellie Hostetler’s family has tended their Lancaster County orchard, a tradition her twin brother, Evan, will someday continue. Yet when Evan’s draft number is called up in the lottery for the Vietnam War, the family is shocked to learn he has not sought conscientious objector status, despite their Old Order Amish belief in non-resistance. The faraway war that has caused so much turmoil and grief among their Englisher neighbors threatens too close to home.

As Evan departs for boot camp, Ellie confides her disappointment to Sol Bontrager, the brother of her best friend and cousin to her new beau, Menno. In contrast to Evan, Sol is a conscientious objector. Despite Ellie’s attraction to Menno, she finds herself drawn to Sol’s steady presence as they work together in the orchard. Suddenly, it feels as if everything in Ellie’s world is shifting, and the plans she held so dear seem increasingly uncertain. Can she and her family find the courage to face a future unlike any they could have imagined?

The Orchard is a peaceful, heartwarming romance novel set amid the quiet solitude of an Amish family’s orchard during the Vietnam War.”–Foreword Reviews starred review


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Hi Beverly! Welcome to the blog!

Q: The Orchard is set during the Vietnam War. What type of research was required to portray this time period and the impact that the Vietnam War had on the Amish community?

Beverly: I am privileged to have a number of Amish friends who willingly shared with me regarding their own sons’ concerns during this challenging era. Also, my brotherinlaw, an Air Force veteran, assisted with research on the nonAmish side of this war and its effects on our soldiers overseas.

Carrie: Family and friends are the best sort of first person research! 🙂

Q: What were the Amish beliefs pertaining to war?

Beverly: Amish embrace nonresistance in all aspects of life, which includes any involvement in military service.

Carrie: I have always found that fascinating…

Q: While Evan joins the military despite his family’s pacifist beliefs, Sol is called a conscientious objector. Can you please explain for my readers what that means?

Beverly: A conscientious objector claims the right to reject or perform military service—including the bearing of arms—on the grounds of freedom of religion, morality, or a belief in pacifism.

Carrie: Something that took a whole different kind of courage, but courage nonetheless, to stand for their beliefs.

Q: How did Englishers perceive and react to Amish claiming the conscientious objector status?

Beverly: During the Vietnam War, many nonAmish (Englishers) despised COs and targeted them in violent ways, as well as made them feel guilty for not serving their country in a military capacity.

Carrie: definitely a complex issue!

Q: Your female protagonist, Ellie Hostetler, and her family are facing the effects of the Vietnam War. What will readers learn about the way the Amish handled both the war and their everchanging world?

Beverly: Readers will experience what Ellie and her neighborfriend Sol must endure when the “outside world” clashes with the peaceful world of the orchard. Despite the Hostetlers’ embrace of pacifism, their customer base is at risk due to Evan’s radical decision to fight in the war.

Carrie: sounds like impacting ripples for either decision – to fight or to embrace nonresistance.

Q: How does your background influence your writing?

Beverly: My mother’s mother was Old Order Mennonite, so the Anabaptist heritage is embedded in my DNA. Also, having grown up around the Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, I am familiar with the Plain culture and traditions and have a great affinity for the Amish and Mennonite people, many of whom are close friends, or even relatives.

Carrie: I learned two new things about you!

Q: Besides the family connection, what do you love most about writing Amish fiction?

Beverly: It’s difficult to narrow down, but the closeknit family life; delicious, homemade foods (which I enjoy describing in my novels); and the Amish’s exemplary traits of kindness, forgiveness and generosity.

Carrie: that’s partly why i love reading it too!

Q: What lessons can be found for readers throughout the pages of The Orchard?

Beverly: Themes of mercy and forgiveness, love for God and family, and divine providence are evident in the pages of The Orchard. After reading the manuscript, one of my research consultants commented, “What a great book to express the peaceful stance of the Amish people . . . and the devastation of war.”

Carrie: i love that!

Bethany House is offering a print copy of The Orchard by Beverly Lewis to TWO of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read The Orchard by Beverly Lewis?

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25 responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Beverly Lewis & The Orchard

  1. Jan S.

    I have read many of Beverly Lewis’ books and have never been disappointed. As a young adult during the Vietnam War, I had many friends who were affected by that war. I am anxious to read this one! Thanks for the opportunity!

  2. Regina

    Beverly Lewis is one of my most favorite authors. I really enjoyed this interview and look forward to reading the book! 🙂

  3. Brenda Murphree

    I love Beverly Lewis’ books and always have since I read The Shunning. This book is no different and sound interesting.

  4. Elizabeth Quick

    Such an informative interview! I am looking forward to reading this captivating story. Beverly Lewis is my favorite author and I cherish each of her novels.

  5. Loretta Shumpert

    The Vietnam war was during my teen years and I knew young men who went and served. One cousin did not come back. I believe this will be a great read.


    I enjoy reading Amish stories. I always learn something new. It will be interesting to see how Beverly Lewis mingles the Viet Nam War with the Amish beliefs.

    • jackie Mitchell

      Yes, it will. All of her stories have an intriguing plot. A problem to solve. It is always handled by faith and love
      So refreshing and uplifting!

  7. Vivian Furbay

    I want to read this as I know Beverly Lewis is a great author after reading several of her books and I like Amish fiction.

  8. Susan Fletcher

    I have loved every book I’ve read by Beverly Lewis. I was so fortunate to meet her years ago in NC.

  9. Connie R.

    I’d like to read it because I love Beverly’s books, because I am interested in the story line, and I have several cousins who served in the Vietnam War. I never thought about the Amish being C.O’s.

  10. I love Beverly’s books all of them. I have read them for many years. I am looking forward to reading this new one sounds really good. I have me Beverly in person at least 4 times and at least twice to dinners with the Gaither’s. I have pictures.

  11. Patricia Pereira

    I love reading Beverly Lewis’ books and am grateful for this offer of her new book, The Orchard. My husband served two full years in the Vietnam war on the front lines and so this time frame is especially meaningful to me. God bless you!

  12. MS Barb

    I graduated from high school in 1969–some of my classmates died in Viet Nam. I also attended a very conservative Bible school in MN after graduation, and some of those classmates were conscientious objectors. I had one pastor who served as a cook in the Korean war, as a conscientious objector… The enrollment officer asked my pastor, “What if everyone thought like you!?”
    The answer: Then there would be no war.

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