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Plain Jayne by Hillary Manton Lodge

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Plain Jayne

Plain Jayne Tate works for a big city newspaper  in Oregon. Her Father had recently passed away and she had gone home for the funeral but she and her family were not close. Her boss at the paper insists  Jayne takes a few weeks off and if she does not he will fire her.

Jayne gets a friend to take care of her cat and tells her current boy friend Shane that she was going to be gone a few weeks. She remembered seeing some article about Amish so she was heading to Amish country to see if she could find some one willing to let her stay with them a few weeks and she would have a new article to give her boss. Jayne’s car is in the shop so she plans to use her motorcycle to get to Albany.

When Jayne arrived in Albany she started looking around for some Amish carpentry shops and finds Levi Burkholder’s shop. She asks Levi for an interview and tells him she is looking for an Amish family to spend a few weeks with.  After talking a few minutes she makes an appointment to come back the next day for the interview.

The next day during the interview Levi tells Jayne he may know of a family who would be willing to let her stay with them a few weeks. He takes Jayne to the home of an Amish fimily and introduces her to Martha and her children. They stay for lunch and on the way back to town he explains that they were his family.   Jayne discovers that Levi had left the Amish to go to college and after  working his way up corporate ladder decided to  come back to the area where his family lived and open a carpenter shop.

The next day Levi tells Jayne that his parents have agreed to let her stay with them while she does her story.  Jayne calls Shane before she leaves her the hotel but he is at a club and it is too noisy . He tells he he will call back later.  Levi puts her bike in his truck and takes her to his parents. They had agreed to put her bike in the shed and Levi told her she could bring her lap top to his shop when it needed charged.

Martha shows Jayne her room with an Amish quilt on the bed and a flashlight on the dresser.  She shows her the bathroom and tell Levi he needs to go because his dad will be coming home soon . Levi explains that his dad will not speak to him because he left the Amish and it would not be good for him to be there when his dad got home.

Jayne asks Martha if they would happen to have some clothes  she could wear so she did not look so funny to the others.  Martha calls Sara  and she goes to see if she can find some clothes for Jayne. Jayne  helps with preparing supper and meets Martha’s Mother Ida, who also came to eat. After doing supper dishes and being shown around the barn it was 9:30 PM and that was bedtime.

A couple hours later Jayne is awoken by lights flashing in her window. She crawls to the window and sees an Amish man outside Sara’s window. She hurries to Sara’s room to learn it was Sara’s boyfriend David coming for their date. She was instructed not to tell as this was Amish custom.

Jayne helps with laundry.  She goes with the ladies to Ida’s to quilt. The ladies got Jayne to help by cutting squares of fabric.  Shane finally returns her call but things don’t go well. When they returned home Sara wanted to make Jayne a new Amish dress.

Next day Jayne takes Sara to town in Ida’s car to return Levi’s clothes that Sara had mended. Jayne falls and breaks her wrist. Now she cannot ride her bike so Levi offers to ride her bike to Portland and pick up her car for her. The neighbors barn burned. Now Jayne will get to attend a barn raising on Friday.  Jayne is amazed at how the Amish community works together and the barn is built.

Sara confides in Jayne that she wants to design clothing  and she may consider leaving the Amish community to  do that. That night Gideon, Levi’s dad told Jayne that the next day was Sunday and they would be going to Church but that they did not allow outsiders to attend. Sunday morning as they were ready to leave they found that their buggy had been stolen. Jayne offeres to drive them to church. Her car is small so she makes two trips. When she went back for the ladies Martha calls her to her room and fixes her hair and puts a kapp on it and tells her to sit in the back and be quiet.

Monday night Jayne hears a racket outside in middle of night. She looks out and sees several boys leading one of the horses out of the barn. When Jayne stepped out on the porch and yelled at them they all ran except the one leading the horse and he got startled and the horse stepped on his foot. He could not walk on it. The boy told Gideon his name was Mike. They had him remove his shoe and his foot was swollen and bruised. Jayne gave him her phone to call his sister after he admitted they were the ones who had stolen the buggy and told them where it was.

When Levi finds the buggy he prepares to pull it home with his truck. After getting the buggy home he and Jayne return to town and sit and talk and as Jayne prepared to leave she finds herself kissing Levi.  Now she is trying to figure out how that happened.  When she reached the Burkholders she discovered Gideon was having trouble breathing. Jayne goes to the shed and calls 911.  Jayne drives Martha and the older boys to the hospital where they find that Gideon had  had a heart attack and needed by pass surgery so he would be transferred to Portland hospital.  Jayne calls Levi and he comes to the hospital.

Jayne offers her apartment for Martha to stay in while Gideon is in the hospital. Sara and Levi come too. The surgery went well and in a few days they went back home. Jayne was given a lovely quilt when she got them home.

Read the story for the rest of the excitement about Shane, Levi, Sara and the rest. I found it to be a very good book.


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