I usually don't choose Amish fiction to review. I seen this novel and it was the cover that caught my attention. It looked lovely and inviting. The back cover description shared just enough to intrigue me.
I was looking for a novel that was an easy read. One that flowed smoothly with characters that tugged at my heart. Well, I just wanted an escape read. Why did I choose a novel where the main character's husband dies and she's left a widow? I have to chuckle at my choice too. But it's one that I am happy to have read.
It was an easy read. Just an afternoon of reading. This is my first novel penned by Kelly Irvin. I am pleased to say that I really enjoyed my first novel by this author.
Within reading up to the second chapter the story kind of speaks for itself. Everything is pretty much unveiled and the reader can easily see what's about to happen. But, don't let that stop you from choosing this lovely selection. Even though all was figured out, at least for me, there was much to take in as Bess Weaver journeyed through healing. She and Aidan, her husband's best friend, have much in common. Most of all they are hurting for the one they both love in an order of people who don't show emotion. It doesn't mean they aren't hurting, but they choose to believe it is God's way and they should simply get on with it.
Beth is surrounded by people who seem so tough and hardhearted. Especially Mattie, her mother-in-law. She's a bitter pill to swallow. But Beth shows such grace. She is hurting so much and the birth of their child brings emotions she wasn't prepared for. She feels like something is wrong with her.
But, what I loved was God did surround Beth with people filled with wounds just as deep as those she has been battling. Women who have lived her walk and are able to give her sound advice soaked deeply in love. There isn't judgement or condemnation from these women, but understanding and friendship filled with hope.
So, even with the family members who seem so very hard, I found that they really aren't. It shows that everyone handles tragedy differently. There isn't one right way to heal from deep wounds.
Beth finds friendship outside the order when she takes a job at a local B&B. It's here we see the same curiosity we find in our own churches and communitites. People talk and assume. They quickly judge before they know the truth of the matter. But, what I love is that no matter what people thought of Beth she stood tall and grounded in everything she's ever known.
Aidan is one of the characters that is strong and above reproach. He's a good guy. He's that guy every mom wants their daughter to bring home. He has always loved Beth. He was friends with not only Caleb, but Beth as well. They are people he truly cares about and calls them family. He knew his best friend loved Beth and he didn't get in the way. He never shared his feelings for Beth once he knew Caleb fell for her. So, life moved on and we meet a girl whom Aidan has had feelings for, Iris. He's been calling on her, but has never gone as far as kissing her. She's the girl the town believes he should marry, but we see God has other plans for them both. Without sharing more information about the story, Iris is another character who shows great heart.
Beth's parents would really like her to come live with them and make a new life, but what I admire about Beth is the choice she makes to remain where she is. Even though Mattie doesn't appear to be the sweetest mother-in-law, (I too have one of those.), Beth knows she needs her. In fact, they need each other.
This was just a sweet read that gave me just what I was looking for in a novel. I wanted a break from the norm I read and this gave me that escape I needed. Forgiveness, romance, acceptance, peace, and learning that spring does come after a winter of trial, are all woven in this sweet read. I hope you enjoy!😉
This book was a gift from Zondervan for sharing my review with you.
Kelly Irvin is the author of several Amish series including the Bliss Creek Amish series, the New Hope Amish series, and the Amish of Bee County series. She has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine. The Kansas native is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism. she has been writing nonfiction professionally for more than thirty years, including ten years as newspaper reporter, mostly in Texas-Mexico border towns. A retired public relations professional, Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-nine years. They have two children, two grandchildren, and two cats. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and read books by her favorite authors.