Following Your Heart picks up where Missing your Smile left off. Teresa has her son before she and Susan can make it to the Amish community. Teresa still has high hopes for joining the Amish community and what that will mean for her and her son and their future. Susan and Teresa finally make it home to Susan's Mamm and Daed's house and slip into a somewhat normal Amish routine with Teresa learning the ways of the Amish, from cooking to cleaning to church-going.
Shortly after their arrival, Deacon Ray visits Daed and sets forth requirements and expectation for Teresa while in the Amish community. This visits upsets Susan, but Teresa agrees to what Deacon Ray has said even though it may break her heart. Eventually, Teresa receives an offer of marriage from the community bachelor. Because Teresa wants so badly for her son to grow up in the Amish community, she agrees to the marriage offer and is allowed to take classes to join the church along with the Amish youth who are ready to join the church. Along the way she catches the eye of Deacon Ray's son, James. Torn between the two men and the desires of her heart, Teresa has a big decision to make.
This was a wonderful book that drew me in to the life of Susan and Teresa and the emotions they experience while living life and working through the good and bad that are results from their choices. I cannot wait to read the third book in this series, Where Love Grows. I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who is interested in the Amish genre or lifestyle.
Susan Hostetler, whom we met in Missing Your Smile, the first novel in Jerry Eicher's Fields of Home series, has returned to her Amish home and community with her Englisha friend, Teresa Long. Teresa wants to become Amish and have her fatherless grow up as one of them. The ministers aren't sure whether an unwed mother should be accepted, although Susan's parents warmly welcome Teresa. They also hope Susan will stay and patch things up with her former boyfriend, Thomas Stoll.
Teresa fully embraces Amish life and rejoices as she grows in faith and practice. Susan seems critical of her church community and unsure about whether to remain. She certainly doesn't want Teresa forced into marrying the crusty old bachelor Yost Byler, although Teresa believes that's all she deserves. Then James, the deacon's son who hasn't been serious about any girl yet, shows an interest in Teresa, in spite of his father's objections.
How will things turn out for these two young Amish women? Teresa intends to be baptized and join the church, but Susan refuses to do so at this time. Are both asking for trouble or simply following their hearts? And what about Susan's dad, Menno, who has a dark secret from his past? Teresa's situation brings what he'd hidden to mind.
I recommend reading the first book in the series before Following Your Heart since it gives the background to this continuing story. Jerry Eicher was raised Amish and brings to life a different slant than other authors.
this is book 2 in the series fields of home, and i love it just as much as the first book. i cant wait till the 3rd one comes out so i can read it. book 2 keep me interested so much i didnt want to put it down, but i had to. as most of the authors i read that are fiction jerry keep my attention till the very last word.
Review of Following Your Heart, Book 2 in Fields of Home series
By Jerry Eicher
What an exciting book! I was so sad when Missing Your Smile ended as I was anxious to find out what was going to happen to Susan Hostetler and Teresa Long when they returned to Susan's Amish home in Indiana. I was not disappointed in the book, but was surprised and upset when Deacon Ray banned Teresa from attending the church services or interacting with the Amish community. At least, he didn't say that Anna and Menno Hostetler could not allow her to remain living in their home with her baby son, Samuel.
Good ole' Thomas comes calling to try to patch things up with Susan, but she refuses to forgive him and sends him packing yet again! He then hatches a scheme that will cause heartache and trouble for many...he will fix Teresa up with an Amish husband and decided that Yost Byler fits the bill perfectly. Well, Yost has quite a reputation among the Amish community. His home is a pig sty and he goes around in dirty clothing. So...how will this turn out? Deacon Ray loves the idea though and so does Yost! What will Teresa think? What will she do? She is willing to do anything to raise her son among the Amish. But trouble, trouble, toil and trouble.....James, Deacon Ray's son, decides that he is rather taken with Teresa as well. His father is furious and forbids them from seeing each other, but will he listen? or will he rebel against his father, the deacon?
Meanwhile, as many seek and need forgiveness, and some refuse to give it, Menno, Susan's daed, wrestles with his own past and issues. He is in need of some forgiveness and grace. I won't reveal more as you simply must read this book yourself to find out whether or not the characters "follow their hearts" or betray their own dreams. I can hardly wait now for Book 3 in the Fields of Homes series to come out! I'll be watching for the release of Where Love Grows by Jerry Eicher and I'm sure you will too once you have read these two!
What did I love about this book? we got to see some in-depth baptismal instruction and even part of the service. I love that Jerry's characters are so "real" with true emotions and are not perfect, even as Amish. Many seem to feel that the Amish are "perfect" people and Jerry proves to us that they are ordinary folks like us.
What did I not like about the book? I did not like the deacon and church ministry refusing to allow Teresa to attend the church services. The Amish are known for their forgiveness and this seemed to show the very opposite to a hurting young woman in need of forgiveness, grace, and love. I also had many questions when the book ended and I think I know what might happen and can hardly wait to see if I am correct.
About the Author:
Jerry Eicher is a bestselling Amish fiction author. He has more than 400,000 in combined sales, including The Adams County Triology, the Hannah's Heart books, and the Little Valley Series. He grew up in a traditional Amish home, taught for two terms in Amish and Mennonite schools in Ohio and Illinois. Since that time, he has been involved in church renewal, preaching, and teaching Bible studies. Jerry lives with his wife, Tina, and their four children in Virginia.
Visit Jerry's website: www.eicherjerry.com
I was fortunate to receive a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. Thank you, Jerry!lo