The second book in the New Hope Amish series continues the story of the Amish community that moved from Bliss Creek, Kansas, to Missouri. Phoebe Christner and her beau, Michael Daugherty, participate in the instruction class so they can be baptized and eventually marry. They long for time together, and a vacation at the lake with other church families should provide opportunity even though Phoebe is to assist her ailing mother and watch the children. The anticipated break from routine turns to horror and the courting couple cannot forgive themselves. The tragedy drives them and their families apart, and it seems the guilt and painful loss will haunt the rest of their lives.
Phoebe determines to maintain model behavior, but when she is asked to teach school she fears being responsible for young lives. Michael takes off for the Englisch world and finds a job as a dishwasher in a city restaurantnot your typical Amishmans work. Both young people learn important lessons and come to realize God does care and still offers them hope for the future. The book is filled with difficult life events, which serve to make the reader care more deeply about the characters.
Kelly Irvin has written another book that will touch your emotions. Phoebe's family and several others in the Amish community are going together to spend a week at the lake. Michael Daugherty & Phoebe slip off to spend a few minutes to talk. Phoebe was suppose to be helping her sister with the other children in the camp. Said she would be "back in a shake". When she returns her sister is hysterical. A four year old has wondered off. Soon everyone is searching. Because of this event Phoebe and Michael, Phoebe's mother, her sister and several others all blame themselves. They believe God forgives them but how do they forgive themselves? There are so many questions and so much blame for any one person. This book deals with heart rending emotions, love, anger at self and at God but how they each have to find their way with God's help. Hannah blames not only herself but her sister Phoebe.
You will want to wrap your arms around this family and friends. You will want to comfort them, chide them, and pray with them. Kelly's books always touch your heart whether with tears, joy or humor. Her faith is revealed all through the book without being preachy.
I received this book through Book Club Network (www.bookfun.org) and the publisher. All I was asked to do was to leave my honest opinion. I've read several of Kelly's books and have enjoyed each of them. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
This book was hard to read, not because it wasn't good, in fact it was a wonderful story. It was hard to read emotionally. The loss of a child is an emotional rollercoaster, the emotions that Kelly portrayed in her characters as they grieved and found their way after their loss was so true to nature. The description of this novel, calls it a tender novel, but I didn't find it tender I found it to be raw and emotional and a book I could not put down. Yes the story hit close to home, because I have lost a child, but I knew every emotion they were feeling was true. Definitely worthy of 5 stars from this reviewer.
This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.
This is not an easy book to read. But then, none of Kelly Irvin's books are easy to read.
The way she writes about the Amish shows a deeper understanding of life and Plain living that you don't see in every Amish fiction novel.
She does not present a happy little fairy tale with tiny problems and silly obstacles. She shows us serious problems and tremendous obstacles - in other words, real problems and obstacles.
There is no easy path for her characters. It is a rocky and slippery slope they walk and the way through is not always clear - even to the reader.
The books AND the stories are definitely NOT predictable!
They are real stories about real people and, as difficult as it is to read - and please understand that when I say that, I mean that it's a difficult experience, not that it's difficult to get into or understand. Reading Kelly Irvin's books are an incredibly emotional and wearisome experience - is incredibly rewarding and uplifting.
Even though her message is presented through great difficulty and tragedy, it is always a lesson we need! Everyone needs to learn the lessons she presents and going about it this way is much better that experiencing the tragedy for yourself.
Although, you kind of feel like you do experience it. Her writing is THAT good!
Have a box of tissues handy and make sure you don't have anything pressing to do for a while but READ IT! It's TOO good to miss!
Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.
Kelly Irvin is a new author to me and this book is the first of hers that I have read. I plan to remedy that lack in my life as soon as possible.
I read this book in one afternoon, because her characters stole my heart in the first chapter and the story line claimed my attention not long after that. Sometimes I find that "Amish" novels are nice reads but lack some strength. This is not one of those. The story of Phoebe Christner and her family is at once real and unbelievable; real due to the circumstances and unbelievable because of the work of God within each one of them. Not that God's work in a person is unbelievable, but because it is real and amazing and something that leaves you breathless, whether you are reading about a fictional story or have experienced it in your life.
Irvin quotes Micah 7:18 and 19 in the foreword of the book, and it is so appropriate for the way I feel after reading this wonderful story..."Who is a God like you, who pardons sins and forgives the transgression of the remnants of His inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; You will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea."
This is a story of a family caught in tragic circumstances, but it is full of hope and light. It is a love story and a story of promise and second chances. Well, well worth an afternoon of your time!