Kelly Irvin certainly knows how to pack in the drama, whilst somehow making the reader feel calm, relaxed, and at peace. I don't know how she does that. I was captivated as Emma and her complex family struggled with crisis after crisis, and yet, I felt as if nothing happened! Perhaps it's the focus on the day-to-day, or the strong foundation of peacefulness in the Amish way of life. Whatever it was, it made it easy to keep on reading. I was glad I had the entire Bliss Creek Amish Series, so it didn't have to end when this book did. It was great to continue the story of other members of the Shirack family. I felt so sad for big brother Luke stepping into his father's huge shoes. Great family. Great faith. Great story.
I've read many Amish novels, and this one truly gets into the gritty emotional battles life throws in our paths. Kelly Irvin crafts a powerful story, with unexpected turns and struggles that tug at the heart. She doesn't shy away from an honest portrayal of pain and longing, but reveals vulnerability and imperfection (yes, the Amish are truly human). I don't want to give too many details and spoil the story for readers.
The title, To Love and to Cherish, is about more than a wedding or marriage these words bring to mindÃ¢â¬âit deals with life, which should be valued as profoundly precious. Loss plays a big part in the story, and with it the issue of forgiveness. We know God calls us to forgive, but how do we do it? Watching Emma live out this conundrum makes it personal.
The book is pieced like an Amish quilt, with dark patches representing loss and heartache, along with brighter hues depicting life's lighter moments. Together they complete a lovely tapestry, crafted by the Creator. As the story confirms, without faith we despair, but with hope and trust in God we survive and grow. I recommend this stirring story as one to treasure and to ponder.
To Love and to Cherish by Kelly Irvin is a real page turner! Once I began reading it, I couldn't put it down and read until the end. The characters are so richly written, one feels as if they are part of the family and have known them all their lives. Emma struggles with forgiveness, like most of us have at one time in our lives. How she deals with Carl and Thomas is one fantastic read and couldn't be better written. To Love and to Cherish is a must read for all Christian Fiction book lovers and especially for Amish book lovers!
This is one of the best Amish Fiction books I've read. It has a unique story with issues that are ultimately resolved by remaing faithful to Amish standards and knowing God has all the right answers for every individual.
Kelly Irvin transports us to Amish country to take a peek into the lives of one family whose world is rocked by tragedy. We see Emma as she struggles to do what's right, and discovers that she has feelings for two men. We see her discover just who she is and who she is meant to be. I enjoyed To Love and to Cherish.
What I learned: sometimes what seems obvious and natural is not always the best way; and love is expressed in many different forms.
***I received this book free for review. The above is my honest opinion.