A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Harvest House Publishers, Jerry Eicher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Series: St. Lawrence County Amish #2
Published by Harvest House Publishers on September 1st 2016
Source: Harvest House Publishers, Jerry Eicher
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Romance
Will a Secret from the Past Threaten Susanna's Future?
Susanna Miller's freedom during her rumspringa goes a bit further than she wants her family to know. A birthday sign innocently placed on a gas station billboard condemns Susanna as she realizes her relationship with the charming Joey Macalister, an Englisha man, has become far too close.
Her daett is not pleased, but what he hasn't told her is that he himself has regrets about events from his own rumspringa. Widower Ernest Helmuth knows Ralph Miller's secret, but he has said nothing as of yet. He plans on having Susanna as his bride no matter what.
With her baptism approaching, Susanna knows that time is running out to make her choice: stay with her family or hope she can find love in the Englisha world. With Ernest Helmuth watching, that decision might not be hers to make.
Is Susanna's faith strong enough to make the right choice?
I really enjoyed this book. I admit that at first I was a little upset by how adamant Susanna’s father was about her getting married to someone who she didn’t love but as the story progressed I started to see why he acted the way that he did. Not only that, I started to think about how hurt I would be if I were his situation. While Susanna had not committed to the church and she would still allowed to see her family if she left her community— it just wouldn’t be the same. In many ways it would be like losing your daughter. Further, it would be seeing your child step outside of faith to be a part of a world that you are set apart from. I understood Susanna’s father more after I thought about these things and reflected on how I’d react to my daughter turning from everything that I had taught her. We have so many hopes and dreams for our children and I imagine it hurts we those dreams do not become reality.
I feel like this book was excellent in giving the main character, Susanna her own voice and the freedom to make her own choices. I sometimes feel that characters in this genre are bent to the will of the parent so this spin was very refreshing. I also appreciated the love that was evident in her family despite their differences and misunderstandings.
One character that I didn’t like in this book was Ernest. That man was infuriating! Ernest was so blinded by his own desires that he failed to see what God wanted. Despite my distaste for the man, I feel like he has an important part in this story and that is to learn to take a step back and ask God what He wants rather than telling Him what we want. When we make decisions for ourselves we often fail to see the whole picture and see only what we want to see.
As usual, I really enjoyed Jerry Eicher’s writing. I appreciate his spiritual insight that he weaves into his books and as usual, this is a book and author that I would recommend to others who enjoy the genre.