Thursday, January 29, 2015

Love Still Stands

Author: Kelly Irwin
Publisher: Harvest House
September 2013
ISBN 978-0-7369-5493-8
Genre: Amish romance

Readers of Kelly Irvin’s Bliss Creek Amish novels will be overjoyed to discover her new series for lovers of Amish fiction: The New Hope Amish. In the first installment, Love Still Stands, a group of dedicated families leaves Bliss Creek to establish a new community in Missouri. Among them is Bethel Graber, a beautiful young woman with a passion for teaching. But after being disabled in a terrible accident, overseeing a classroom is out of the question…and romance seems a long-lost dream.

Bethel begins physical therapy, determined to make a fresh start. But that won’t be easy in the town of New Hope, where the locals seem anything but eager to welcome their new Amish neighbors. Amid growing intimidation from the community, Bethel must find the strength to face her many challenges and the faith to believe that God still has a plan—and a love—for her life. 

LOVE STILL STANDS is the first book in Ms. Irwin’s Amish of New Hope series. As another reviewer said, this is a depressing book. The Amish have relocated to an imaginary community in Missouri and are not welcomed by the Englisch. The Englisch seem determined to run the Amish off or kill them off, whichever comes first. Very sad.

Bethel (lovely name) is recovering from another accident and needs the therapy she gets in New Hope to regain her strength—and hopefully she’ll someday teach school again.  Elijah is a caregiver, having cared for both his parents. When he volunteers to help with Bethel, she pushes him away, not wanting his pity. Bethel’s sister is bitter and depressed from the move, her husband is the new bishop and stressed and other Amish are struggling, too.

A look at what it might be like to live in a non-welcoming community if you are Amish. Very well written. Full of action. Engaging. But sad.

3.5 stars. Available in ebook and paperback. 354 pages.

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