Monday, January 12, 2015

Promise to Cherish

Author: Elizabeth Byler Younts
Publisher: Howard Books
October 2014
ISBN: 978-1476735030
Genre: Amish / historical

As World War II draws to a close, nurse Christine falls in love with roguish Amish boy Eli and must choose between a new, uncertain life in the Amish faith or face the judgment of a conservative postwar American society for her past mistakes.

It’s 1945, and Christine Freeman is a nurse at Hudson River State Hospital, where she works alongside members of a Civilian Public Service unit. Eli is one of the conscies—conscientious objectors to the war—and he is doing his best to become a man of character instead of the immature heartbreaker he used to be back home in his Amish community.

Christine and Eli are friendly, but when an old acquaintance, Jack, returns home from the war, Christine’s world is violently turned upside down. Eli, heartbroken to see his friend so hurt, offers her an escape within his Amish community. Despite her misgivings, Christine is fully embraced by Eli’s community. She slowly begins to feel valued and loved as she learns the Amish way of life.

Christine finds herself falling for Eli. But soon, the abusive Jack discovers Christine in her Amish hideaway and starts causing trouble for the quiet community. Christine can’t see herself becoming Amish, and she knows that if Eli leaves the church to be with her, he will be shunned. Will she escape Jack and possibly have to give up the one thing she holds most dear, or will she follow her heart and promise to cherish the Amish man who loves her?

PROMISE TO CHERISH is the second book in Ms. Younts’ The Promise of Sunrise series, but it easily stands alone. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Eli. He was a strong man, angry at his lot in life, but still kind and considerate. I hurt for him, being drafted, forced to serve as a conscientious objector and returning home to find himself shunned for doing what he had to do. And Christy… All I can say is wow. She was not at all nice to Eli, though his kindness did win her over eventually, but what happened to her… Well. I hurt for her. She, too, was forced into things she didn’t want to go through.

A good book if you like historical Amish fiction. Loosely based on Ms. Younts’ Amish family history.

Warning: For the more conservative readers, there is some drinking, cigarette smoking, and graphic descriptions of some unpleasant duties and events.

Available in ebook and paperback. 352 pages.

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