Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Promise to Return

Author: Elizabeth Byler Younts
Publisher: Howard Books
October 2013
ISBN: 978-1476735016
Genre: Amish/historical/WWII

When World War II breaks out, Miriam Coblentz’s peaceful Amish world is turned upside down... 

It’s 1943, and Miriam Coblentz and Henry Mast are nearing their wed­ding day when the unthinkable happens—Henry is drafted. However, since he is a part of the pacifist Amish tradition, Henry is sent to a conscientious objector Civilian Public Service camp. When he leaves for the work camp, his gaping absence turns Miriam’s life upside down. Little does she know it’s only the beginning...

When Henry returns home, he brings news that shakes Miriam and their Amish community to the core. Henry believes God has called him to enlist in the army and fight for his country, leaving her to make an impor­tant decision: whether to choose loyalty to the peaceful life she’s always known or her love for Henry.

Two worlds collide in this unforgettable debut novel, providing a fasci­nating and rare look into Amish culture during World War II. While Henry is battling enemies across the ocean, Miriam struggles between her devotion to Henry and her love of the Amish way of life. One question is at the bottom of it all: will she follow the rules of her religion or the leading of her heart?

PROMISE TO RETURN is Ms. Younts debut fiction novel—and the first book in her The Promise of Sunrise series. I fell in love with Henry – such a wonderful young man who was willing to be led by God despite the rules of the church – and Miriam who is afraid to do anything but toe-the-line. I wanted her to break free a few times and do what Henry wished for her to do. And I got upset at her and Henry’s best friend several times.

Fans of Amish fiction will devour Ms. Younts’ PROMISE TO RETURN. Having Amish family, Ms. Younts writes things that the average Amish writer wouldn’t think to include. And the threat of WWII and the quiet lives of the Amish—it is fascinating to read how they might interact. I knew Amish served as conscientious objectors or were drafted, but it is totally believable that one might’ve enlisted on his own. Discussion questions and an interview with Ms. Younts are included at the end of the book. $14.99. 320 pages. 5 stars. 


Judy said...

This book will definitely be on my wish list! Thanks for your great review of it Laura!

Judy B

Elizabeth Byler Younts said...

Thank you so much for this great review. I so appreciate what you said. Highlighting it on a blog post is also such a sweet things for you to do! Thanks so much!