(Promise of Sunshine)
Elizabeth Byler Younts
October 2014/352 pages/$14.99
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?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I knew when I read Elizabeth Byler Younts’s first novel, Promise to Return (reviewed here), that she is a gifted author whose books would stand out from the rest of the Amish fiction genre. This sophomore release simply confirms that assertion. Rife with history gleaned from her own family background, Promise to Cherish focuses on a lesser-known aspect of Amish culture and World War II history: the role of Amish conscientious objectors and the services they rendered to the country during this pivotal era. Younts has once again crafted a tale that engages the heart and mind with its authentic setting, believable and endearing characters, and themes of faith, family, and forgiveness. At times painfully honest in its portrayal of the attitudes and beliefs of the time period, this novel simultaneously addresses issues that transcend the decades. From the opening pages to the richly satisfying conclusion, I remained engrossed in this story, staying up until the wee hours to finish it. Don’t miss this book and this series!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Elizabeth Byler Younts and Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
View blog reactions