A young woman who sacrificed her dreams.
How will the God of grace and hope help them find their way?
At nineteen years old, Old Order Amish Jolene Keim was on the brink of happily-ever-after when everything changed, stealing the future she expected and burdening her with an unbearable decision. For the next ten years, Jolene throws herself into family life—and then she meets Andy Fisher. The horse trainer and father to a sweet nine year-old challenges her and holds up a mirror to issues Jolene has been unwilling to face.
Andy is cautious about his deepening friendship with Jolene, but he believes she knows the truth about him – that he is a grass widower. As a man whose wife has abandoned him six years past, he is unable to divorce or remarry according to the Amish ways. Andy has wrestled with God concerning his reality, and he had found peace with the solitary future facing him…until he met Jolene.
As Andy and Jolene find themselves confronted by difficult choices, will they trust in God's guidance—or will the allure of their deepening friendship only lead to further temptation?
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Publication date: 9/9/2014
Read an Excerpt
My Review: Cindy Woodsmall has a way of taking an ordinary Amish story and turning it into an extraordinary one. I devoured all 336 pages of this book. As I began to delve into the story, I immediately knew this wasn't going to be a typical Amish book. I highly enjoy learning more about the Amish faith and their day to day lives, but it can be a little redundant at times. It's refreshing to read a story that doesn't follow the typical "mold."
I really enjoyed getting to know Jolene and her family. The obstacles she had to overcome were every bit as daunting as the author made them out to be, and I could feel Jolene's struggles right along with her. Ray added a different element to the story, offering insight from someone who Jolene had worked her best on, but couldn't quite let go of. I'll admit, I didn't quite like Andy when we first meet him in the story. I think the author did this on purpose, though, because as the story progresses, I fall in love with him just like Jo does.
Both Andy and Jolene, and in some ways Ray, have a lot to overcome in this story. Though Jolene is content and works her best to please God and follow His word, there are parts of herself she keeps hidden and struggles with fear, doubt, and anger. Andy accepts his position in life, until he meets Jo. Then he struggles to again overcome the reality of his situation. The imagery of the Dogwood blooming year round was beautiful in that it reminds the characters the God is there for them, watching over them, no matter what. His ways are perfect and flawless, and in time we will hopefully come to accept, and maybe understand them.
Overall, I highly recommend this story of "shattered dreams", of "love undone", and "God's unfailing grace."
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review.*
About the Author: Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of numerous works of fiction and one of nonfiction. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media. She lives in the Foothills of the North Georgia Mountains with her family. - See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/author-spotlight.php?authorid=72213#sthash.9oEUEhVN.dpuf