Thursday, September 05, 2013

Love Still Stands

Love Still Stands

By Kelly Irvin

Published by Harvest House Publishers, September 1st, 2013

Before I picked this book up, I was wondering if I was starting to get ever so slightly Amished-out. I have read a lot of Amish themed books in a comparatively short space of time, and there are only so many plot /character variations, aren't there?

Or so I thought, and I am delighted to admit I was  WRONG!

Bethel Graber is recovering from a serious accident, has to use crutches and needs to have extensive physical therapy in order to make a full recovery. Will needing to wear jogging pants and trainers for these sessions be acceptable to the community and the new Bishop - who just happens to be related to her?

And what will happen when she finds herself growing close to those non-Amish  she meets at the therapy sessions, because they at least do truly understand how she feels about her physical limitations and problems? Bethel soon has both Amish and non-Amish admirers and will undoubtedly have to make some hard decisions about where her priorities and heart truly lie....... but this is just one of her concerns.

The Amish are humans with the same emotions and thoughts, struggles and tribulations as the rest of us, and in this story, Kelly Irvin paints a poignant and crystal-clear portrait of a new Amish community struggling to find their feet socially and physically in a new location where the populace is suspicious of them to say the very least. Acts of hostility are perpetrated against them by adults and youngsters alike, and they have to face these by following their pacifist beliefs and their trust in God's protection.

Bethel's sister Leah is struggling to cope with the care of her many young children and when Leah finds she is pregnant again, she feels she simply cannot cope and really does not want to be pregnant again - an admission which causes general concern and amazement, and great hurt to her husband Luke, who has been elected the community's new Bishop. Leah goes back to her parents and then steadfastly refuses to return to her husband and their new home. Can Bethel manage to get Leah the professional help and support she so desperately needs in order to come to terms with her new life and be reunited with her husband?

All too often the Amish are painted as chocolate-box perfect people, immune to the problems which plague the modern family and it is extremely refreshing to see them being honestly portrayed as  real people with very similar problems, worries and stresses to those of many other modern families across the world.
 They are very likable characters with whom it is easy to feel a real connection and sympathy and I thoroughly enjoyed this book which had a believable and satisfying ending with ample possibilities for a sequel.

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