Harvest House Publishers
Readers of Kelly Irvin's Bliss Creek Amish novels will be overjoyed to discover her new series for lovers of Amish fiction: The New Hope Amish. In the first installment, Love Still Stands, a group of dedicated families leaves Bliss Creek to establish a new community in Missouri. Among them is Bethel Graber, a beautiful young woman with a passion for teaching. But after being disabled in a terrible accident, overseeing a classroom is out of the question...and romance seems a long-lost dream.
Bethel begins physical therapy, determined to make a fresh start. But that won't be easy in the town of New Hope, where the locals seem anything but eager to welcome their new Amish neighbors. Amid growing intimidation from the community, Bethel must find the strength to face her many challenges and the faith to believe that God still has a plan--and a love--for her life.
While this book was not a feel-good, fuzzy/happily ever after type of Amish read, the characters and story are real to life. Not everything has a happy ending, and not everyone finds a pot of gold at the bottom of the rainbow. (Realistically, none of us do.) I have not read Irvin's first series, but based on my research, this is a continuation of the stories told in that set.
Bethel and Elijah are quite likable, and I felt so bad for Bethel as she tries to adjust to her new life. Luke and Leah had some serious issues going on in their lives as well, and it was with Luke I sympathized the most. He tried so hard to understand Leah and be there for her. Leah deals with depression and other problems, and throughout the book, life never stops for any of them. Overall, the best part of the book for me was that it was a new Amish settlement in the Midwest, and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Looking forward to more!
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.