When Strawberries Bloom is the second book in the Lizzie Searches for Love series by Linda Byler.
In this book our main character Lizzie seems a bit more mature, we don't hear nearly as much about the things that she hates. Instead she is seventeen and really wants to become the next schoolteacher at the Mennonite school where she had been a student and her siblings still attend. She knows that she would be a great teacher, but she isn't sure what the school board will think, could they possibly give her a chance to prove herself?
Lizzie has always been a worrier and now her dad's health is in question, he has been having some issues with his eyesight and and his health in general is failing some. She becomes worried about what will happen if he can no longer run the farm, her younger brother, Jason, has been taking on more of the responsibilities of the farm but with him not being quite 16 there is no way that he can do it alone. If the health issues with her dad are as serious as she thinks, will they be able to earn a living from the farm?
Emma, Lizzie's older sister becomes engaged and married in this book and Lizzie still hasn't had a date, even though Stephen has shown some interest in her, she just can't seem to figure out the dating thing, will she ever marry or is she destined to become an old maid?
I really felt like this book was much better written, even though the story doesn't always flow as smoothly as it could, with time lines sometimes being a bit confusing, it still was a very enjoyable read. I really felt as if Lizzie had matured quite a bit from the last book, although she still sometimes reverts back to her rebellious ways, once she realizes that her biggest problem is not listening to and submitting to God's will, she starts getting control of her temper. Without giving to much away I felt that there was one issue that was totally left hanging, when she slaps a child at school, I was sure that there would be repercussions from that, but it wasn't dealt with at all, it was like once she told her mom, it was forgotten.
The author includes several more fantabulous recipes in this book as well, and also includes a glossary for the Amish words used in the book. This book really shouldn't be read unless you have read the first in the series, because I think a reader may feel lost with some of the things going on. Even though this is a book is written more for pre-teens and teens, I really enjoyed reading it and can't wait to read the next book in the series titled Big Decisions, due out March 2011.
Even though I was provided a review copy by FSB media, thanks Julie, it in no way influenced my opinion of this book!