Sunday, September 8, 2013

Love Still Stands by Kelly Irvin ~ review

  • Series: The New Hope Amish
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736954937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736954938

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. 

My take on this book:
With "Love Still Stands" seven Amish families from Bliss Creek, Kansas decide to leave their home and start a new community in New Hope Missouri, thing is several of the people in New Hope aren't so open to outsiders and don't want the Amish to settle there. One of the people that hope for a new beginning is Bethel Graber. Bethel was injured in an accident, but hopes that physical therapy will help her regain what she lost so that she can help her older sister Leah with her children and  go back to the job that she loves,teaching!  Elijah Christner has also made the move to New Hope. He has spent the last five years of his life taking care of his parents, but now longs for a wife and family of his own, but he wonders if perhaps it might  be to late. Will the town of New Hope allow their Amish neighbors to live in peace? What about Bethel and Elijah will they get the new beginning they long for?

 When Bethel and her sister's family arrive at their home in New Hope only to find that it had been vandalized,I knew I was in for a unique "Amish" story. Unwelcome by several in the community the Amish don't let it deter them, and really do practice their faith, by showing kindness, hoping to eventually win the town over. Several interesting characters really make this story flow. We have Bethel, a young lady who always thought that her lot in life was to be a teacher, but now is faced with the fact that once the new school is built she will be replaced. Along with her physical injuries she also carries guilt, and while others have forgiven her, she finds it difficult to forgive herself. In the beginning I really thought her sister Leah was an awful, mean person, but as the story progresses my opinion of her changed. Along with interesting characters it was neat to see an Amish community come together, from building telephone shanties, to erecting one room schoolhouses I could really see it all come together. Fans of Amish fiction are going to love this story, but there is so much more to this story than just a typical Amish romance, it's a story that could really be about anyone because of the topics the author deals with such as postpartum depression, starting over in a new town, discrimination, disability, physical therapy, and divorce to name a few. A well written story with a few twists, interesting characters that share their faith as well as their struggles made this a page turning read for me!

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