About the book: Jennie Troyer knows it’s time to remarry, and with two men pursuing her, she doesn’t have to look far. But after the pain she’s experienced, can she open her heart to love?
It’s been four years since Jennie’s husband died in a farming accident. Long enough that the elders in her Amish community think it’s time to shed her grief and remarry for the sake of her seven children. What they don’t know is it isn’t grief that’s holding her back, but rather a fear of a repeat of her abusive marriage.
Paul Graber has known–and loved–Jennie since they were children, and he’d hoped to court her when they were teenagers. But when he was fourteen, Paul’s father died suddenly in his arms. Ever since he’s been afraid of the searing pain of loss that comes from opening himself up to love. Now Jennie’s free again and he’s fighting to have the courage not to lose her a second time.
Nathan Walker is a Mennonite book salesman who makes it a point to stop by Jennie’s farm as often as he can. He’s grown to care for her, but he knows he has no right to court her unless he resolves his own struggle with his faith. He will have to change everything about his life in order to join the Jamesport Amish community. But would he be embracing a new life or running from his old?
The path isn’t clear for any of them. These three people, drawn together by circumstances and God’s plan, must come to grips with their pasts in order to discern God’s plan for their futures and find peace beneath the summer sun.
Publication Date: January 16, 2018
My review: Amish fiction is one of my favorite genres. However, sometimes I feel like the genre becomes a bit stale or cookie cutter. That’s why I find books like Beneath the Summer Sun refreshing. This book has complex characters with real problems. I was entranced in the story from the first page and found myself reading the entire book over the weekend.
There are three main characters in this story and each one has thier own story. They share a common bond of trying to let go of the past and moving forward. Jennie was so easy to like and have sympathy for. A widow of four years she is trying to raise seven children on her own. All under the watchful eye of the church leaders. Nathan is a Beachy Amish Mennonite book salesman who is tired of traveling around in his minivan named Bunny and wants to settle down and perhaps join the Amish faith. Leo Graber is an Amish carpenter who says very little. At first it might seem like he is shy but as the reader gets to know him it is revealed that shyness is not is problem but he suffers from guilt. There are several secondary characters including the seven children and Jennie’s friends and community members. I didn’t have any trouble keeping the characters straight in my mind while reading and I credit that to the personalities the author gave them. It was like meeting a group of people and getting to know them better.
I like Kelly Irvin’s writing style. She has a way of pulling the reader into the story. From the first sentence of the book I felt like I was part of the story. She also writes about a serious topic in this book and does it in a way that provides enough detail to the story without being too much.
While this book is part of a series it isn’t necessary to read the previous book first. This book reads fine as a standalone. This book would be a great introduction into the genre or Kelly Irvin books. This is a book that I highly recommend.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.
About the author: Kelly Irvin’s newest series, Every Amish Series, began with the debut of Upon a Spring Breeze, in April. The second book, Beneath the Summer Sun, will debut in January 2018. It is a four-book series published by Zondervan/HarperCollins Christian Publishing. This follows the Amish of Bee County series, The Saddle Maker’s Son, released in June 2016. It is an ECPA bestseller. It follows The Bishop’s Son, and the critically acclaimed bestseller, The Beekeeper’s Son, which earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The reviewer called it “a beautifully woven masterpiece.” The Beekeeper’s Son was a finalist in the romance category of the 2016 ACFW Carol Awards Contest.
Kelly has novellas in The Amish Christmas Gift and The Amish Marketplace, both of which were also ECPA bestsellers. She is also the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Amish Amish series. The first series includes To Love and To Cherish, A Heart Made New, and Love’s Journey Home, published by Harvest House. The New Hope Amish series includes Love Still Stands, followed by Love Redeemed, which was an ACFW Carol Award finalist, and A Plain Love Song.
Kelly has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine..
The Kansas native is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and ACFW’s San Antonio local chapter Alamo City Christian Fiction Writers.
A graduate of the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism, Kelly has been writing nonfiction professionally for thirty years. She studied for three semesters at the University of Costa Rica, learning the Spanish language. As a journalist, she worked six years in the border towns of Laredo and El Paso.
She worked in public relations for the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department for 22 years before retiring earlier this year. Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-eight years. They have two young adult children and have two grandchildren. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories, read books by her favorite authors, and looks forward to visits with her grandchildren.
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