Upon a Spring Breeze by Kelly Irvin (review by Kristi)

upon a spring breeze

About the book:  After a devastating winter, a spring breeze promises more than new flowers.… It promises a new chance at love.

Bess Weaver, twenty and expecting her first child, is in the kitchen making stew for her beloved mann, Caleb, one minute, and the next she’s burying him after a tragic accident. Facing life as a young widow, Bess finds comfort only in tending the garden at an Englisch-owned bed and breakfast—even as she doubts that new growth could ever come after such a long winter.

Aidan tries to repress his guilt over his best friend Caleb’s death and his long-standing feelings for Bess by working harder than ever. But as he spends time with the young son his friend left behind, he seems to be growing closer to the boy’s beautiful mother as well.

When a close-knit group of widows in her Amish community step in to help Bess find her way back to hope, she begins to wonder if Gott has a future for her after all. Will she ever believe that life can still hold joy and the possibility of love?

Published March 28, 2017, by Zondervan


My review:  Before I read this book I did something I don’t normally do. I read other readers reviews. This seemed to be a love it or hate it book, and some of the reviews were really negative. This made me a bit hesitant to read the book but onward I went and delved into the story.

This book isn’t about a happy go lucky Amish woman but one who goes through all the emotions after the sudden and unexpected death of her husband. With this in mind, I didn’t expect the book to be full of sunshine and roses and it’s not. To me, it was a story that was very realistic in how this young woman deals with not only the death of her husband but the birth of their first (and only) child together. That would be a lot to go through for anyone and everyone grieves differently so I wasn’t quick to judge this character. She stays with her husband’s family so they can be close to their only grandchild from him and the family seems a bit harsh but I tried to keep in mind that they were grieving too. And keeping in mind they are Amish so they probably grieve differently and are stricter in what women are allowed to do under the rules of the church. For me the characters in this book were realistic and their emotions were raw and believable. I liked Bess and really sympathized with her as a young widow and a new mother who was trying to keep on going the best she could.

I also thought the author did a great job in describing the settings in this book. Whether it was the Amish farms or the local B&B the way she wrote about the places made the words on the page disappear and the scenes so vivid in my mind.

This was my first full-length novel by Kelly Irvin and it won’t be my last. I liked the fact she created characters who were flawed and a story that everyone can relate to on some level. I liked her writing style and the fact that she pulled me into the story and kept my attention from beginning to end.

I received a free 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, begins with the debut of Upon a Spring Breeze, in April. It is a four-book series published by Zondervan/HarperCollins Christian Publishing. This followest 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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