About the book: A mysterious English stranger appears in Mary Katherine Ropp’s kitchen one autumn night, heralding the beginning of a new chapter in the widow’s life.
The mother of ten, Mary Katherine is an empty-nester who lost her husband four years earlier. She misses her husband so much, she still talks to him. She pours her creative spirit into writing stories and serves as the district’s Budget newspaper scribe. An avid reader, her dream is to open a bookstore with her English friend, but the church elders want this wayward widow to work in an Amish-owned combination store.
When an English man breaks into her house looking for food, Mary Katherine doesn’t call the sheriff. She turns to her good friend, Ezekiel, who needs a cook at the restaurant he started after his wife died ten years earlier. Mary Katherine and Ezekiel set out separately to make sure their new friend isn’t caught up in the investigation, and their efforts keep bringing them together. They’re both still so in love with their long-gone spouses, so when the sparks begin to fly, they are beyond confused. Is it possible to find “The One” more than once in a lifetime?
But as Mary Katherine stands by her dear friend after the death of her husband, Mary Katherine is reminded of the terrible risk in giving her heart to someone. Can these two people, well-versed in the pain of loss, put the past behind them and trust in the hope of the future?
Publication Date: August 14, 2018
Genre: Amish fiction, Contemporary fiction
Series: Every Amish Season, book 3
My thoughts: When you look at the cover of this book you see an Amish woman against a vibrant autumn background. But when you take a closer look you notice the Amish woman isn’t what you usually see. The woman on the cover is an older Amish woman, someone who isn’t the typical main character in the genre. But, Mary Katherine Ropp isn’t your typical Amish groossmammi. She’s a bit too outspoken, too independent, and too adventuresome for her own good. And she, along with other Jamesport residents, will quickly capture your heart.
Mary Katherine was a delightful character to read about. I enjoyed my time with her immensely and am so glad that Kelly Irvin decided to write about an older character. So often stories focus on younger characters and their lives and the older characters are just secondary. Mary Katherine has been through many life experiences and ups and downs but she still has dreams and ideas proving that though she may be older she is still young at heart. The author created the perfect leading man for Mary Katherine in Ezekiel. He has a lot of similar life experiences to Mary Katherine and this made the story interesting and realistic. In addition to Mary Katherine and Ezekiel there are many characters to get to know and ones to catch up with. The author does a fantastic job creating characters from young to old.
Ok, I just have to say it. There was one thing that rubbed me the wrong way in this book. And that’s how the church leaders and Mary Katherine’s sons treated her. Mary Katherine has a dream of running a bookstore and writing stories. The church leaders tell her that she can’t own/work in a bookstore with her English friend, Dottie. They tell her what she needs to do with her time and where she needs to live. I know this is the Amish way but I still didn’t like the way she was treated by not only the church leaders but by her son, Thomas. He’s a character I really didn’t like.
All in all this was a really good read. I liked the characters (mostly) and the storyline. The story moves along at a good pace, not too slow and not too fast. Kelly Irvin is, I believe, underrated as an author of Amish fiction. She creates a wide range of characters in all age ranges, both Amish and English and puts them in stories that have quality and depth. Pick up a copy of this book and you’ll soon see what I mean.
I received 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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