Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Promises to Cherish by Elizabeth Yount - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Promises to Cherish
Howard Books (October 7, 2014)
Elizabeth Yount


Elizabeth Byler Younts is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. She is an Air Force officer’s wife and a homeschooling mom with two young daughters. She makes her home wherever her family is stationed. Elizabeth was Amish as a child and after her parents left the church she still grew up among her Amish family and continues to speak Pennsylvania Dutch.


As World War II draws to a close, nurse Christine falls in love with roguish Amish boy Eli and must choose between a new, uncertain life in the Amish faith or face the judgment of a conservative postwar American society for her past mistakes.

It’s 1945, and Christine Freeman is a nurse at Hudson River State Hospital, where she works alongside members of a Civilian Public Service unit. Eli is one of the conscies—conscientious objectors to the war—and he is doing his best to become a man of character instead of the immature heartbreaker he used to be back home in his Amish community.

Christine and Eli are friendly, but when an old acquaintance, Jack, returns home from the war, Christine’s world is violently turned upside down. Eli, heartbroken to see his friend so hurt, offers her an escape within his Amish community. Despite her misgivings, Christine is fully embraced by Eli’s community. She slowly begins to feel valued and loved as she learns the Amish way of life.

Christine finds herself falling for Eli. But soon, the abusive Jack discovers Christine in her Amish hideaway and starts causing trouble for the quiet community. Christine can’t see herself becoming Amish, and she knows that if Eli leaves the church to be with her, he will be shunned. Will she escape Jack and possibly have to give up the one thing she holds most dear, or will she follow her heart and promise to cherish the Amish man who loves her?

My Thoughts:
If you know who you are, you can’t ever really lose yourself.  You might stray a measure from time to time but you don’t lose yourself – unless you just don’t know who you are.”  (DeWayne to Eli)  

Elizabeth Byler Younts has written an Amish novel unlike any I’ve ever read!  This is the second book in The Promise of Sunrise series, and it is a book that takes an honest look at many common struggles that all believers face at some point in time.  The scene in chapter four where Eli realizes his true identity is one I won’t soon forget!  And Christine reminds me so much of myself in my twenties it’s a bit unsettling! 

This novel finds a lot of young people searching for their identity during a time in American history where multiple countries were also seeking direction and identity.  While this novel does contain some of the Englishe/Amish struggles unique to the Amish people, this was my first look inside the lives of conscientious objectors during WWII.  I was unaware of the role the Civilian Public Service units played during the war, and the way the dire economic conditions lingered in the lives of so many families who lost multiple loved ones during the war.
Simply put, Younts is a gifted writer that is able to weave a lot of intriguing situations together into a believable and realistic whole.  Her characters struggle, and not everything ends up neatly and in order.  The character of Jack was very disturbing to me, not only because of his drinking but the way his temper was so secretive and malicious.  I am so thankful that the Amish community showed her such love and mercy when his character tried to re-enter the scene!

There are simply a multitude of reasons I want to recommend this book to readers everywhere! This is a solid, gripping, multi-layered novel that readers will remember long after the final page!  A novel I highly recommend!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Promises to Cherish , go HERE.

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