An argument. A crash. In an instant, Joanna’s world is changed forever.
One minute, Joanna Schrock was arguing with her parents, and the next, her parents’ lives were claimed in a hit-and-run buggy accident. Her body is broken, but her heart is in even deeper pain— after all, how do you cope with your parents’ deaths when your last words were spoken in anger?
After an extended stint in a physical rehabilitation center, Joanna re-enters her Amish life. But nothing is the same—not even her feelings for Andrew Beiler.
Joanna has loved Andrew since the age of twelve, and her feelings have not changed throughout the years. She is thrilled when Andrew wants to get married, but she wonders whether it’s love he’s feeling, or pity. As the couple’s wedding date approaches, Joanna isn’t overcome with the deep joy she was hoping to feel; instead, she’s wracked with anxiety and guilt.
Joanna hears God whispering to her, Be strong and courageous, but she’s afraid that courage looks a lot like walking away from her dreams and into the plan of her Heavenly Father.
If Joanna takes the first step toward healing, will it cost her everything she’s ever wanted? Or could God be changing the desires of her heart?
I thought this was a unique Amish fiction novel. It seems like many Amish novels take an idealistic view of the Amish. They are depicted as quaint and almost perfect. However, in this book, Fuller gives us a picture of a young woman that is arguing with her parents when one of the worst possible things happens and her parents are killed in a hit-and-run accident. I appreciated a look at an Amish girl that struggles with anger like the rest of us.
In fact, that is the best part of this book for me – characters that are not idealized or “perfect” but are flawed and struggle with mistakes and guilt and real-life problems. Some people don’t enjoy books where things don’t end happily for all the characters, but I do. I really enjoy books that are realistic and in real-life, things usually don’t end up happily for everyone. Sometimes life is about making great-tasting lemonade with the lemons we are given.
There isn’t anything not to like about this book. The pacing is perfect; I didn’t get bored, but didn’t feel like I was racing to the end to find out how it would all turn out.
I was so curious about what would happen to Cameron, but I felt like Joanna’s story kept me captivated enough that I didn’t feel like I had to rush through just to find out what happened to Cameron and Lacy.
If you enjoy Amish fiction, Fuller offers up a solid novel. After you read this one, you might consider reading other Amish of Birch Creek novels.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Fiction Guild in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.