Monday, May 28, 2012
Review of Following Your Heart
What an exciting book! I was so sad when Missing Your Smile ended as I was anxious to find out what was going to happen to Susan Hostetler and Teresa Long when they returned to Susan's Amish home in Indiana. I was not disappointed in the book, but was surprised and upset when Deacon Ray banned Teresa from attending the church services or interacting with the Amish community. At least, he didn't say that Anna and Menno Hostetler could not allow her to remain living in their home with her baby son, Samuel.
Good ole' Thomas comes calling to try to patch things up with Susan, but she refuses to forgive him and sends him packing yet again! He then hatches a scheme that will cause heartache and trouble for many...he will fix Teresa up with an Amish husband and decided that Yost Byler fits the bill perfectly. Well, Yost has quite a reputation among the Amish community. His home is a pig sty and he goes around in dirty clothing. So...how will this turn out? Deacon Ray loves the idea though and so does Yost! What will Teresa think? What will she do? She is willing to do anything to raise her son among the Amish. But trouble, trouble, toil and trouble.....James, Deacon Ray's son, decides that he is rather taken with Teresa as well. His father is furious and forbids them from seeing each other, but will he listen? or will he rebel against his father, the deacon?
Meanwhile, as many seek and need forgiveness, and some refuse to give it, Menno, Susan's daed, wrestles with his own past and issues. He is in need of some forgiveness and grace. I won't reveal more as you simply must read this book yourself to find out whether or not the characters "follow their hearts" or betray their own dreams. I can hardly wait now for Book 3 in the Fields of Homes series to come out! I'll be watching for the release of Where Love Grows by Jerry Eicher and I'm sure you will too once you have read these two!
What did I love about this book? we got to see some in-depth baptismal instruction and even part of the service. I love that Jerry's characters are so "real" with true emotions and are not perfect, even as Amish. Many seem to feel that the Amish are "perfect" people and Jerry proves to us that they are ordinary folks like us.
What did I not like about the book? I did not like the deacon and church ministry refusing to allow Teresa to attend the church services. The Amish are known for their forgiveness and this seemed to show the very opposite to a hurting young woman in need of forgiveness, grace, and love. I also had many questions when the book ended and I think I know what might happen and can hardly wait to see if I am correct.
About the Author:
Jerry Eicher is a bestselling Amish fiction author. He has more than 400,000 in combined sales, including The Adams County Trilogy, the Hannah's Heart books, and the Little Valley Series. He grew up in a traditional Amish home, taught for two terms in Amish and Mennonite schools in Ohio and Illinois. Since that time, he has been involved in church renewal, preaching, and teaching Bible studies. Jerry lives with his wife, Tina, and their four children in Virginia.
Visit Jerry's website: www.eicherjerry.com
I was fortunate to receive a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. Thank you, Jerry!