From the publisher:
For the Amish of Pontotoc, Mississippi, all roads lead to faith, family, and tradition, even when the path is unconventional—especially at Christmas . . .
Tillie Gingerich is so in love with Melvin Yoder that she agrees to leave her conservative Amish home to live with him in the English world. But when the struggle to make ends meet leads to conflict, and reveals troubling weaknesses in their relationship, Tillie returns to Pontotoc—pregnant and unmarried. Her loving family accepts her, but to convince the rest of the community, they must turn to the bishop. Distraught, Tillie runs away on Christmas Eve—only to get as far as an isolated house on the edge of town.
Levi Yoder, Melvin’s upright distant cousin, is grieving the loss of his wife and wants to be alone. He is hardly pleased to open his door and find a pregnant woman––a painful reminder of all he’s lost. But with an ice storm approaching, he can’t turn Tillie away. Yet as morning nears, the miracle of Christmas brings unexpected challenges, opportunities—and promises for
the future . . .
I picked up this book (thank you Netgalley for my ARC!) because I remembered being absolutely hooked on Lurlene McDaniel’s Angels Triology about an “English” girl and a “Amish” boys’ romance… so I was eager to re-enter the Amish world for a bit of faith and romance when I saw this book.
This is a story that is centered around the theme of “time”. Time to heal. Time to stay. Time to wait. Time. It’s mentioned by both Tillie and Levi constantly. It actually was an interesting plot driver.
The other theme of this book is family – specifically doing what is right to make your family happy, or sacrifice things for their happiness, and both Levi and Tillie truly live this with all of their decisions.
It talks about wanting an unplanned pregnancy, being unable to view the joy of a baby as a sin, and about the complications of growing apart from your first love. It delves into the grief of loss, and how unexpected circumstances, can lead us out of the darkness and back on the path of light.
I was actually wondering how the love triangle would work out and I have to say the twist at the end felt like a bit of lazy writing. I think that the author’s other books dealt with conflict the same way.
I loved Levi and Tillie’s scenes the most (of course, it’s a romance!) but it was a slow burn, and to be honest, a deep friendship that kept them connected through their hardships.
I gave this book 3.5 stars because of the twist – sorry! I almost feel like the book could’ve been longer and I would’ve enjoyed finding another way “out” for our main characters.
My professional background in biotechnology as a research chemist and as a veterinary technician has allowed me to have experienced two vastly different fields and for that I am thankful. In both careers, I have mentored, encouraged, and developed talent.
As a mother of two (a daughter and a son), I’m a self-proclaimed backyard chicken guru and someone who has “foster failed” nearly all the animals currently running the household. Oh, and I maintain a husband in my spare time.