I will admit that this book to me started out a bit slow .. and there were some slow spots or maybe more spots of irritation in than I would have preferred ... however that said I really, really enjoyed this book and am already anxious for the 7th in the series to come out!
I definitely can understand this book in so many ways ... Hannah has just lost her husband, Travis, who died serving our country in our Armed Forces. Sadly, I am sure that will hit home with so many in this world today,She is left, alone as her mother committed suicide years early and Hannah is still suffering from the effects of that trauma.. as well as, her mother suffered depression for many years while Hannah was growing up which affected Hannah severly. Hannah decides to go back home, to her Aunt Paula and the Mennonite Community that her parents left when she was only 9. She feels if she can just get some support for her and her precious son, Jamie that Travis never even got to see that maybe she can get her feet back under her and find a way to start living again. However, this is never intended to be a permanent thing ... just to become strong once again. During the time, that she works at her Aunt Paula's bakery she meets William, a young Amish man with a stutter who has trouble expressing himself. At first, it is his stutter that interests her for although she never was able to complete her schooling, she did go to school to become a speech theapist. She offers to help him with him realizing that she hasn't the full knowledge and even though many in the community including his controlling older brother that feel he is better off being left as God made him.
All seems to be going fairly well, until her father-in-law, who never was close to Travis decides to come into town to get her and his grandson (whom he had never even seen) away from this "cult"! He is a narrow-minded, strong-willed military man who knows that his way is the only way and his way is to get Hannah and Jamie out of there at any cost.
I can actually see this happening as he fought in Viet Nam, his son died in the war for our country and the Mennonite and Amish commmunities believe in non-violence. He felt that his son's memory would be erased or at least hurt by them living there and didn't understand that wouldn't happen that they always, always put family first.
So, the story continues and gets deeper and richer ... I love this storyline as it rings true in so many ways to me. It also brings in many of the past characters in the previous books that I had grown to love ... what a joy it was to visit Pleasant Valley once again .. even though I have to admit I had a really rough start. It might have been compounded by the last book I read that I just had to force myself to complete. Ironically, it was by an author that I more often than not like, but sometimes I do know that I don't appreciate her books as much as maybe I should. Win some and lose some ... so I was coming from that .. the 5 or 6 books prior to that .. were such hits that I was on such a high too ... I feel so blessed to have so many, many years ago found Christian reading ... I much prefer the 1800's or Amish books .. but I have learned there are the exception to that rule and I can really get into some of them as well. Thank you God for giving me and so many others the joy of reading and giving these precious authors the talent to entertain and teach us so many Christian values through their precious time and writings!