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Here I stand across from the Hudson River where you can see New York City right across from me! You can hear the buses and, if you could look around me, you would see a groundhog eating the grass very close to me next to a sign that says don't feed the wildlife!
So, we're not going to feed him but he'll eat the grass.
I wanted to let you know that I just finished the Amish fiction book “Love Still Stands” by Kelly Irvin. And I want to do a quick review since I’ve got it fresh in my mind.
I want to tell you a little about what I thought about the book and whether or not I think you should read it.
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We're going to talk a little about “Love Still Stands.” I have my e-book Kindle version with me, but the cover can't be seen very well in this sunshine!
So, I'll have to kind of wing it and maybe put a picture at the beginning of the video above for you to see the cover. This is an older book of Kelly's, and it's the first one that I’ve read.
Kelly Talked to Me on Social Media!
I reached out to Kelly, I think on Instagram, and I said, “Hey, I was at a library book sale, and it was like two dollars a bag, and I cleared out the whole Amish fiction shelf they had available. I filled my whole bag of two dollars with an incredible amount of Amish fiction books and yours was one of them.”
And so, I said, "I’ve bought one of your books in that sale!” and she said, “Oh, that's one of the series, and you can get the other two on Kindle, or you know on Amazon.” So, I got the first one, and I just finished it, and it was a sweet, sweet book.
I would highly recommend you read it if you like Amish fiction as I do. It's about a group of Amish people who move to a different location. This is interesting because I’ve never read about anything like that where Amish move from a settlement to make a whole new settlement for themselves.
Trouble—Right from the Start
It was interesting because they weren't welcome in that new area of town. The people there really didn't like them. They didn't know what the Amish were and had a lot of bigotry towards them. When they arrived on the property that they bought there was a lot of vandalism. It was just awful—nothing you would want from a new hometown especially if you're feeling homesick for your old home and family.
The protagonist, Bethel Graber, is Amish and is a disabled person. She went through an injury as a teacher in one of the Amish schools in their old district in Kansas. She withstood some sort of storm and was injured.
How to Amish Handle Disabilities?
So, she's disabled in her legs and is learning how to walk again. She is learning how to be disabled and to deal with that as an Amish woman who has a lot of responsibilities. She's a single woman, but she lives with her sister and brother-in-law. They have a lot of children, and she's expected to help a lot in the house. She is frustrated that she can't in some cases or is limited in many cases.
It was really interesting in this book, to get a look into what a disability looks like for an Amish person and what that might mean to their everyday life.
There's a sub-story or a “b-story” about Bethel's sister-in-law, Leah, and her husband, Luke. They have some marital issues which again isn't something you always read about in some Amish fiction. Sometimes we kind of brush over some of that deep stuff that happens in real life. And what happens when the Amish deal with marital issues and also maybe some depression?
What happens when they might need to see a doctor—who is an Englisher? And what steps need to take place for that to happen and for there to be healing as well?
It’s Just a Great Book
Also, an interesting thing was with Bethel, because of her disability, has to go through some physical therapy because she wants to get better so she can help out with her sister and brother-in-law’s house and their children. In the process of physical therapy, she has to meet Englishers, and she has to learn from them and rely on them for some things.
This is hard and good—because hard things are sometimes good. We also get a little insight into what physical therapy and exercise would look like for a disabled Amish woman who doesn't want to be seen in a pair of sweatpants
Don't Forget the Romance!
This story is about a tumultuous friendship between Bethel and Elijah—who is an Amish man. I believe Elijah also moved over with them to this new community of New Hope. So, some things are going on there, between he and Bethel—sometimes and sometimes they're not.
And, there's also a friendship between Bethel and one of the disabled men in her physical therapy group. So, you’re always wondering what's happening with Bethel and what she's going to be doing.
“Love Still Stands” is a Book of Choices, Understanding, and Patience
This book falls into my category of real and raw Amish fiction. I tend to like books like this and write my novels this way, as well.
My book “Forbidden Gift” is a story of real and raw Amish fiction so I always get excited when I see another author who writes in the same style as I do in the Amish fiction sub-genre. So kudos to Kelly Irvin for that. And I know she's got a ton of other books out. This was just my first introduction to her.
I think this is one of her earlier books—maybe her fourth or fifth book, and I know she's got a ton more. I’m looking forward to reading more of Kelly.
What Didn’t I Like?
I do like to tell just a little bit of something I didn't like about the books I review. So, I didn't like that Bethel and Elijah had so many ups and downs in their relationship. I wanted them to quickly bond and become what I wanted them to be. But that happens a lot in true life I guess as well—when there are a lot of questions and especially in Bethel's case, a lot of questions about whether she would make a good wife or Fraa to an Amish man.
There was a lot of insecurity in Bethel, so that was probably part of why this relationship took so long to get to where I wanted it to go. It was because Bethel needed that time to mend and heal. She needed to develop trust that someone could love her even though she wasn't able to walk well.
I thought the book was exciting and there were some intense scenes which I liked. It was interesting, and Kelly knows her stuff with Amish fiction. So, I was always learning and taking notes as an author of Amish fiction myself.
And, it had a sweet, sweet ending which I always love, and I think some of you do too. So, that was special to me as well. I recommend this book, and I look forward to reading the next one in the New Hope Amish series by Kelly Irvin.
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Amish Fiction Author
Debra Torres writes Amish romantic suspense featuring relatable characters who deal with raw and real-life issues.
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