It’s 1943, and Miriam Coblentz and Henry Mast are nearing their wedding day when the unthinkable happens—Henry is drafted. However, since he is a part of the pacifist Amish tradition, Henry is sent to a conscientious objector Civilian Public Service camp. When he leaves for the work camp, his gaping absence turns Miriam’s life upside down. Little does she know it’s only the beginning... When Henry returns home, he brings news that shakes Miriam and their Amish community to the core. Henry believes God has called him to enlist in the army and fight for his country, leaving her to make an important decision: whether to choose loyalty to the peaceful life she’s always known or her love for Henry. Two worlds collide in this unforgettable debut novel, providing a fascinating and rare look into Amish culture during World War II. While Henry is battling enemies across the ocean, Miriam struggles between her devotion to Henry and her love of the Amish way of life. One question is at the bottom of it all: will she follow the rules of her religion or the leading of her heart?
"Promise to Return" by Elizabeth Byler Younts is getting five stars from me! I have to be honest and say at first I wasn't at all into this book but as I kept reading I was drawn into the storyline! The author uses Amish language that is a little confusing but she explains what is meant in the next sentence without messing up the flow of the story.
This book is about The Amish and World War II. It is also a love story and how two people and their families cope with Henry Mast being drafted and then his decision to join the army.
This book has many surprises in it's pages but what I found to be the most surprising is that this book is written so well that you could almost feel the emotions that the characters were feeling. A couple of times while reading this book I wanted to cry. The characters actually felt like real people with real heartaches.
Miriam Coblentz has many conflicts to deal with in this book, like death and questions of whether or not to follow her heart or conform to the Amish way of life, or listen to the still small voice of God's.
I am going to include something that really stuck with me from the book, it is what Miriam told someone dealing with quilt, something I believe we all need to know and believe, rather Amish or not. So I guess I can say this novel has life changing truth if we only believe, "He told me that he was only accountable to God. He wasn't accountable to the church or anyone else. Not his family. Not Me. Not the bishop. If we do something wrong, if we have dishonored our relationship with God, we answer to Him. He is the only one who can really cleanse us from our sin. He's the only one who can wash away the guilt, bitterness...the shame." The church has a set of standards and rule that aren't bad, and our actions can hurt those we love and our church. But that guilt cannot consume us or we will never be whole. We can confess to the church, the bishop, our parents,but it would mean nothing without first confessing and pleading with Christ. "
This book is the first in the "Promise Of Sunrise" series. I am eagerly awaiting "Promise To Cherish" it will be available in Oct 2014. We will get to hear more about Eli, a character in " Promise to Return"
I was given a copy of this book by the author for my honest opinion.
Elizabeth Byler Younts is an Air Force officer's wife and a homeschooling mom with two young daughters, currently living in central Pennsylvania. Elizabeth was Amish as a child and after her parents left the church she still grew up among her Amish family and continues to speak Pennsylvania Dutch. Elizabeth is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.
Elizabeth's first book SEASONS: A REAL STORY OF AN AMISH GIRL, her Amish grandmother's memoir, was an #1 Amazon Bestseller and winner of a BRAG Medallion. PROMISE TO RETURN, her first novel in the Promise of Sunrise series through Howard Books (Simon & Schuster), is a finalist for a 2014 RITA Award. Through her love for storytelling and her Amish heritage, Elizabeth shares with readers worldwide authentic stories filled with little known Amish history, faith, and romance.
Go to www.elizabethbyleryounts.com to learn more.