Title: Promise to Cherish (The Promise of Sunrise #2)
Author: Elizabeth Byler Younts
Genre: Amish Historical Fiction
Publishing Date: Oct 7, 2014
Publisher: Howard Books
Length: 352 Pages
About the Book:
As World War II draws to a close, nurse Christine falls in love with roguish Amish boy, Eli, and must choose between a new, uncertain life in the Amish faith or face the judgment of a conservative post-war American society for her past mistakes.
It’s 1946, and Christine Freeman is a nurse at Hudson River State Hospital, where she works alongside members of a Civilian Public Service unit. Eli is one of the “conscies”—conscientious objectors to the war—and he is doing his best to become a man of character instead of the immature heartbreaker he used to be back home in his Amish community.
Christine and Eli are friendly, but when an old acquaintance, Jack, returns home from the war Christine’s world is turned violently upside down. Once Christine realizes she is pregnant with Jack’s baby, her options are limited. Eli, heartbroken to see his friend so hurt, offers her an escape within his Amish community. Despite her unplanned pregnancy, Christine is fully embraced by Eli’s community. She lives with an elderly midwife, who shares her great wisdom on life, and Christine slowly begins to feel valued and loved as she learns the Amish way of life.
Christine finds herself falling for Eli. But as her due date approaches, the abusive Jack discovers Christine in her Amish hideaway and starts causing trouble for the quiet community. Christine can’t see herself becoming Amish, and she knows that if Eli leaves the church to be with her, he will be shunned. Will she escape Jack and possibly give up her baby or will she follow her heart and promise to cherish the Amish man who loves her?
What another amazing read by Elizabeth Byler Younts! As with the first book in this series, I was sucked in right from the beginning. We met Eli in Promise to Return but it’s in this one that we see him mature into manhood. Originally I wasn’t a fan of him (as I’m sure was intended), but after he leaves home to serve his time in a hospital after being drafted during WWII, he grew on me in leaps and bounds. What Christine experiences in this book is haunting and yet she finds it harder to forgive herself than the one who abused her. It was heartwarming to see Eli grow into just the man she needed whether he realized it at first or not. The character growth in this novel is what kept my eyes glued to the pages as they continued to turn. I couldn’t help but be entrenched in their journeys.
Promise to Return was about an Amish man who decided to go to war against his Ornung’s wishes. Promise to Cherish was about a man who was drafted and was sent to work in a hospital to fulfill his duty and avoid going to war. I like that each book in this series takes a look at a different response to WWII and the draft, and how it effected individuals in the Amish community. Coming from an Amish family, I appreciate the authenticity that the author brought to the narrative. She was able to provide a unique perspective to how the Amish reacted by speaking directly to family members who lived through it.
I absolutely loved this read, and was excited enough to start the next one that I already did. Whether you enjoy Historical fiction, Amish fiction, or both, I can’t recommend it enough. I know that this is one that is going to stay with me for a very long time.
*I purchased a copy of this book to read. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
Content/Trigger Warning: Rape