Amy Clipston writes delightful Amish fiction and her newest novel parallels a parable of Jesus. Aaron burned down the bishop's barn seventeen years ago. His family was shamed and he was responsible, so he ran away--for seventeen years. He wrote home every week for a while, then every other week, then once a month, but he never got an answer, so he felt he wouldn't be welcome back home. Saul Beiler calls Aaron to tell him that his mother has had a stroke and is asking for him. Her condition is pretty serious and she's not making any significant progress with her therapy. When Aaron comes home, he's not sure his family will accept him, but his dad and his mom accept him with open hearts and open arms. The only fly in the ointment is his brother--who refuses to forgive, who wishes Aaron had never come home and kept Aaron's letters from their parents.
When Aaron first comes to town, he stays at the bed and breakfast where Linda Zook works. She is a girl from Aaron's school days and her beauty knocks him for a loop. Aaron and Linda both have issues to work out with their own families but in the meantime, they are falling in love. Aaron still has to decide what the future holds as far as the church and his family.
Amy Clipston develops her characters with compassion and empathy. Her conflicts carry the reality of everyday families, her plots carry the readers along as if they are in the story too. The characters become the readers' friends and as the story ends, the readers are sorry that they aren't invited to the wedding.
Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a trip back home.
My thanks to Zondervan for allowing me to read and review this book