First, there's Eve. She lives with her brother and takes care of his children, including the baby, Trudy.
Then there's Tim, Eve's brother, a bit of a tyrant within his family, except where Simon is concerned--he plays favorites with Simon to the exclusion of his older son, Daniel.
Shani moves into the neighborhood and instantly becomes Eve's friend.
Joel is Shani's husband suffering from PTSD after returning injured from Iraq.
Zane is Shani's son who loves to play with Tim's children.
Charlie is Joel's friend who comes to Lancaster from Philly on weekends to help Joel, Shani, and Zane settle into their new home. When Charlie meets Eve, both are instantly smitten, but Eve is torn between her Amish faith and Charlie's other faith. Tim also makes things more difficult by his authoritarianism.
Throw into the mix a bishop, Gideon, who is looking for a wife, and Monika, the deacon's wife.
These are the primary characters who populate Leslie Gould's new novel, Amish Promises. Throughout the novel, the concept of loving your neighbor is woven through the plot of the novel. Some of the characters learn it rather quickly while others have to have it nearly beaten into them. When Shani and Joel's house catches fire the night Shani goes into labor with her second child, the Amish community comes together to help put the house back to rights. When Monika's husband dies suddenly, again the Amish come together to hold her up.
I like this novel, but a couple of times near the end, the language started into "Epilogue" language, but then something else happened and then again there was another "epilogue." It seemed that the voice changed perspective in the reading. That is the worst criticism I have for the book. The characters were well developed with clearly unique personalities. The pacing of the novel keeps the reader hooked from beginning to end.
Four Solid Stars.
My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for allowing me to read and review this book.