A charming story of how God works in our darkest moments! Emma has always loved Carl . . . so the years since he left her Amish community have been long and difficult. Now after her parents' deaths, he's returned. But why---when she most needs his comfort---does she find herself attracted to the quiet widower Thomas?
Average Customer Rating:
(10 Reviews) 10
Rating Snapshot(10 reviews)
10 out of 10100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for To Love and to Cherish - eBook
Kelly Irvin certainly knows how to pack in the drama, whilst somehow making the reader feel calm, relaxed, and at peace. I don't know how she does that. I was captivated as Emma and her complex family struggled with crisis after crisis, and yet, I felt as if nothing happened! Perhaps it's the focus on the day-to-day, or the strong foundation of peacefulness in the Amish way of life. Whatever it was, it made it easy to keep on reading. I was glad I had the entire Bliss Creek Amish Series, so it didn't have to end when this book did. It was great to continue the story of other members of the Shirack family. I felt so sad for big brother Luke stepping into his father's huge shoes. Great family. Great faith. Great story.
I’ve read many Amish novels, and this one truly gets into the gritty emotional battles life throws in our paths. Kelly Irvin crafts a powerful story, with unexpected turns and struggles that tug at the heart. She doesn’t shy away from an honest portrayal of pain and longing, but reveals vulnerability and imperfection (yes, the Amish are truly human). I don’t want to give too many details and spoil the story for readers.
The title, To Love and to Cherish, is about more than a wedding or marriage these words bring to mind—it deals with life, which should be valued as profoundly precious. Loss plays a big part in the story, and with it the issue of forgiveness. We know God calls us to forgive, but how do we do it? Watching Emma live out this conundrum makes it personal.
The book is pieced like an Amish quilt, with dark patches representing loss and heartache, along with brighter hues depicting life’s lighter moments. Together they complete a lovely tapestry, crafted by the Creator. As the story confirms, without faith we despair, but with hope and trust in God we survive and grow. I recommend this stirring story as one to treasure and to ponder.
To Love and to Cherish by Kelly Irvin is a real page turner! Once I began reading it, I couldn't put it down and read until the end. The characters are so richly written, one feels as if they are part of the family and have known them all their lives. Emma struggles with forgiveness, like most of us have at one time in our lives. How she deals with Carl and Thomas is one fantastic read and couldn't be better written. To Love and to Cherish is a must read for all Christian Fiction book lovers and especially for Amish book lovers!
This is one of the best Amish Fiction books I've read. It has a unique story with issues that are ultimately resolved by remaing faithful to Amish standards and knowing God has all the right answers for every individual.
Kelly Irvin transports us to Amish country to take a peek into the lives of one family whose world is rocked by tragedy. We see Emma as she struggles to do what's right, and discovers that she has feelings for two men. We see her discover just who she is and who she is meant to be. I enjoyed To Love and to Cherish.
What I learned: sometimes what seems obvious and natural is not always the best way; and love is expressed in many different forms.
***I received this book free for review. The above is my honest opinion.
The story begins with Emma Shirack's mother and father's buggy being hit by the truck of a neighbor, Mr. Cramer. Her sister, Katherine, and brother, Luke, witnessed them being thrown from the buggy and dying right before their eyes. Life suddenly changed for the Shirack children. They didn't want to lose their farm and there were younger children that needed care. Emma's older brother, Luke, and his family sold their house and moved in with his seven siblings.
Emma's heart was already broken and not quite healed from a past hurt. Her boyfriend, Carl Freiling, left the Amish community of Bliss Creek four years earlier. She didn't know why he left. She refused to be hurt again. She hadn't dated anyone since. Thomas Brennaman was interested in dating her. His wife had died four years before from cancer. Thomas wanted to start dating Emma but he kept putting it off because he had trouble expressing himself. All Emma saw him was as a good friend.
Carl returned to Bliss Creek and complicated things for Emma. Thomas finally decided that he may lose Emma to Carl so he told her he wanted to court her. Carl also told her that he wanted to court her. The whole story is about Emma coming to grips with what Carl did to her and who she decides to court.
There are quite a few subplots woven into the story. Emma's brother,Josiah, returns home after being gone for a year, Luke and his wife,Leah, are expecting their third child, Emma struggles with her relationship with Leah and Catherine deals with severe depression from witnessing her parent's death.
This story is about forgiveness. It also shows us the different ways people deal with grief. I really liked Emma, she was real with her inability to truly forgive. I can't believe she didn't notice Thomas being attracted to her. I was glad when he finally asked her to court him. I was also annoyed that Carl came back into the picture. It was hard to guess who Emma would chose to court. A few events happened at the end of the story that were surprising and suspenseful. One of the things is that a person ends up leaving the Amish community that I never suspected. You'll have to read To Love And To Cherish to find out what happens.
To Love And Cherish, Bliss Creek Series #1 A Heart Made New, Bliss Creek Series #2 out September 2012
I received a free copy of this e-book from NetGalley for my honest review.
This book begins with a heartbreaking tragedy, where family members watch in horror as a truck slams into their parents buggy. Emma had just been thinking that she wished the twin sisters in her buggy were hers, and now they are all parentless. Their older brother Luke assumes responsibility for the family. He has to sell his house and they all move in together, including his wife Leah and their two sons. There are three older girls in the family, including Emma. Would be hard to imagine who would now be in charge here. Leah is now the outsider, and is expecting a new baby. Emma loves her sister-in-law, but is also envious, that she has a husband and family. Emma thought she was going to have this, when abruptly her boyfriend Carl left. Her brother Luke is encouraging a match between Emma and Thomas. You will have to wonder who will win her heart as Carl reappears and wants her back. Can she come to terms with what he did to her, or will she return Thomas's attraction to her. The book has a lot of exciting twists and turns, and you can't think you know what is going to happen...you will be wrong! Don't miss this great read! I was provided with a copy of this book by the Publisher Harvest House, and was not required to give positive review.
Emma's heart was broken four years ago when her beau Carl decided that he needed to try living in the Amish world. As a school teacher she believes that her pupils may be the closest she will ever come to having her own children. When an unexpected accident takes the lives of her mother and father she learns that an old family friend Thomas has feelings for her and actually talked to her father, but her father thought their age difference was to far apart. Thomas is a quiet widower with two small children who feels drawn to Emma, but decided to honor her father's wishes, but now since her parents are gone, their relationship slowly starts to change, but when Carl returns home saying he wants to return to the faith and tries courting Emma, her feelings are conflicted. There is a secret though that Carl is harboring, a secret that he shares with Emma. Will Emma and Thomas find love together, or will Carl be the one she chooses?
Amish fiction is my favorite genre to read, but I hadn't read anything by this new to me author Kelly Irvin, so I was excited to give her writing a try. Well I loved this story. I was immediately drawn into the story. The story opens with a major tragedy that caused me to feel sorrow for Emma and her siblings. While the primary story was of 23 year old Emma there were a few secondary stories that really pulled this book along at a brisk pace. For example her sister Catherine was struggling with PTSD because of something she saw. Her brother Luke and his wife Leah had to move back to the family farm so that Luke could fill in the gaps left open by the loss of his parents, which wasn't an easy transition for Leah by any means.There was also the struggle her seventeen year old brother Josiah was facing because he was thinking of leaving the faith.With several story lines going on one might assume that it would be difficult to keep things straight , but the author does an amazing job of weaving them together to make for a fast moving plot that kept me wanting to know not only how things would work out for Emma but for everyone else as well. I thought the author's message of faith and forgiveness was perfectly blended into the story, we see how Emma struggles with finding forgiveness for the truck driver who caused the accident, and finding some wonderful words of wisdom from her aunt. Overall I really enjoyed the first installment of The Bliss Creek Amish and look forward to reading the next installment in the series.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Emma’s life is changed forever that day as she was walking with her younger sisters to the produce stand. Her parents where killed in a buggy accident. Her brother forgave the driver at the scene but Emma could not in her heart say it as well. Now her older brother Luke is the head of the family and he and his wife Leah who Emma does not get along with the best move into the family home so they can keep the farm running. To top it off they are worried about there younger brother who does not want to be Amish.
While Emma is dealing with her parents funeral her old boyfriend who left the church returns and wants a second chance and she also finds out that the family’s neighbor and good friend Thomas has been secretly wanting to court her. Emma must deal with all of this while she struggles to understand why God took her parents. Will Emma be able to forgive like God asks her to do or will it be to much? Can she find true love and a family that she wants so much?
I admit when I saw what this book was about I was afraid I might not like it but I was wrong I LOVED it.
What I liked: This book was so well written. Yes the baseline of this story is heartbreaking with the opening few pages dealing with the sudden and very tragic death of Emma’s parents. But this story is about forgiveness and family. Emma came across so real to me. She struggles with forgiving the man who kills her parents as well as Carl her old boyfriend who returns to try and win her back. I was cheering for Emma to make the right choices. The author did a wonderful job of expressing the characters feelings in this book even Emma’s sisters and brothers. The romance part of the story was really good as well. I really liked Thomas but with Carl in the picture I found myself biting my nails hoping Emma would chose the right man.
What I did not like: I wished we could have had a chapter or two from Emma’s brother’s point of view. I could almost feel the weight of his responsibilities that he was caring as he worried about his family. Leah was another one who comes across so mean but really she has her own story to tell and I would have liked to know her a little better. Other then that this book was such a great story.
I am very excited that this book is the first in a new series I can’t wait to read more about this family. It’s not often I read two 5 star books in a row but what a treat! I HIGHLY recommend this book! A must read in my option if you love Amish Fiction.
Emma Shirack is a young Amish woman who is twenty-one and still not married. Her long time boyfriend Carl had left her and the Amish faith, which really hurt her as she always though they would be married. She helps out at home and loves to take care of her little twin sisters. There was a terrible accident and both her parents were killed by a truck hitting their buggy, now how were they going to manage the farm and the children?
She alone with her siblings that was left at home had jobs that they needed the money to help them survive, so none of them could care for the smaller children and take care of the farm and animals also. Then in came the brother that was married and he decided that he and his wife would take the smaller twins, so that the others could work. But Emma and her sister-in-law did not care for each other that much so how was this going to work?
A neighbor told them he would harvest the fields as he had large tractors but being Amish they didn't think this was proper. Along came another neighbor Tomas that was Amish man that had lost his wife and he was trying to raise two small children of his own. But he really liked Emma but she though he was too old for her. I really hope this little bit of information really makes you want to buy the book, or just go ahead and pre-order it . Good reading as you live the life of the Amish and see their hurts and the fun times too.
Thanks so much to Wynn-Wynn Media for sending me this reviewer copy of this book and the review is my own.