This will probably be the most difficult book of this series for me to review. In fact, I’m not even certain that I can do it without giving too much away (I detest spoilers) but I’m going to give it my best shot.
“Autumn’s Promise” is the third book in Shelley Shepard Gray’s Seasons of Sugarcreek series and it is most definitely my least favorite ending so far.
However, I give Shelley full marks for her hard work.
I am not certain that it was possible to write an ending to such a difficult situation that would have made everyone who read it happy.
Just using the back cover blurb (which doesn’t really give anything away in my opinion) let me give you a couple of hints about my irritation…
First, in my opinion, giving up technology and a car are not at all the same as giving up your independence or who you are as a person. However, I can assure you that at least 70% of the other women who read this book will not agree with me. My opinions on this subject are drawn from my own desire to be a Proverbs 31 woman.
In fact, my beliefs are most likely much closer to the Amish community than at least 90% of the other women who will or have read this book series. My own beliefs and feelings may even be more fervent than a lot of Mennonite women who have grown up straddling two worlds.
Second, no matter what anyone thinks, it is not just as easy for Robert Miller to give up his own ways and change for Lilly. Being Amish is not just a denominational difference. They look at marriage and faith in such different ways than we do and to them a vow to the church is just as much a lifelong commitment as marriage is.
And that truly is the way it is to them. A vow is not something that is meant to be broken – EVER. They do not take a vow lightly and they can not simply walk away from their church. Even the few Amish who leave before being baptized lose much of what makes the Amish community so different from the “Englisch” one.
OK. I’ll get off my soapbox now.
Truly I did enjoy the book. I just wish the ending had been a bit different. However, I will not allow my disappointment to lessen my love of Shelley’s books and I fully intend to finish the series, and the series after, and then go back and read her other series as well.
Shelley is a wonderful writer and she handled the ending extremely well, even if I didn’t care for it – it was beautifully written.
And since I imagine almost everyone would enjoy the ending more than I did, I fully recommend this book to everyone!
A few words from GoodReads about the book:
Some promises are meant to be broken. . . .
Until Robert Miller met Lilly Allen, his world had been dark. A widower after only two years of marriage, he’d been living in a haze, feeling that, at twenty-four, his life was already over. But thanks to his friendship with Lilly, he now has new reasons to wake up each day. He knows his connection to her doesn’t make sense. She’s only nineteen, with a past the whole town talks about. Even more, she’s not Amish, like Robert. A marriage between the two of them could never happen.
Lilly’s heart is drawn to Robert, not to his faith. No matter how much she admires his quiet strength and dependability, she doesn’t think she could ever give up her independence and reliance on the modern world. Is their love doomed before it even begins?
HERE is a link to the book page on GoodReads
and HERE is a link to Shelley’s website.
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