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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Promise to Return

On the day that Miriam Coblentz and Henry Matz are meeting with the bishops to discuss their upcoming wedding plans, Henry receives his draft notice. They had almost made it, but now the war will be what keeps them apart for now. Since Henry is Amish and killing others goes against his religious beliefs in the Ten Commandments, he is assigned tasks as a conscientious objector in the Civillian Public Service camp, digging trenches and other tasks. However it isn't without risks.

Will Miriam be able to find the same man after Henry serves his time during World War II, or will the horrors he witnesses take a toll on the man he used to be? How will the men that Henry deals with, the English, see him as one who refuses to fight? Will they have any respect for a man who refuses to defend his own country?

In the novel, Promise to Return by author Elizabeth Byler Younts, this novel picks at a subject most don't come to think about, how the Amish dealt with World War II. I think Elizabeth utilizes all her knowledge and experience both being raised Amish and having a husband who serves in the armed service to blend together a wonderful and compelling story of how much we are willing to risk to serve not only others but our country as well.

Miriam is feeling overwhelmed because of what she has been brought up to believe as well as what the Amish community has been saying not only about Henry but about what will come of their wedding when Henry returns. She takes to heart what people are saying not only to her but about Henry and at times is at odds trying to defend their beliefs. She worries that she might not ever see her dreams about being married and raising a family come to pass especially when Henry returns on a short leave at Christmas and tells her about the discrimination facing the Amish men by the English and their beliefs in not wanting to fight when they are so desperately needed. Henry surprises Miriam when he tells her that he has decided to enlist because it is something he believes God is calling him to do. But is it really?

Now Henry will face shunning by the Amish community when he returns because he has taken it upon himself to enter the war efforts and it is simply more than Miriam can take. Meanwhile there is a man who has an interest in her, Eli and now with Henry out of the picture, will he be able to persuade Miriam that her best interests lie in marrying him instead? You'll have to pick up this novel and find out.

I received Promise to Return by Elizabeth Byler Younts compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. Being a huge fan of World War II fiction as well as Amish Romance, I was thrilled to be able to read this one. I never really considered how the Amish had to deal with the war effort until picking this one up and really loved the conflict for Henry. Trying to decide what is the right thing to do without all the added peer pressure not only from the American soldiers but also from his Amish community. Definitely a hard place to be and trying to convince Miriam that he still plans on marrying her when he returns if she will wait for him. Definitely a task worthy of faith in God and one that takes the reader on an unforgettable journey! I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars! There is a great reading guide that is perfect for book clubs as well as a letter to readers from the author explaining her idea in writing this book being a former Amish member and what people had to deal with regarding entering the war as Amish residents. This is the first book in the Promise of Sunrise Series and I can't wait for the next one in this series!!!

For more information about Promise to Return, Elizabeth Byler Younts or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Elizabeth Byler Younts on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Promise to Return on Howard Books website, please click here.

  • Series: Promise of Sunrise
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books; Original edition (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476735018
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476735016
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches

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