cover image The Warmth of Sunshine

The Warmth of Sunshine

Kelly Irvin. Zondervan, $16.99 trade paper (374p) ISBN 978-0-310-36452-8

The second entry in Irvin’s Amish Blessings series (after Love’s Dwelling) delivers an elegant portrait of a young Amish woman caught between two worlds. Twenty-year-old Abigail Bontrager’s life is turned upside down when her English (non-Amish) biological mother, Heather, shows up and asks to get to know her. Abigail didn’t know she was adopted and feels unable to trust her adoptive parents, so she decides, over their objections, to spend a couple of weeks with Heather and Heather’s other children. Owen Kurtz, the Amish boyfriend Abigail had recently started seeing, supports her decision and resolves to wait for her return. While living with Heather, Abigail determines “to find out if she was meant to be English” and wears English clothes, parties, dances, and develops a crush on an English man. Meanwhile, Owen’s brother is in his Rumspringa when he discovers pictures of Abigail’s new life on social media. He tells their bishop, who comes to Heather’s house with Owen and Abigail’s adoptive father to confront Abigail, compelling her to choose which world, and which man, she belongs with. Irvin skillfully conveys Abigail’s internal conflict (“How could Abigail put into words the longing that thrummed in her chest? The sense of loss, of missing out, of missing it all,” she reminisces about Amish life). Fans of Amish romance will want to check this out. (July)