This was a wonderful story about the power of perseverance and the beauty of contentment. Jolene Keim was about to be married when disaster struck and she spent the next ten years of her life taking care of her family. When she meets Andy Fisher, a horse trainer and single father, she starts to fall in love again. She believes he is a widower, but doesn't realize that his wife left him years before and he's a grass widower and is unable to divorce or remarry. They like spending time together as she helps him train horses, but he thinks she knows the truth about him.
Jolene struggles with not really letting anyone in. She's had to be strong for her family and doesn't really share her pain or frustrations. She's also bottled up her feelings concerning her ex-fiance and how that situation played out. Andy encourages her to be truthful and say how she feels. She also loves to paint and the bishop in the Old Order Amish community she lives in believes it's wrong to create any graven image, so she's had to hide that sanctuary she escapes to all these years. She starts to not worry so much about what others think. However, when their feelings are exposed, will they act on them or trust that God has a plan?
I worried that this book might be depressing because of a failed relationship and the prospect of another one in her future. Instead, it was hopeful and encouraging to see how Jolene persevered through life and took care of her family. She had a strong faith and learned to be content whatever her circumstances. I liked how she stood up for herself and her bullied brother. It was very interesting to see how her brother, who had been struck by lightning as a boy and still suffered some mental effects, struggled with making right choices and not being too impulsive. I liked the various viewpoints, from Jolene to Andy to her brother and the depth of emotion they portrayed. I appreciated that they all struggled to do what was right; they weren't perfect by any means. Jolene and her brother really grew emotionally and it was wonderful to see. I did wonder why Andy didn't try to find his wife or hire someone to find her. The horse training aspect was interesting, too, as they're trying to train abused horses and earn their trust. Andy and Jolene both struggled with their faith and why God would bring them together only to tear them apart, but ultimately their faith was strong. I would recommend this book if you like Amish stories or stories that tug at your emotions.
I received this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.