Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Balm of Gilead

The sunshine was very short lived yesterday!  Today I wake up to rain again.  We have not had this much rain in years (Florida has been experiencing a drought for a long time).  It makes the grass grow so fast (which means I need to cut it).  Vicious cycle--rain, grow, cut!  The cover of Balm of Gilead (above) is just so pretty. The main character, Sarah Yoder, planted a patchwork herb garden (her way of being creative since she is not good at quilting). 

I just finished the third book in the Healing Grace series.  It is the Balm of Gilead by Adina Senft.  Sarah Yoder is a widow with two sons.  Caleb is almost fifteen and has finished his schooling.  Simon has spent the summer working on a dude ranch in Colorado.  Sarah has been studying to be a Dokterfraa (herbal healer).  Sarah cares for her neighbor, Henry Byler.  Henry grew up Amish but left the community when he was eighteen.  He returned to live in the house he inherited from an aunt and set up his pottery studio in the barn.  Henry was lucky enough for his work to be noticed by D. W. Frith Company (or so he thinks). 

Henry has proposed to Ginny Hochstetler.  Ginny is former Mennonite and is the owner of Rose Arbor Inn (local bed and breakfast).  Henry believes if he marries Ginny, he will be forever cutting his ties to the Amish church.  Sarah (known for speaking the truth) believes Henry is just running away from God.  While Henry is working on items for D.W. Frith’s Thanksgiving order, he is approached by a reality show.  They want to feature him on a TNC (like our TLC) show Shunning Amish.  They will pay Henry $50,000 for one show (and Ginny could really use the money).  Henry, though, does not feel that he should do the show.  He does not want to say anything bad about his family or friends.  D.W. Frith insists that Henry has to do the show or they will terminate his contract.  What a dilemma for Henry?  Do the show and help his career and finance?  Will Henry listen to his head or his heart? 

Joe and Simon return from Colorado where they were working on a dude ranch.  Both boys are happy to be home.  Joe is thinking about becoming an herbalist like Sarah.  Priscilla Mast (Joe’s girl) is happy he is home, but now Simon is taking notice of how grown up Priscilla is looking (now that Priscilla has given up on Simon).  There is bound to be friction between the three. 

Sarah is trying to ignore her feelings for Henry but it is hard when she sees him so often (especially when he needs healing help for his hands).  Henry had hoped that by being engaged to Ginny, he would stop having feelings for Sarah.  Only Henry can resolve this situation (he has to make a choice).   Amanda Yoder is still single (she is only twenty-one), but Jesse Riehl catches her eye at a young event.  Jesse is enjoying his rumspringa by owning and driving a car (even got a license).  His parents, though, were not very happy and Jesse is not welcome at home.  Is Jesse the right type of person for Amanda or will he be a bad influence?

I enjoyed reading the Balm of Gilead.  In order to understand everything that is going on in the book, you really need to have read the first two books in the series (Herb of Grace and Keys of Heaven).  Adina Senft has a nice writing style.  She engages the reader right from the first page and holds your attention to the last word.  I give Balm of Gilead 5 out of 5 stars.  The ending is just wonderful (and romantic).  Balm of Gilead is out today!

I received a complimentary copy of Balm of Gilead from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  The review and opinions expressed are my own.  

Thank you for reading my latest book review.  I am currently reading The Eight by Katherine Neville.  Have a good afternoon, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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