I love Amish fiction because it generally transports you to a tranquil, calm world. However, Upon a Spring Breeze by Kelly Irvin is an obvious reminder that everyone suffers universal grief and tragedies. Before getting into my review, here is a synopsis of the book provided by the publisher.
After a devastating winter, a spring breeze promises more than new flowers.… It promises a new chance at love.
Bess Weaver, twenty and expecting her first child, is in the kitchen making stew for her beloved mann, Caleb, one minute, and the next she’s burying him after a tragic accident. Facing life as a young widow, Bess finds comfort only in tending the garden at an Englisch-owned bed and breakfast—even as she doubts that new growth could ever come after such a long winter.
Aidan tries to repress his guilt over his best friend Caleb’s death and his long-standing feelings for Bess by working harder than ever. But as he spends time with the young son his friend left behind, he seems to be growing closer to the boy’s beautiful mother as well.
When a close-knit group of widows in her Amish community step in to help Bess find her way back to hope, she begins to wonder if Gott has a future for her after all. Will she ever believe that life can still hold joy and the possibility of love?
In many ways, this was a difficult book to read. If you’ve ever mourned a spouse or suffered from postpartum depression, this story may bring back emotions that hopefully the reader is prepared to handle. For me, being an animal person, I had a hard time dealing with 6,000 chickens getting killed due to the bird flu. I know that happens–but its extremely tough for me to read about after having rescued and loved a chicken.
If you’re looking for an Amish romance that is filled with quilting bees and courtship, I would look elsewhere. Bess, the widow, does find love at the end, but this is more a story about life’s seasons–going through endless rain to get to the sun.
It was well-written but definitely not a lighthearted read. Using GoodReads’ scale, I liked the book and give it 3/5 stars. This is the first book in the series Every Amish Season, and I would enjoy reading the subsequent books. This new 2017 spring title is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Beautiful cover photo by Jon Flobrant.