It’s been four years since Jennie’s husband died in a farming accident. Long enough that the elders in her Amish community think it’s time to marry again for the sake of her seven children. What they don’t know is that grief isn’t holding her back from a new relationship. Fear is. A terrible secret in her past keeps her from moving forward.
Mennonite book salesman Nathan Walker stops by Jennie’s farm whenever he’s in the area. Despite years of conversation and dinners together, she never seems to relax around him. He knows he should move on, but something about her keeps drawing him back.
Meanwhile, Leo Graber nurtures a decades-long love for Jennie, but guilt plagues him—guilt for letting Jennie marry someone else and guilt for his father’s death on a hunting trip many years ago. How could anyone love him again—and how could he ever take a chance to love in return?
In this second book in the Every Amish Season series, three hearts try to discern God’s plan for the future—and find peace beneath the summer sun.
RT Book Reviews gave Beneath the Summer Sun 4 STARS:
“This is the second book in Irvin’s Every Amish Season series. Jennie’s story will speak to any woman who has dealt with the horror of abuse and the emotional aftermath it carries, as well as readers who have questioned how God can allow such terrible things to happen. The choice Jennie makes to take a chance on love again and to open her heart to God after all she has suffered is brave and hopeful, leaving readers on an uplifting note.
With seven children and the burning memories of her late husband’s violent treatment, Jennie has no plans to remarry in spite of pressure from the community. The abuse she suffered remains a secret, but one that weighs on her like the physical and emotional strain of everyday life as a single parent. Leo avoids his feelings and focuses on work, but his mind and heart stray to Jennie, whom he has loved since before she was married. Traveling bookseller Nathan has his eye on Jennie as well, with plans to become a farmhand and settle down if he can persuade her to accept his affections. Both men demonstrate their care and interest in her children as well as for Jennie. Can either man win her heart, or will her fear of men and anger at God condemn her to a life alone? (ZONDERVAN, Jan., 336 pp., $15.99)
Irvin, Kelly. Beneath the Summer Sun. Zondervan. (Every Amish Season, Bk. 2). Jan. 2018. 386p. ISBN 9780310348085. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9780310348108. CF
After suffering an abusive marriage that ended when her husband was killed in a farming accident, widow Jennie Troyer refuses to yield to the pressures of the elders in her Amish community to remarry. Her childhood friend Paul Graber can’t act on his secret feelings for her because of issues of guilt stemming from his father’s death. Meanwhile, Mennonite bookseller Nathan Walker is also attracted to Jennie but struggles with his own faith, preventing him from pursuing her further. VERDICT This second entry (after Upon a Spring Breeze) in Irvin’s seasonal series diverges from the typical Amish coming-of-age tale with its focus on more mature protagonists who acutely feel their sense of loss. Fans of the genre seeking a broader variety of stories may find this new offering from a Carol Award winner more relatable than the usual fare.
Kelly Irvin continues her “Every Amish Season” series with “Beneath the Summer Sun.”
Jennie’s husband died in a farming accident four years ago, and everyone believes it is time for her to remarry to take care of her and her seven children. Nathan Walker, a Mennonite book salesman, has befriended Jennie and her family and wants to help them, but she always seems tense. Leo Graber, a former classmate, has had secret feelings for Jennie and feels like he should have spoken up long ago. Will she take a chance on either man? Or has her marriage and the trouble inside it, keep her from every trying romance again? Readers will be drawn into this story of one woman with two eligible suitors to choose from who could both give her a new start at life.
“Beneath the Summer Sun” is published by Zondervan. It is $15.99.