Keepers of the Promise, Book #3
By Marta Perry
Central Pennsylvania, current day. Restless and adventurous, Amish Barbie Lapp has been stepping out among the Englisch. Minister Benuel Kauffman doesn’t approve of her choices, but he can’t deny the positive influence Barbie has on his wayward teenage sister. As Barbie is drawn to the kindness beneath Benuel’s gruff exterior, the mementos she finds in a dower chest given to her by her grandmother, Elizabeth, provide the insight she needs to decide whether to fully embrace the Amish way of life or leave it behind for forever.
Lancaster County, 1960. As working farms for the Amish become more scarce, Elizabeth Lapp’s husband, Reuben, tries to persuade her that they would be better off moving north. But the prospect of leaving her close-knit community of family and friends frightens Elizabeth. Can she muster enough love and faith to leap into a new life?
Two women from one family, separated by decades, both find that the ultimate adventure takes place in the heart.
I love the way that Marta Perry writes her stories on the Amish way of life giving the reader an insight into the struggles the characters have in maintaining their ways and religion in a modern day setting with all its temptations.
Barbie Lapp is introduced as a young Amish woman who works in an English environment and can’t help wondering what life would be like in a less restrictive setting. Getting dressed in English clothes and going out with a friend one evening Barbie finds a younger Amish girl in a compromising position. She takes her back home to her family .The girl’s brother unfortunately just happens to be their Minister Ben who is a young widower with two small children. Ben doesn’t approve of Barbie’s choices however he also can’t deny her influence on his younger sister and his own children. Barbie brings life and happiness into their lives that even religious beliefs can’t deny. The attraction Ben feels toward Barbie causes him to question his faith and his calling as a minister. After all how can something that is so wrong be right?
Barbie knows deep down that the Amish Life is for her and when she finds her grandmother’s dower chest and begins to go through it and the memories in it, life becomes clearer and enables her to make a momentous decision.
The parallel story is about Barbie’s grandmother who also has had her faith challenged as she resists changes that are forced into her life.
Marta Perry allows the characters and their issues to captivate the reader and I know I found myself totally engaged so much so that I was often reluctant to put the book down. Having read a previous Perry book I was delighted to find I recognized some of the characters from the previous story. I certainly will look forward to other Marta Perry books.