In The Promise Box, the second book of best-selling author Tricia Goyer’s Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series, Lydia Wyse, a book editor from Seattle who grew up Amish, returns to the small community of West Kootenai to give comfort to her father after her mother’s death. She is drawn back to the familiar Amish ways after finding her mother’s most precious possession, a Promise Box of prayers and scripture. What her publisher sees, though, is an opportunity for a sensational “tell-all” book about the Amish.
Lydia soon finds herself falling in love with Amish bachelor Gideon Hooley. She wants nothing more than to forget her past and look forward to a future as an Amish bride. But will the pain of her childhood---and her potential betrayal of her community---keep her from committing her whole heart?
About the Author: USA Today best-selling author Tricia Goyer is the author of 35 books, including the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series. She has written over 500 articles for national publications and blogs for high traffic sites like TheBetterMom.com and MomLifeToday.com. Tricia and her husband John live in Little Rock, Arkansas where John works for FamilyLife. They have six children. You can find out more about Tricia at www.TriciaGoyer.com
I fell in love with the setting of West Kootenai, Montana, in Tricia’s “Big Sky” series, and I absolutely loved returning to it in this novel, even more so than in the first book in this series, The Memory Jar. I also liked seeing so many of the characters from the previous books incorporated into this one, especially Marianna and her family.
While I liked Lydia and Gideon in this novel, I really felt most connected to Lydia’s mother, even though she was not an actual character in the book. She lived through her notes in the Promise Box and through Lydia’s memories. I felt a connection with her because I, too, have an only child. My daughter is not adopted, but every day I thank God for the wonderful gift He gave to us though our “one and only.” I especially loved this quote from one of Lydia’s mother’s letters: “Some women have ten children, but I wouldn’t trade ten for you.”
The circumstances and conflicts in this novel really set it apart from other Amish novels that I have read. The growth that Gideon, especially, experiences over the course of the novel is so touching and heartfelt. I thought Lydia’s part of the story at the end seemed a bit rushed and that everything was solved too quickly, but it was still a satisfying conclusion.
I thought the way that the characters learned to deal with the circumstances of their pasts was handled very well in this novel. However, I thought one of the main points somewhat hanging. At one point Ada Mae (Lydia’s mother) referred to when a visiting Amish bishop tells her that within the next year she will have a child. She writes: “I have no doubt that if it’s a promise from God it will come to pass. But can I trust a man’s words?” In my life, I cling to the promises from the Bible, not from things that are said by other people. I just felt as if this topic was left a little bit vague.
Once again, though, I like Tricia’s approach to writing Amish novels. Being Amish or English has nothing to do with it. It all has to do with whether you accept Christ as your savior. The interaction between Amish and English neighbors keeps this theme alive in her novels.
The romance between the two main characters in this novel was good, and even though it occurred rather quickly, it didn’t feel rushed.
As I said earlier, I liked being able to revisit some of the characters from previous books in this novel. But poor Eve Peachy! She doesn’t seem to be able to catch a break. I hope she has her own book in the future! I also hope that the next few books don’t necessarily deal with grief as a major theme. The Memory Jar has Sarah dealing with the loss of her best friend, and The Promise Box has Lydia dealing with the death of her mom. I understand, of course, that death is something that everyone deals with. I just feel as if I need a little bit of a break from that in this series.
I will give The Promise Box … 3 ½ BookWorms.
Tricia Goyer is celebrating the release of her lastest novel, The Promise Box (Zondervan), by hosting an Amish Baking Box giveaway and connecting with readers during her June 12th Book Chat Party!
One "promising" winner will receive:
- Apron, hot mitts, and kitchen towels
- Amish baking items (rolling pin, pie plate, etc...)
- Sherry Gore's Simply Delicious Amish Cooking
- The Memory Jar and The Promise Box by Tricia Goyer
So grab your copy of The Promise Box and join Tricia on the evening of June 12th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)
Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 12th!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."