Monday, September 9, 2013

Love Still Stands-Kelly Irvin

Love Still Stands

Kelly Irvin

Harvest House, Sep 1 2013, $13.99

ISBN: 9780736954938

Leah and Luke Shirack, their five kids and her sister Bethel Graber travel from Bliss Creek, Kansas to New Hope, Missouri to join a new Amish community. The drive is especially excruciating for Bethel who suffered a severe trauma recently that requires using crutches and will soon begin physical therapy in New Hope. When they arrive at their new home, the family is shattered by the vandalism that greets them summarized by a banner: “Go home.” Brothers Elijah and Silas Christner say inside is worse as Sheriff Virgil McCormack arrives with an accusatory tone telling them their cult and related tourism are undesirable, and threatens them with violations.

Elijah wants to court Bethel, but she believes her being an invalid makes her a bad choice as a wife. When she and the sheriff’s son wheelchair bound veteran Shawn McCormack meet their disabilities provide them a common denominator and lead to a friendship. Her family, community and especially Elijah demand Bethel end her relationship with the Englisher while Shawn’s father and other townsfolk warn him to stay away from her and her unwanted sect.

Love Stands Still moves from Bliss Creek (see Love’s Journey Home, To Love and to Cherish and A Heart Made New) to New Hope and also extends the Shirack family saga to include Luke’s sister-in-law. The fascinating storyline contains a strong cast facing external and internal problems starting with religious intolerance and bigotry. Character-driven, readers will relish this strong Amish drama.

Harriet Klausner

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