About the Book:
Handsome, headstrong Jacob offers Lilly his hand in marriage, but his heart belongs to someone else.
While Lilly Lapp has loved Jacob for years, she wouldn't compete with Sarah King, the woman Jacob was determined to marry. But when Sarah marries another, Jacob spontaneously agrees to wed Lilly.
Lilly divides her time between teaching the local Amish children and caring for her widowed mother who suffers from depression. Lilly's faith comforts her, but her heart still longs to be the sole object of Jacob's affection.
As the days slip by, Lilly decides that hoping is too risky and vows to protect her heart. But God is subtly as work, and as winter turns to spring, their hearts awaken.
The furthest thing from Lilly's mind is her Amish wedding quilt, a traditional gift for new brides. And the person she'd least suspect is the one making it. Like stray pieces of fabric quilted into a new design, Jacob and Lilly's marriage begins to bind them together in ways neither expected.
This sequel to Sarah's Garden (my review) is a heartwarming romance between two people who aren't sure they are worthy of being loved. Much of the book is a dance--they grow closer and then something happens to push them apart; yet, in the end... I liked the way Long made Lilly afraid of horses, and Jacob afraid of reading; each needed the other to teach him/her.
I enjoyed reading some of the descriptions of Amish culture--how they celebrate Christmas, wedding customs, and how they take care of the needy in their midst. The characters in this book aren't perfect, as Jacob tells a young neighbor.
In some ways the characters have universal appeal. Jacob never learned to read, and so became the class clown. Able has brain damage, and almost seems autistic. Katy wants to marry in the worst way; Annie is past her prime and doesn't see herself as attractive. Sarah enjoys knowing a spurned suitor still wants her, even though she is happily married.
The book is a quick easy read that should appeal to fans of Amish fiction. Grade: B.
I'd like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for making a review copy available via NetGalley. I was not obligated to write any review, much less a positive one.