Be True To Yourself
Until I Love Again by Jerry Eicher is a wonderful Amish romance. It is the second book in the St Lawrence County Amish series but can be read as a stand-alone.
The Amish and Englisha worlds collide within the novel creating a palpable tension. Susanna, on her rumspringa is torn between her Amish upbringing and the pull of the Englisha world. “A woman’s place is in the home, and not out in the Englisha worlde.” Jerry Eicher shows how these totally opposite cultures can cause conflict and distress within the family. “I’m trying to make peace with my heritage.” It is hard to be true to yourself and to obey your parents who love you.
The Amish way of life is presented in the novel. It seems very simple and loving on the surface, however dig deeper and one finds there is a tight control on people’s behaviour.
Love permeates the novel. Love motivates the courses of action by various characters. This love can be smothering though.
There is the whole debate of nature versus nurture within the novel. What makes us who we are? Susanna has been bought up as Amish, so why does she yearn for the Englisha way of life? And where did her musical talent come from? Read the novel and see if you can decide the answers.
Jerry Eicher shows the devastating effects of keeping a secret for years. Sooner or later the truth will emerge causing pain and anguish.
The novel has the theme of the sins of the father’s. “The sins of the parents should [not] be held to the child’s account.” People have long memories and like to remember past indiscretions. However there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. Our past is behind us and we cannot change it. “We can’t change the past but we can help shape the future with our choices.”
Until I Love Again deals with the topic of arranged marriages. It seems alien to us that the parents or even the Bishop should suggest life partners. The Amish believe marry first, and love will follow. The reader witnesses the conflict this can cause in some characters whilst others embrace this ideal.
Family is of vital importance. This comes through in both the Amish and Englisha worlds.
Until I Love Again was a wonderful read. Jerry Eicher has the talent of writing in such a way that I can ‘see’ my way through the novel. I could also empathise with Susanna and ‘felt’ her dilemma and torment.
An absolutely superb novel. I can highly recommend it.
I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.