Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit quietly on your shoulder.
I have really enjoyed getting to the Fisher sisters and this one goes back in time to the sister’s parents. Mattie has always guarded her hope chest and has never shared with her daughters the hidden keepsake that was a dark period in Mattie’s life. The hope chest had given in the previous books something for each sister to learn and to hope for and each lesson was a lesson that their mother had learned early in her marriage to their father Leroy. Mattie shares with her daughters that she had been married before and had a baby that the girls knew nothing about.
Leroy had always “chased” Mattie. Always a friend to her when he desired more. Not wanting to ruin the friendship that they had, he never shared his feelings with her but he was always available to her. Leroy knew the heart ache of a love lost in many ways. A father that abandoned him and his mother and Mattie when she chose to marry another. However, when Mattie husband was killed in a violent shooting, Leroy steps up and offers Mattie marriage to be a father to her child and a husband to Mattie. The Amish take marriage seriously and the gift of sanctification in marriage.
In Mattie’s grief, she is blinded by the love Leroy offers her. The way Leroy pursued Mattie and was attentive to her needs, reminds me how the great love of Jesus and how he pursues us. Mattie suffers a 2nd grief when the child she carries dies and the reason for her marriage to Leroy dies as well. It is during this period that Mattie run away from her marriage and wallows in her grief.
All during this book, I was the ugly crier. At work during break and when taking my ipad out to lunch. The pain of suffering alone and how we tend to isolate ourselves. The loss of community in death, the loss of a job, or a person we love can bring out cryfest in anyone. The characters are deeply felt even if we may not understand and appreciate the Amish ways, there is a sense of community that we all crave.
A Special Thank You to Thomas Nelson, Zondervan and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.