Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Titus Returns

Titus Return is Amy Lillard's latest installment in her Wells Landing Series. If you haven't read the others in the series don't worry, you won't be left behind. Titus Returns is the first book I've had the privilege(sp?) of reading in the series and I definitely plan on going back and reading the rest.

Titus Lambert isn't sure he can do it. What's that saying? You can't go home? He never truly believed it before but after spending 5 years in jail he isn't sure he can face the past. Maybe he should just stay in the English world and not trouble the community any more than he has. But he's not a coward and he knows he's going to see his family, he owes them that much. It's just a lot harder to battle the ghost than he thought it would be.

Mandy Yoder loved Titus Lambert with all her heart. She promised to wait on him, forever and a day she said. However, five years is a long time to wait and see all your friends grow up, marry and have babies of their own. So when, Levi Burkholder starts coming around declaring his intentions to court her, she decides to take a chance and ends up marrying Levi. Now with Titus back in Wells Landing what does that mean for her and Levi? The Amish marry for life but what if you've made a huge mistake?

Abbie King hates Titus Lambert with a passion. He was the one driving the car that killed her twin brother. She knows it's the Amish way to forgive, but she just can't bring her self to do it. Her dad is drinking and left the running of the dairy farm to her. Her mom can barely get out of bed and has all but lost the will to live. So, yeah, she's angry and she's not afraid to let Titus Lambert know just what she thinks of him when she sees him.

I was blown away by Titus Returns. I have to admit, I never really thought about what it would be like for an Amish man, or woman, to go to prison. I always assumed that the wayward would be automatically welcomed back into the fold. It's hard sometimes to remember that the Amish aren't robots or super heroes. They struggle with forgiveness and anger and other issues just as we do. Amy Lillard handles each subject with such respect that it makes you think, What would I do in this situation?

I felt bad for Titus, he's served his sentence and yet he keeps punishing himself. He can't forgive himself for the death of his friend, Alvin and the Englisher and putting his other friend Eli in a wheel chair. He struggles to believe that this could be in God's will. Why was he the only one to walk away unscathed. Surely the community will never truly forgive him for the wrongs he's done. He fears he will constantly be judged even though people say they forgive him. He carries so much guilt that I was afraid he would never recover.

Abbie King was by far my favorite! She's still hurting after losing her twin Alvin. She's doing her best to move on but it isn't easy. Left alone to care for her parents in their grief stricken state, she can trace all her troubles back to Titus. The nerve of that man to waltz back into Wells Landing like all was forgiven. Not by a long shot, Abbie is just waiting for the opportunity to tell Titus what she thinks of this whole situation and then tell him to go fly a kite. I loved her because she was so real. She struggled with anger and the ability to forgive. You could feel her grief pour off the page. I just wanted to wrap her in a hug and let her know everything would be alright.

Mandy Berkholder got on my nerves. I hate to say it, but she did. She was blinded by what could have been that she nearly ruins what a great thing she has now. She always seems to be pining for something; Titus, a baby, her husband to pay her more attention. She truly believes the grass is greener on the other side. I almost shouted Hallelujah when Titus told her that they stood absolutely no chance together and that she should go back to her husband. It was then that Mandy realized her unseemly behavior and started to make things right.

Titus Returns is a tale of love, loss, tragedy and healing. I got swept away in the emotion and the story so much so that I hated to see it end. I can't wait for the next installment to catch up with the residents of Wells Landing and see how everyone is doing. I truly hope you will pick up a copy of Titus Returns and enjoy the magic for yourself.

*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.

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