Monday, April 24, 2017

The Beloved Hope Chest

The Beloved Hope Chest is the fourth and final book in Amy Clipston's Amish Heirloom Series, and I have to say it's my favorite. All parents keep secrets from their children, usually to protect them. Sometimes though, sharing our pasts and our secrets can bring healing and understanding during tough times.

Mattie Fisher has a past she'd like to keep hidden, mainly because it's so painful to think about. The Amish marry for life and sometimes life is cut short by tragic circumstances. Mattie loved her first husband, Isaiah Petersheim, with all her heart. They had big plans and dreams that were cut short by a visit to the bank. Isaiah was trying to protect a woman from her estranged husband who showed up at the bank waving a gun. The man shot Isaiah when trying to shoot his wife. Just like that Mattie's life and the life of her unborn child changed forever. She walked around in a haze of grief trying to make sense of such a senseless tragedy and trying to figure out how to make it on her own.

Leroy Fisher is Mattie's best friend and has admired her secretly from afar for as long as anyone can remember. Well, maybe not so secretly because everyone,except for Mattie, seems to know how he feels about her, even her parents. Leroy was happy for Mattie when she met and married Isaiah. Leroy and Mattie have remained close even though she's married and starting a family of her own. When tragedy strikes it only makes sense that Leroy steps up and is Mattie's shoulder to cry on. She helped him when his dad left and his mother died and he vows to be there for Mattie and help anyway he can. When he proposes to Mattie and tells her that he will love her unborn child as his own, nobody is surprised. Will they be able to make a marriage work born out of tragedy or is this union doomed from the start?

I don't normally cry when reading books. Sure I boo hoo through movies, but not books. However, this story had me in tears. Poor Mattie has endured more heartbreak and tragedy than most people twice her age. Not only has she lost the love of her life, but she's struggling with wanting to be a proper wife for Leroy. When her child is born and complications arise it is more than Mattie can handle. I don't blame her for running away. Life gets tough sometimes and we all want to run away. I loved how helpful and supportive her family was, no, they didn't fully understand what she's going through but they loved on her and prayed for her while gently nudging her in the way she should go.

Leroy was my favorite. He was determined to love Mattie even when she didn't want him too. He loved her as a kid, loved her as a grieving widow and now as his bride. He knows she needs time to grieve and he's determined to give it to her. He's super excited about the baby and already loves him or her as his own. He knows it's not easy on Mattie, but he's doing everything in his power to make her life easier, even helping with domestic chores. When she leaves him shortly after giving birth Leroy is crushed, but he's determined to win her back. To show her how much he loves her and wants a family with her.

The Beloved Hope Chest is a beautifully written love story that will make you laugh, cry and believe in the power of love.

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

You can grab a copy here:The Beloved Hope Chest

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