When a well-to-do family asks Sallie Riehl to be their daughter's nanny for the summer at their Cape May, New Jersey, vacation home, she jumps at the chance to broaden her horizons beyond the Lancaster County Amish community where she grew up. Sallie has long dreamed of seeing more of the world, but her parents are reluctant for her to put off baptism yet another summer, and the timing is unfortunate for Perry Zook, who has renewed interest in courting her.
Though she loves nannying, Sallie has free time on the weekends to enjoy the shore. It is there that she meets Kevin Kreider, a marine biology student who talks freely about all he's learning and asks about her interests, unlike most of the guys she grew up with. Time with Kevin is invigorating, and Sallie realizes she's never felt quite this alive around Perry. Then again, Kevin is Mennonite, not Amish.
Sallie tries to brush aside her growing feelings for Kevin, but she fears what her parents would think about her new friendship. Just as concerning, however, is Sallie's realization that her time in Cape May is increasing her desire to see the world, challenging her plans for the future. Has she been too hasty with her promises, or will Sallie only find what her heart is longing for back home in Paradise Township?
~ My Rating
~ My Review
This book was utterly delightful. Uplifting and beautiful and soul-touching. I don't even know where to begin this review.
How about we start with what you see first? The cover. The beachy, summery, oceany, amazing cover. (And no, I did not just make half of those words up.) It is sooo beautiful!! If you know me, you know that I have a love of book covers. But this one is exceptionally lovely.
The plot was quite wonderful, not the typical Amish story, and I really liked it. I wasn't sure that I was going to like it that much at first, but I ended up adoring the Autumn and all of the Logan family.
The characters were sooo great, realistic, and well-rounded. Sallie was sweet and charming. ('Cute' too, as Kevin so dearly pointed out. <3) Autumn was spunky and lovable. Kevin was just...a wonderful guy and I liked him (and *cough* totally didn't ship them *cough*) from the start. And Sallie's dad! Aww, he was just a dear! I totally soaked up his and Sallie's heart-to-hearts. <3
Autumn and Sallie had me chuckling several times, and then smiling over their sweet chats about life and mostly baby Connor. I really enjoyed reading about their relationship. :D
Before reading this book, I'd never really considered that I may enjoy marine biology and oceanography. But learning about different fish and ocean life through Sallie and Kevin's talks and explorations was quite fun!
The theme of waiting on God really struck home with me. I nearly cried reading about Sallie's journey. It definitely touched my heart and gave me encouragement in areas where I needed it. The way our God can use fictional stories to touch hearts is absolutely incredible. <3
All the way around, this was a beautiful, lovely story. Definitely a favorite of mine, and one I would recommend. 5 stars, all the way!! :)
**I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.**