The Angel of Forest Hill by Cindy Woodsmall is the next novel from this prolific writer of Amish love stories.
Rose Kurtz was the oldest of the large Amish family. She had grown up in the family of all boys except herself and her mother. She had always known that she was a klutzy inept girl because her mother had constantly told her that all of her 21 years. Rose lived a hard life of constant work feeding, cleaning and clothing for her ll brothers and father's needs alongside of her mother until the day that the bishop of their church arrived during breakfast. The bishop had a request and that was for her to go to Forest Hill and help care for the children of Joel Dienner and his wife who was not doing well after the birth of their 3rd child. But when the driver pulled up to the farm house she found it had every window shining with light and the house was surrounded by black Amish buggies. She soon understood why the house was so people filled when the door was answered by a tearful older Amish woman. The young mother of the children had died.
Rose had never before cared for a baby girl but she quickly learned to care for both the baby girl and her 2 toddler brothers, and oddly enough whenever she didn't know what to do it seemed like a young woman's voice lead her to do the right thing. Joel seemed completely lost to the world so deep into his grief that he could barely function. After a few days however Joel's father came to him and said that the helping women in his house had to go home and he could not allow Rose to remain alone with him to help care for the children--that is unless they agreed to marry. Joel was in a hard place but he and Rose worked up an agreement that they would marry in name only and Rose would stay and raise the children. First Joel and Rose grew to like each other as working partners in the children's home and only very slowly did it turn to love but they each stayed in their own bedroom never to consummate their marriage. It worked fine until Joel in a heated argument with his former Mother in law let slip that he and Rose had never slept together did it become a problem and she took the information to the bishop--Joel's father. Read the book for the ending to this romance.
I loved this book not only for the love interest but for the way it brought out just what happens to a person's self esteem when a little girl is raised with constant belittling and hatred. Rose's upbringing continued to effect her adult life since she had no self-esteem. She didn't recognize in herself of her abilities nor was she capable of understanding that someone could love her simply for herself. She only believed that people would want her around for her work and what she could do for them. It brings out just how important love and acceptance in for children and how fragile their self esteem is and how important both are to becoming a whole adult.
I received this book from Waterbrook for this review.