A Springtime Heart
by Marta Perry
Published by Berkley
Publication Date July 7, 2020
Genres: Amish Fiction
Setting: Pennsylvania Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
A second chance at love blooms in the quaint Amish community of Promise Glen, from national bestselling author Marta Perry.
Dorcas Beiler's reckless teenage years are far behind her. She's serious and responsible now, and the good people of Promise Glen trust her with the education of their children. But when her first love returns after years of exile from the community, her past comes rushing back. Thomas is the only one who knows her secret, and despite his careless charm and teasing manner, she refuses to let her guard down.
Thomas Fisher has plans. Plans to start a construction company and prove himself a success to all those who doubted him, and plans to find the woman he left behind. His chance comes when he lands the opportunity to rebuild the stable and shed at the community school. He won't be paid for his time, but he'll be able to showcase his abilities...and spend time with Dorcas.
Scenting love in the air, Dorcas's young pupils make excuses to bring them together. As old feelings stir, Dorcas and Thomas wonder whether their first love might also be their last.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
A Springtime Heart deals with the prodigal returning but finding mistrust from his father instead of open arms. My heart broke for Thomas as his brothers and his father treated him with resentment and blame that was not his.
Dorcas had been rebellious in her teenage years and yet, unlike Thomas, and even because of Thomas, the community was none the wiser for it. She still felt guilt over Thomas’ disgrace and for not speaking up.
I enjoyed this story of restoration and healed relationships. There was a lot of growth in the characters that was needed – very much! And not just Thomas and Dorcas. Realistically, the issues they faced were many and the people involved were quite human and flawed!
I especially liked the part about the irate neighbor who moved in next to the schoolhouse. The interactions with him and related to him and the resolution was very sweet! It was impressive the way Dorcas handled the matter, and later how Thomas did.
I also really enjoyed the interactions Thomas had with his younger siblings and the way he helped them to see the mistakes they were making in a manner that encouraged them to do right instead of alienating them.
There were so many things going on in the story to keep my attention! Dorcas’ position as teacher was being threatened and she didn’t know the source. Her sister-in-law seemed unwilling to help around the house and seemed a bit self-centered and certainly overprotective of her new baby. Dorcas’ mom was dealing with depression. And Thomas’ siblings were ruled with an iron hand by their father.
The author showed how the community dealt with gossip and the spreading of rumors and showed that these things were not acceptable. Honestly, it seems like so many Amish stories just take it for granted one of the characters is the bad gossip and no one treats it as a bad thing. It was refreshing to see the ministers and the bishop actually take action here!
If you enjoy Amish fiction, I recommend A Springtime Heart.