A Long Bridge Home by Kelly Irvin
Publisher & Release: Zondervan, February 11, 2020
Time and setting: Present Day, Montana
Genre: Amish Fiction/Romance
Length: 336 Pages
Heat Level: 1 Sweetheart
Rating: 4 Gold Crowns
After her community in the awe-inspiring Montana mountains is suddenly consumed by a raging wildfire, one young Amish woman finds herself in a new town where she’s introduced to the Native culture of the Kootenai people.
When the Mast family is forced to evacuate their home in the West Kootenai region of Montana, Christine chooses not to move with her family to her father’s childhood home in Kansas. Instead, she wants to stay closer to home and to her beau, Andy Lambright, who has yet to ask for her hand in marriage and who seems to be holding tightly to secrets from his past.
Now, living with her aunt and uncle in St. Ignatius, Christine is on her own for the first time in her life. While working in her uncle’s store Christine meets Raymond Old Fox, whom she befriends, and he introduces her to his rich native culture with strong ties to the earth and nature. Despite the warnings of her aunt and uncle, Christine is inexplicably drawn to Raymond, and her mind is opened to a history and heritage far different from her own.
With her newly expanding horizons, Christine wonders if she can return to the domestic life that is expected of her. Her heart still longs to be with Andy, but she isn’t the same person she was before the fire, and she wonders if he can accept who she is becoming. Has too much distance grown between them? Or can they bridge the gap from past to present and find their way back together?
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Thanks goes the publisher and Net-Galley for the complimentary copy of A Long Way Home by Kelly Irvin. I appreciate the chance to read and review this emotionally charged Amish fiction novel. My opinions are my own and are not influenced by the receipt of a copy.
A Long Way Home is a story of great hardship that turns a community’s life upside down. There are several main characters, some more interesting than others. There are several tragedies in this book, and my heart hurt for those.
Christine Mast’s character suffers the loss of her family when after the fire, they choose to return to Kansas. She doesn’t go with him since she hopes an Amish man wants her as her frau. While she lives with her uncle, she meets an Englischer, who shows her other ways to believe. I enjoyed her independence and determination to seek truth.
Andy Lambright is the hero. He’s in love with Christine and wants to make her his frau, but he has issues from his past he must resolve. He returns to his childhood home to confront those issues and see his father. I liked his character and enjoyed his determination to go to Christine with the past laid to rest.
As with many Amish novels, they interweave the romance around their Amish faith, so the primary focus is on their values and making sure they are following God’s plans and not their own desires. I enjoyed this couple’s journey to their happy ending.
If you enjoy Amish fiction with endearing characters and an intriguing plot, then you will like A Long Way Home. I’ve read many books by Kelly Irvin and enjoy her writing style and interesting plots. Happy reading!
Kelly Irvin is the author of more than a dozen Amish books. Her latest series I Every Amish Season, featuring recently released Through the Autumn Air as well as Beneath the Summer Sun. The first book in the series, Upon a Spring Breeze, won the 2018 Readers Choice Award from the Faith, Hope, and Love Chapter of Romance Writers of America in the long contemporary romance category. The series is published by Zondervan/HarperCollins Christian Publishing.
She is also the author of the Amish of Bee County series that includes The Saddle Maker’s Son, The Bishop’s Son and The Beekeeper’s Son. This last novel received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, calling it “a delicately woven masterpiece.” The Beekeeper’s Son was a finalist in the national 2016 ACFW Carol Awards Contest in the romance category. Kelly is also the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both from Harvest House. She has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.
Among her other works are novellas in four collections, including An Amish Christmas Gift (Snow Angels), An Amish Market (Sweeter than Honey), An Amish Heirloom (The Midwife’s Dream), and An Amish Summer (One Sweet Kiss)
Kelly’s novel, Love Redeemed, was a 2015 finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Carol Awards contest.
Kelly is also the author of Tell Her No Lies, a romantic suspense novel that releases in November from Thomas Nelson Publishing. Publishers Weekly called her first romantic suspense novel, A Deadly Wilderness, “a solid romantic suspense debut.” She followed up with No Child of Mind. She worked as a newspaper reporter for six years writing stories on the Texas-Mexico border. Those experiences fuel her romantic suspense novels set in Texas.
The Kansas native is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism. She has been writing nonfiction professionally for more than thirty years, including ten years as a newspaper reporter. She retired in 2016 after working 22 years in public relations for the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department. She is a member of ACFW and Alamo City Christian Fiction Writers. In her spare time, she blogs, reads fiction, and loves her family.