Shelley Shepard Gray
Harper, Jun 28 2011, $12.99
At school very tall Ella Hostetler dreamed that one day cute Loyal Weaver would court her though he never looked twice at the girl with glasses. When Ella’s father died, she took over running the farm as her mom was too ill to do so. None of the neighbors offered to help the mother and daughter and they never asked anyone. When her mom died, Ella decided to rid herself of her other beloved burden though she loved her mom and their farm.
Her friend Dorothy obtains a library position for Ella while Loyal buys her family farm. Loyal invites Ella to visit the farm to see what he has been doing to it. She wonders if he might be interested in her the Amish gangly wallflower who spent her youth helping her parents, which increases her self esteem even as Dorothy offers counter arguments.
The second Family of Honor tale is an engaging Amish community novel that Ella keeps focused as a unique intriguing protagonist who struggles with a lack of confidence when it comes to relationships and social interactions. The support cast is three dimensional especially the leads of The Caregiver return (with the health issue), Loyal supported by his extended family, and fascinating Dorothy; the latter is some ways steals the show (no giveaways). Readers will enjoy Ella finds her groove, maybe.