The Book You Need to Read This Summer
The Solace of Water—Thomas Nelson Publishers
By Elizabeth Byler Younts
Sometimes a book sets me back on my heels and makes me really think. The Solace of Water did just that. I read it months ago through NetGalley’s advanced reader program, and I can’t get it out of my mind. And sometimes I get all bossy and tell people that they need to read a books, but not often.
The story starts in the summer of 1956 as Delilah and Malachi Evans set out with their four kids on a journey to their new home in Pennsylvania. Delilah, who describes herself as having skin ‘the same color as the soil,’ resents the move away from friends and family. She especially resents leaving the fresh grave of her young son. She has enough attitude to fill an ocean.
Emma Mullet, mother to Johnny and wife to John, has the soul of a poet trapped in the work-worn body of an Amish woman. She, too, carries sorrows and secrets that weigh her down. One day she finds young George Evans lost in the woods near her house. When she returns him to his home, her life changes as the fate of the two families intersects in an odd friendship.
Sparrow Evans, eldest daughter of Delilah and Malachi, hates herself and feels responsible for her little brother’s death. She doesn’t just think she’s responsible—her mother tells her that it’s her fault her brother died. Her mother’s grief changes Sparrow in profound ways that she cannot understand or cope with.
Not Just Another Amish Romance
Although told in the present, the narrators keep poking sticks at the wounds in their pasts, drawing the reader in to their present pain. Multi-generational points of view keep the narrative fresh and accessible to readers of all ages (teen and up).
Yes, the story involves Amish people. No, no young couples court and fall in love whilst driving around in a buggy. Yes, the story talks about hard issues such as racism and grief. No, it doesn’t end in tragedy. Although some reviewers call it a ‘sad story,’ I call it a hopeful, redemptive story. But have a box of tissue handy.
This is a book to buy and place on my ‘read it again’ shelf. If I really like someone, I’d probably let them borrow it.The one book you need to read this summer #TheSolaceofWater by @ElizabethYounts #ThomasNelson #amreading Click To Tweet