Promise to Keep: A Novel

Promise to Keep: A Novel

by Elizabeth Byler Younts


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Promise to Keep: A Novel by Elizabeth Byler Younts

World War II Marine Joe Garrison returns home from war longing to be a father to his deaf daughter, Daisy, only to find that she is attached to Esther Detweiler, the Amish woman who has raised her since his wife’s death in this touching historical romance.

Orphaned as a child, Esther Detweiler is used to caring for herself and her ailing grandmother. They made the best out of a hard life and poverty without asking for help. They even take in her shunned cousin’s deaf daughter, Daisy, when her mother dies and her father goes off to war. When Esther’s grandmother dies, Daisy is all she has.

When war veteran Joe Garrison returns, all he can think about is recovering from the horrors of war and building a relationship with his seven-year-old daughter. Daisy, however, is unwilling to leave Esther, whom she loves. Joe and Daisy get to know each other again, but Joe struggles with nightmares and fatherhood is proving to be more difficult than he imagined. Esther loves Daisy and despite her Amish ways, Joe finds himself drawn to her as a woman and not just a caregiver.

As their love blossoms, Joe decides to send Daisy away to a school for the deaf which propels their lives into turmoil and a battle for love and family.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476735054
Publisher: Howard Books
Publication date: 10/13/2015
Series: Promise of Sunrise Series
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 973,769
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Byler Younts is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She was Amish as a child and after her parents left the church she still grew up among her Amish family and continues to speak Pennsylvania Dutch. She lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters.

Read an Excerpt

Promise to Keep

  • 1946

    Sunrise, Delaware

    A morning rain whispered a harmony of delicate drops against the second-story bedroom window. Esther Detweiler kept her eyes closed as she lengthened her legs and arms. Even as she stretched, dampness crawled through the cracks of the old house and wrapped around her like a shawl. A gentle nudging pushed her from the warped mattress, and she swung her feet onto the floor. The cool wooden planks were smooth and comforting. When she stood, the floorboard didn’t creak as it usually did. The house was perfectly still.

    Her gaze landed on Daisy Garrison, the seven-year-old deaf English girl, who slept peacefully in the cot against the opposite wall in the same room. Esther had been caring for her deceased cousin’s child for four years. She was drawn to touch the girl’s silken cheek, but a sudden chill drew her attention away from the sleeping child.

    She turned and her eyes landed on the embroidered wall hanging her mother had given her decades earlier as a Christtag gift. For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. It was the last Christmas gift Esther received from her mother.

    She shivered and pulled on her housecoat, then tiptoed down the staircase. At the bottom was Mammie Orpha’s bedroom. The door was cracked open. Orpha always kept her door open at night, saying it was welcoming to the heavenly beings. But something was different this morning. Was it too open? Or too quiet? She leaned a shoulder against the wall next to the door frame, her eyes squeezed shut. She should hear her mammie’s easy snore through the small gap, but all she heard was the warm breath of summer wrapped in the scent of freshly turned soil. She reopened her eyes.

    With her fingertips splayed, she gently pushed the door. Even the usual creak was silenced. Esther stood in the doorway. In front of her, Orpha lay as still as a painting. A faint smile was cast over her lips as if she was dreaming something pleasant behind her closed eyelids. She looked happy. Losing her husband decades ago had set the stage for many losses and hardships for the past forty years. She had been like an Israelite wandering, only she never found her promised land. Maybe now, in death, she would.

    Orpha’s hair, though disheveled the night before when Esther had bid her good night, was now perfectly combed and smooth, her night covering tied neatly around her soft-skinned chin. She’d taken the time to comb her long hair before she’d gone to bed. It occurred to Esther that Orpha had said good-bye last night instead of goodnight. Had she somehow known that she would pass into eternity while she slept?

    The quilt neatly tucked around Orpha’s chest had been on her bed for decades. Esther eyed the simple pattern, rows of triangles forming squares. Together, they’d repaired many of the pattern pieces, salvaging her mother’s dresses to use as patches. She and Daisy had both learned to sew on the blanket.

    A breath hiccupped in her throat and her hand clapped over her quivering mouth. She hated crying. Her heart drummed like the wooden mallet threshing harvested wheat, every beat aching more than the one before. Tears warmed her face and salted her lips. She heard a low groan just before she fell on this dearest of old women, a treasure that now was an empty vessel.

    Orpha had been such a humble woman. A woman to follow after. Dedicated. Loyal. A mammie to everyone.

    Esther wept, thankful to be alone. Loss burned within her, and her heart was heaped with ashes. Too many burdens to count. She’d faced death before, but when her mem and dat passed, the innocence of youth had cushioned her grief. Losing Orpha now was worse.

    By lunchtime, the furniture in Esther’s house had been pushed aside and the rooms filled with rows of backless benches and mourners whose presence provided comfort to Esther. Daisy remained glued to Esther’s side, eyes wide, rosebud lips pursed, and hands mute. Orpha had never understood the little girl’s deafness, but they still had had a special relationship.

    Funerals weren’t foreign to Esther. Life had come at her like an unbroken horse hitched to a buggy without a driver. Her father had left for the war in 1917 and had died as a conscientious objector in prison a year later. Her mother, Leah, gave up on living and died two years after that. Since Esther was only eight, the deacons had suggested that she go live with her other younger, healthier grandparents in Geauga County, Ohio. But that might as well have been another country, and Esther had refused. She would stay with Orpha. Stubbornness came as easily to her as pretending not to be hungry.

    But those years had passed. A spinster at thirty-four, she and Orpha had made a life for themselves, and bringing Daisy into it had somehow completed their unusual family. It had been hard at times, and Daisy’s deafness compounded the difficulties, but having three generations in a home had given hope and some peace that Esther hadn’t realized she’d lost when her cousin Irene, Daisy’s mother, had passed away. Before her death she had been lost to her community and shunned for her marriage to an Englisher.

    The scales had tipped again with Orpha’s death, and she knew what would happen next. Eventually Daisy’s father would come home from war, though they hadn’t received a letter from him in over a year when he explained he would be helping with reconstruction. A melancholy shadow in the shape of Joe Garrison hovered over her. While she never wanted harm to come to him, she didn’t like to think about his homecoming and taking Daisy away, especially now that Orpha was gone. Orpha’s death, however, made her consider when she may lose Daisy to Joe. And be alone.

    “Dangeh,” Esther said as she shook an offered hand and attempted to refocus on her thoughts. Since there was no church service on the in-between Sunday, many people had already visited her. Esther found sympathetic, lingering, and mournful eyes as she greeted her visitors, though their tight grips tired her hands. She thanked another sober-faced, bearded man as the line of visitors finally ended. Then she stood in the doorway alone and watched as the Peterscheim family walked down the drive in a black, single-file row, like worker ants always well ordered and never idle.

    Beyond the families dressed entirely in black, shades of English brightness appeared, parting the small crowd. Mrs. Norma White walked with such an air about her. As she passed, the entire Peterscheim family turned their heads and stared. The skirt of her neighbor’s peach-colored dress, tightly cinched about her waist with a belt, swished around her tan stockings. A small group of girls standing on the porch leaned their heads together, whispering.

    “I brought a pie,” Mrs. White said as she entered the house. She looked around, never meeting Esther’s eyes, as she handed over a crumb-crusted apple pie. Esther had worked for Mrs. White at the neighboring farm since she was thirteen. Mrs. White was a strong-minded woman. She’d run the farm and raised her daughters after losing her husband in a farming accident. Mrs. White was a rigid and uncompromising employer, but she’d never used her husband’s death as an excuse to forsake living, the way Esther’s mother had. The woman’s grit had stirred Esther over the years not to give in to loss. Mrs. White hadn’t depended on anyone to rescue her from her circumstances and had risen to the occasion. She had run the farm on her own for many years, when many other women would have sold it and walked away.

    When Esther had started working there, she’d seen Mrs. White in overalls doing men’s work. That was why she needed a housekeeper in the big farmhouse. That had been years ago, however, and although she still ran the farm, she now wore stylish dresses instead of overalls. She no longer needed to do the hard work herself, but the earlier years had taken their toll. It was rare that the woman didn’t wear dainty gloves. Esther understood why when she realized that the elegant woman had the hands of a hard-working man with gnarled knuckles and rough skin. Esther then understood why there was a bottle of skin cream in every room.

    “Thank you.” She accepted the pie with both hands and set it down on the wooden countertop, along with the array of other goods. Esther had baked the pie herself only the previous day in Mrs. White’s modern oven, which she privately coveted. She gestured toward the small table in the center of the kitchen. “There’s coffee and water.”

    “Oh, Esther. I’m so sorry, but I can’t stay. I’m already running behind.” Mrs. White smiled and slowly batted her eyelashes. “I have a prayer meeting at church tonight, and you know how I dislike tardiness. I would have been over sooner, but I had so much cleaning to do after church and dinner.” Mrs. White cleared her throat. “You understand, I’m sure.”

    Esther inhaled as gently as possible. Making dinner for one could not have been of any consequence, and the farmhands served themselves on Sundays with food Esther had prepared ahead of time. Mrs. White wouldn’t have had to do more than perhaps sweep the kitchen or run a washcloth over her newly installed laminate countertops—in Lillypad Pearl, as Mrs. White called it. Esther considered it just plain green.

    “Please accept my condolences,” Mrs. White offered as she patted Esther’s arm. Though her gloved hand was warm, a chill pressed through the thin black fabric of Esther’s sleeve and onto her skin. Mrs. White turned to leave, but returned a moment later. “Oh, will I see you tomorrow?”

    Esther’s lips pinched, and a moment later she relaxed them, not wanting her employer to see her vexed.

    “We have three-day wakes and then the funeral. I’m sorry, but I won’t be there until the day after the funeral.”

    “And must you—” the English woman began.

    “I can send a cousin’s wife in my place. Dorothy,” Esther suggested, keeping her voice steady. “Dorothy is one of the women on the food delivery route—she could use the extra money. You will be pleased with her.”

    One of Norma White’s thin eyebrows pushed up toward her hairline. Several moments of silence passed between the two women before the elder nodded curtly.

    “Send her over in the morning, and I’ll handle it from there.”

    Esther watched through the kitchen window as her neighbor tiptoed across the road to keep her pumps from pressing through the damp gravel. In less than a minute, Mrs. White was behind her picket-fenced, colorful existence, leaving behind Esther’s plain life in shades of black and white.

    As Daisy slipped around behind Esther, her left arm curled around the little girl’s shoulders. She squeezed three times, their special way of saying I love you. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d been told the same sentiment by anyone but Daisy, and the gesture was as intimate as she’d ever been with another person.

    “Sellah hooheh frau realleh meint sie sahvet,” Lucy, Esther’s aunt and Daisy’s grandmother, said in a low voice.

    Esther wondered how long the older woman had been standing there. She nodded in agreement that the English woman did think very highly of herself. But hadn’t Esther herself learned to stand taller and stronger because of the high-and-mighty woman?

    “Are you sure you need to work for her?” Aunt Lucy whispered candidly.

    Esther sighed. “Where else can I work?” She and Aunt Lucy stepped in front of the sink and washed out water cups to put out again. “Now that most of the men are back from the war, many of the factory women are out of their jobs. I know not all of them will keep working, but either way, housekeepers are a dime a dozen right now.”

    “You could teach. Our school needs a good teacher. If you don’t do it, then it’ll probably be that silly girl Matilda Miller from the district over. She’s a fright.”

    “I am not a teacher.” Esther raised an eyebrow at her aunt.

    There would never be enough support or approval within the Amish leadership for that to happen anyway. Esther had far too many unusual circumstances to make her a good example to kinnah. Although she strived to follow the church’s standards as laid out in the Ordnung, she was still an orphaned unmarried woman raising a deaf English child.

    “Maybe not, but you sure have taught Daisy.” Aunt Lucy patted her granddaughter’s kapp. Daisy smiled at her mammie before burying her face in her guardian’s long black skirt. Lucy sighed. “She looks so much like Irene did at that age. You’ve been very good for her.” An expression of loss and hurt cascaded over the elderly woman’s face. She swallowed hard and looked away from Esther and through the window.

    Esther patted Lucy’s hands. They both knew Lucy would have liked to have taken Daisy when Joe joined the Marines after Irene’s death, but she didn’t know—no one knew—how much additional work it would take to raise a child like Daisy.

    What Esther had never told Lucy was that Irene had pleaded with her that if something ever were to happen to her, she wanted Esther to help Joe with Daisy. Irene made Esther promise. Joe admitted to Esther that Irene had made him make the same promise. Somehow she sensed it, he said. She could hear his words engraved in her memory. She said you would love Daisy like your own and take care of her in a way that her parents never could. She made me promise.

    Lucy, however, insisted so passionately that she wanted to care for her granddaughter herself that Joe allowed his mother-in-law to keep her overnight before he shipped out. It didn’t take long for Lucy to see that Daisy needed a great deal of attention—more than she could give—and finally agreed that Esther was a better match.

    Esther gazed out the window, reminiscing. Her eyes landed on the harmonica that lay on the kitchen windowsill. It had been her father’s. When he left, he told her to keep it and said that someday, when he came back, he’d teach her to play. He’d never returned. Orpha’s death compounded on all the former ones.

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    Promise to Keep: A Novel 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
    Anonymous 8 months ago
    What a great story! A must read!
    DKStevens119 More than 1 year ago
    I really enjoyed reading this one! Promise to Keep is an interesting story about death, family hardships, PTSD, a misunderstood little girl who was actually deaf, and the lies that caused so much pain. Quite an emotional struggle that pulled Esther in multiple directions. A simple Amish story that was not so simple in the telling. The author pulled me right into the middle of the lives in this story. My heart and emotions were tugged in so many directions because I found Esther so real and so honest in her feelings that I could really feel her pain. Her struggle to just understand how life kept dealing her such hard things to deal with, how do you forgive that? I was so glad she had Daisy to love and be loved by! Great story and one of the best Amish books I've read in a long time. I would highly recommend.. I was gifted a copy by Howard Books, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. for my honest opinion, which I have given.
    ABryant More than 1 year ago
    The third book of a series that will take you away from your everyday concerns to a very different time in America too few remember or think about. You will find yourself pulled into a world of daily struggle, tragedy, endurance, and a thin whisper of hope bolstered by faith. It was very easy to find myself lost in this world with suspended disbelief. Elizabeth Byler Younts is skilled at weaving intricate scenarios that bring the characters to life. You will find yourself invested emotionally and often times wiping away tears. This novel stands on its own, but I highly recommend the other two in the series as well.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Elizabeth Byler Younts weaves a story that draws the reader into Esther's quaint Amish life. As a young woman struggling to raise a child who isn't hers while dealing with the pain of past abandonment, Esther stands to lose everything she loves when Daisy's father returns to Sunrise. Will his love win the hearts of both Daisy and Esther or will hardship destroy their hopes for happiness?
    KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
    Promise to Keep by Elizabeth Byler Younts is the third book in The Promise of Sunrise series. Esther Detweiler’s grandmother just passed away. She has been Esther’s rock her entire life. Esther is left with a farm to run and a little girl to raise. Esther has been taking care of Daisy Garrison for the last four years. Daisy’s mother passed away (she was Amish before she left to marry) and her father, Joe is off fighting the war (Joe is Englisch). Daisy’s mother made Joe and Esther promise that Esther would take care of Daisy. They have heard very little from Joe the last four years and have seen even less money. On the day of the funeral, Esther father shows up. Esther thought he was dead (that is what she was told). Where has he been for the last thirty years? Will Esther be able to forgive her father for his absence and lies? Then Joe arrives back in town. He is suffering from PTSD, but he is looking forward to seeing his daughter. Daisy is not looking forward to seeing him. Daisy is deaf and Esther taught her a form of ASL (using a book and some made up signs). Most people believe Daisy is dumb and should be institutionalized (very ignorant people). Joe will have to get to know Daisy slowly so she can learn to trust him and get to know him. Esther, Joe, and Daisy will be spending a lot of time together. Love can bloom in the unlikeliest of places, but will the love be given a chance to grow. Esther and Joe are going to have to make choices. Will they make the right ones? Promise to Keep was a long, slow novel (and a little depressing). Promise to Keep has some good writing, but I did not find the book enjoyable to read (and I love Amish/Christian Fiction). The characters (except Daisy) nor the town appealed to me. I think you have to like the main characters (or at least some of them) to enjoy reading a book. Promise to Keep did not engage me. It is a book that I could easily have put down and not continue reading. I give Promise to Keep 3 out of 5 stars. This novel was just not for me. Promise to Keep is the third book in the series, but it can easily be enjoyed without having read the previous book in the series. I received a complimentary copy of Promise to Keep from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
    likesmusic More than 1 year ago
    "Promise to Keep"by Elizabeth Byler Younts is the third and final book in the (Promise of Sunrise Series) and my favorite of the three. I have read all four of Elizabeth Younts's book, the first one," SEASONS: A REAL STORY OF AN AMISH GIRL" , isn't part of this seasons but is the first one I read and made me a fan of her work. "Promise to Keep" is a novel that ends the (Promise Of Sunrise Series) beautifully. I knew how I wanted this series to end and I wasn't sure it would end that way and I am not going to give any spoilers and tell you if it ended the way I wanted it too or not, you have to read it yourself but you won't be disappointed, I will tell you it did end in a way I didn't see happening but I was happy with it ending that way! Elizabeth Younts knowledge of the Amish makes her novels so real and she write so well that I can see the scenes played out in my mind as I am reading the words she has written. "Promise to keep" is a novel filled with loss and betrayal and love. I felt the tears start as I was reading this novel. I had tears for each characters and yes there was a few tense moments involving " Daisy " a deaf girl, but that will be all I will say about that, don't want to give anything way. "Promise to Keep" can be a stand alone novel but I strongly urge you to read the other two as well to get the full story of Joe and Elizabeth and Daisy. I hope I have convinced you to read "Promise to Keep"and if you are not all ready a fan of Elizabeth Younts you become one. I am giving "Promise To Read" 5 stars. I was given a copy of "Promise To Keep" by the author for an honest review. These opinions are my own.
    MelissaF More than 1 year ago
    I have always enjoyed Elizabeth’s books. She has consistently delivers an interesting story line with likable characters. Although, I will say at first I wasn’t a fan of Joe. There is a lot going on in this story with Esther’s family and some secrets there, as well. Daisy is a sweet little girl who will capture your heart and you will wish you could hold her and give her some love. You will easily be drawn into the town of Sunrise and the characters lives in this engaging book. A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
    shanamaria1 More than 1 year ago
    I have had read all of Elizabeth's books and was eagerly awaiting the arrival of Promise to Keep. The first two books in the Promise of Sunrise series were amazing books but this one takes it up to another level entirely. I love Amish fiction but after a while it all seems to merge together. It seems like no matter the author, they all have the same story line. However, Elizabeth has broken out of the typical Amish fiction mold and brings a new perspective to her readers with this three book series. In Promise to Keep you'll meet Daisy, a little girl who is blind and mute, her father Joe, who returns from the war and struggles with PTSD and then of course Chester, a man that made me so mad I wanted to throw the book across the room but then later made me cry my heart out. I've read other reviews that mention that Elizabeth uses some Amish words that they haven't read before. Most of her readers may not be aware of the fact that Elizabeth is formerly Amish and her first language is PA Dutch which gives her a unique view into the customs, traditions and history of the Amish. Elizabeth still has many Amish family members that are part of her & her family's life. Although, each book in this series could stand alone, I highly recommend that if you haven't read the first two you go ahead and purchase all three at the same time! You won't be disappointed!
    VicG More than 1 year ago
    Elizabeth Byler Younts in her new book, “Promise To Keep” Book Three in The Promise of Sunrise series published by Howard Books brings us into the life of Esther Detweiler. From the back cover: World War II Marine Joe Garrison returns home from war longing to be a father to his deaf daughter, Daisy, only to find that she is attached to Esther Detweiler, the Amish woman who has raised her since his wife’s death in this touching historical romance. Orphaned as a child, Esther Detweiler is used to caring for herself and her ailing grandmother. They made the best out of a hard life and poverty without asking for help. They even take in her shunned cousin’s deaf daughter, Daisy, when her mother dies and her father goes off to war. When Esther’s grandmother dies, Daisy is all she has. When war veteran Joe Garrison returns, all he can think about is recovering from the horrors of war and building a relationship with his seven-year-old daughter. Daisy, however, is unwilling to leave Esther, whom she loves. Joe and Daisy get to know each other again, but Joe struggles with nightmares and fatherhood is proving to be more difficult than he imagined. Esther loves Daisy and despite her Amish ways, Joe finds himself drawn to her as a woman and not just a caregiver. As their love blossoms, Joe decides to send Daisy away to a school for the deaf which propels their lives into turmoil and a battle for love and family. Historical Fiction, absent fathers and World War II are just some of the ingredients in this wonderful adventure. Esther is Amish, Joe is not but they meet when Joe returns home from fighting and tries to re-establish connections with his deaf daughter that Esther was taking care of while he was away. Through the daughter they develop a friendship which begins to turn into something much greater. Ms. Byler Younts gives us tightly drawn characters that come alive on the pages. Both Joe and Esther are wounded individuals who have to heal before they can go forward into their futures. I love history and Ms. Byler Younts knows how to blend history and fiction together to the point where you don’t know where one ends and the other begins. And on top of everything there is the romance. A highly enjoyable read. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
    LovenGod More than 1 year ago
    This is the second book that I have read in this series however, they totally can stand alone. Ms. Younts seems to write her series independently, I found no crossover issues from the other story, in this one. This story was a bit different for me, as an extensive reader and reviewer of Amish fiction, I didn't recognize a lot of the words that Ms. Younts used. However that did not change the story for me, it was just different. This was a story that was a bit off the beaten path, as far as Amish fiction goes. Gambling, soldiers, a deaf child, faked death, all combine to make this story intriguing. I literally read this book in one sitting, needless to say, not much else was accomplished around here yesterday afternoon. *Smile* Amish fiction fans can readily and eagerly look forward to this story, it is new, fresh and exciting. Great read from a fairly new to me author. 4.5 stars from this reviewer. This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.
    Mocha-with-Linda More than 1 year ago
    Elizabeth Byler Younts is in a class all her own when it comes to writing Amish fiction. Her family history lends an authenticity that resonates throughout her stories, and this, her third standalone novel in this series, is a beautiful historical tale set in the World War II era. A gifted wordsmith, Younts swept me back decades and immersed me in the the lives of Esther, Daisy, and Joe. The attitudes of the time toward deafness were an eye-opener for me and, quite frankly, heartbreaking. Younts weaves a mulit-dimensional tale as she delves into matters of family, tradition, faith, and love. Raw and honest, this book made me cry and smile, and I couldn't put it down until I finished it. Don't miss this book or this series, and add Younts to your list of must-read authors. Highly, highly recommended! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Elizabeth Byler Younts and Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
    MaureenST More than 1 year ago
    A Promise to keep happens in the time after the Second World War, and war veteran Joe Garrison has returned to Lancaster, Pa and his daughter Daisy. Joe had been running away from his problems, before he left his dear wife was lost in child birth along with his new born son. His daughter he believes is deaf and dumb, as was a long gone brother, and he couldn’t handle all that had happened. He leaves his daughter with his Mother-In-Law, whom in turn leaves her with her niece Esther. He returns and wants to take Daisy to live with him, but he his filled with demons, PTSD it would be called today. Daisy on the other hand has been thriving in the Amish culture, and Esther love and guidance. Esther has to come to terms with what is about to happen in her life, someone has returned from the dead? Can she learn to forgive? Her faith demands that she does, and can she come to terms with giving up her beloved Daisy? There are answers here, and big surprises all around, things are quite often not as we perceive. I know this is the final book in this series, and so very enjoyable. You won’t be disappointed once you turn that first page. I received this book through Edelweiss and Howard Books, and was not required to give a positive review.
    amybooksy More than 1 year ago
    Promise to Keep is the third installment of The Promise of Sunrise series. I think this is my favorite one of the series. This book is fabulous! I have already passed my copy on to someone else so they can enjoy. They will be so excited to be introduced to this author. If a reader has not read anything by Elizabeth Byler Younts, they sure are missing out. I loved this Amish and Historical Fiction novel. I highly recommend it! 5 plus stars.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Henry_McLaughlin More than 1 year ago
    Once again, Younts does a masterful job of taking us into the heart of the Amish people and culture and into the hearts of her characters. Elizabeth Detweiler has reached the age of spinsterhood. Abandoned by her father, she has spent her life caring for others—her mother, her grandmother, and her niece, Daisy. Daisy’s mother was Esther’s cousin, Irene. Irene was shunned when she chose to marry someone outside the Amish community. Only Esther maintained a relationship with her. When Irene dies, young Daisy’s father, Joe, brings the child to Esther while he goes off to fight in World War Two. Joe’s family and the Amish consider Daisy touched and demented by her inability to communicate and believe she should be in an institution. Through research and patience, Esther learns the child is deaf and teaches herself and the child sign language so they can communicate. After the war, Joe doesn’t return immediately. When Esther’s grandmother dies, Esther submits to the reality that she will live out her days, unmarried and caring for Daisy, the child she has grown to love as her own. Joe returns unexpectedly and Esther faces the fact that the child she has raised will soon go to live with the father she has not seen in many years. Sparks and conflict fly as Joe and Esther struggle with their conflicting views of what is best for Daisy. Under the tension, Joe develops feelings for Esther. She resists because he is not Amish and she saw the pain her cousin experienced after being turned out by the community. Esther and Joe face a history of broken promises while they seek to find their own place in a world of cultural conflict and decide what’s best for the child they both love. Among the many aspects of Younts writing that I enjoy is her ability to bring the world of the Amish to light in an honest and understanding manner. Her intimate knowledge of the people and their religious beliefs helps bring her story world alive. I feel myself part of the church services, part of the barn raisings and other parts of that fascinating world. She brings this little-known world out of the clouds of myth into a concrete reality. Her characters are consistently complex and compelling. She creates people who engage us, who we can empathize with. We can see and feel little Daisy’s fears, Joe’s struggle with becoming a father, Esther’s love for Daisy and her opening herself to loving Joe despite the rejection she will face from her community. We walk with them through their journeys, experiencing their defeats and savoring their victories. I highly recommend this book. A copy was furnished to me in return for an honest review.
    Sandy_Howell More than 1 year ago
    Elizabeth Byler Younts has once again managed to write an Amish fiction novel that is as rich in interesting history as it is in page turning storyline and intriguing characters. Each character is so well described that I felt I knew them and felt like I was living each scene along side them. What a disappointment to see that this is the final in "The Promise Of Sunrise" series. I can only hope and wait for whatever Ms. Younts has in store next for her readers!
    cscott9 More than 1 year ago
    Promise to Keep Elizabeth Byler Younts Promise to Keep is part of Elizabeth Byler Younts The Promise of Sunrise Series. Sunrise, Delaware is the home to Esther Detweiler and many more Amish. Esther, who was orphaned as a child, takes care of her ailing grandmother and Daisy, her cousin’s deaf daughter. Esther has felt loss like no one should, at the age of 8 her father dies while being in prison after going off to war, two years later her mother dies leaving her to be raised by her grandmother. Several years later, Esther’s cousin dies and her and her grandmother take in 7-year-old Daisy, who is deaf and her father is off to fight in the war. Esther awakes one morning only to find that her grandmother had passed in the night. Saddened, and alone with no one but Daisy, Esther feels her world is crashing down. During her grandmother’s funeral, Esther gets a huge surprise, someone she knows is back in Sunrise, someone whom she thought was dead, her father Charles. Esther is shocked, mad, and speechless. She doesn’t know what to say. Joe Garrison is Daisy’s father and returns home only to find that his daughter is attached to Esther Detweiler and will not leave her side. All Joe wants is to build a relationship with his daughter even if that means Esther has to be in the picture. Joe finds himself becoming attracted to Esther not only as a caregiver but also as a beautiful woman. There is one thing that can ruin the love that is blooming between these two; Joe is going to send Daisy to a school for the deaf. What impact will this have on Joe and Esther’s relationship? Will they remain together? What happens with Esther and her father? I highly recommend Promise to Keep to everyone. Great book couldn’t put it down. If you love Amish Fiction and Historical fiction, this is the book for you. Even though this is part of a series, this book can be read as a stand-alone. Thank you to Howard Books for providing me with a copy of this book for my honest review.
    shenandoahdawn More than 1 year ago
    Elizabeth Byler Younts just keeps getting better! I loved her first two “Promise” stories for their atypical take on Amish life, and for how she treats her own family’s historical faith with gentleness and respect while beautifully painting the difficulty of being a conscientious objector during wartime. I’ve also appreciated that although some characters’ loyalties might lie with pacifism, she treats the military mindset with respect as well. In Promise to Keep, however, she took it all up a notch, not only with a hero and heroine who tug at your heart with a shared loss, but weaving it together with her best writing yet. Don't miss this one! I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All the opinions expressed are mine alone, and I was not paid in any way to write a favorable review.