"Younts's Amish background lends authenticity to the tale, informing the real and relatable characters in this fascinating glimpse into an often elided part of America's history."
Promise to Keep
The Promise of Sunrise, Book Three
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.
"The final novel in its series, Promise To Keep reflects the same tone and culture as the previous books, though set in a different Amish district with mostly all new characters. Seamlessly blend- ing historical context with fiction, the author takes a heartfelt glance at loss, renewal and forgiveness. In fact, Younts’ personal insight into Amish life continues to distinguish her in the well-populated genre; her characters are more dimensional and relatable than many."
Promise to Cherish
PROMISE OF SUNRISE, BOOK TWO
As World War II draws to a close, nurse Christine falls in love with roguish Amish boy Eli and must choose between a new, uncertain life in the Amish faith or face the judgment of a conservative postwar American society for her past mistakes.
It’s 1945, and Christine Freeman is a nurse at Hudson River State Hospital, where she works alongside members of a Civilian Public Service unit. Eli is one of the conscies—conscientious objectors to the war—and he is doing his best to become a man of character instead of the immature heartbreaker he used to be back home in his Amish community.
Christine and Eli are friendly, but when an old acquaintance, Jack, returns home from the war, Christine’s world is violently turned upside down. Eli, heartbroken to see his friend so hurt, offers her an escape within his Amish community. Despite her misgivings, Christine is fully embraced by Eli’s community. She slowly begins to feel valued and loved as she learns the Amish way of life.
Christine finds herself falling for Eli. But soon, the abusive Jack discovers Christine in her Amish hideaway and starts causing trouble for the quiet community. Christine can’t see herself becoming Amish, and she knows that if Eli leaves the church to be with her, he will be shunned. Will she escape Jack and possibly have to give up the one thing she holds most dear, or will she follow her heart and promise to cherish the Amish man who loves her?
"Younts' characters radiate lifelike warmth, and religious faith is woven seamlessly into their honest struggles. This deeply moving read reveals the truth about that era’s state hospitals, treatment of unwed mothers, and prejudice toward Amish conscientious objectors."
Promise to Return
PROMISE OF SUNRISE, BOOK ONE
When World War II breaks out, Miriam Coblentz’s peaceful Amish world is turned upside down...
It’s 1943, and Miriam Coblentz and Henry Mast are nearing their wedding day when the unthinkable happens—Henry is drafted. However, since he is a part of the pacifist Amish tradition, Henry is sent to a conscientious objector Civilian Public Service camp. When he leaves for the work camp, his gaping absence turns Miriam’s life upside down. Little does she know it’s only the beginning...
When Henry returns home, he brings news that shakes Miriam and their Amish community to the core. Henry believes God has called him to enlist in the army and fight for his country, leaving her to make an important decision: whether to choose loyalty to the peaceful life she’s always known or her love for Henry.
Two worlds collide in this unforgettable debut novel, providing a fascinating and rare look into Amish culture during World War II. While Henry is battling enemies across the ocean, Miriam struggles between her devotion to Henry and her love of the Amish way of life.
One question is at the bottom of it all: will she follow the rules of her religion or the leading of her heart?
“Elizabeth Byler Younts draws on her Amish roots and her considerable writing talent to create a love story both rich and believable. A polished, engaging writing style makes Promise to Return a fantastic debut sure to please with its unique storyline.”
--Rosslyn Elliott, award-winning author
Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl
"When considering my life I am struck by my season of spring. It's a journey of love lost and found, heartbreak, fears, and even dreams come true. I am not sure that in my later seasons I would feel so deeply, love so strongly, and strive with such desperation if it weren't for what I experienced as a young girl in the bittersweet spring of my life.
Here are my memories, how I remember the season of my girlhood.
Welcome to spring."
As the oldest child in an impoverished Amish family, Lydia Lee knows little more of life beyond hard work, sacrifice and extreme hunger. Yet, even as a young girl she strives to be content with all God has provided.
Against the backdrop of the Great Depression, Lydia’s childhood unfolds as her family struggles to survive, finding strength from their Amish faith. But, when tragedy strikes, that very faith is tested beyond what any child should have to endure. When all hope seems lost, Lydia is reminded that all things have seasons.
The spring of her life has been spent planting prayers in the soil of sadness and heartache. Will she see a summer of true love? Will there be a harvest of happiness?
“Like a sweet bird song, Elizabeth Byler Younts’ prose sings in this fulfilling and honest novel. A memoir to be read again and again for its wit, insight, and poignancy; this story truly satisfies the soul.”
Kelly Long, bestselling Amish fiction author