Promise to Cherish
Overview - 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. Read more...
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More About Promise to Cherish by Elizabeth Byler Younts
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?
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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In this Amish-themed historical, Younts tackles tough subjects against the backdrop of post-WWII America. Nurse Christine Freeman and Amish conscientious objector Eli Brenneman meet when Eli’s Civilian Public Service unit is stationed in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., at the psychiatric hospital where Christine works. At first, Christine—whose two brothers were killed in combat—resents Eli, perceiving his stance simply as a way to avoid the danger of the front lines. But when she sees his innate gentleness and compassion toward the hospital’s patients, she begins to care for him. After an old acquaintance rapes Christine and she becomes pregnant, Eli invites her to stay at his family’s home. Christine accepts, but she wonders whether she can truly be accepted in his community and worries that Eli will be shunned for welcoming an unwed pregnant stranger. 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. (Oct.)