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    A heartwarming Amish novel

    Room on the Porch Swing by Amy Clipston is An Amish Homestead Novel. Laura Riehl lives in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania where her best friend, Savilla Lambert has passed away. It has been less than a year since Laura’s mother died and now her best friend passes after a quick illness. Allen Lambert and Savilla were married such a short time and now he is a widower with a baby girl to raise. The following summer, Irma Mae falls in Allen’s kitchen and her injuries require surgery. Irma Mae, Savilla’s mother, has been Mollie’s caretaker and now Allen must find someone to watch her while he is working. Laura offers to care for Mollie until Irma Mae recovers. Allen and Laura soon discover that they can talk truthfully (open and honestly) to each other. They find their chats on the porch swing helpful and comforting. Rudy, Laura’s beau, is not happy with the time she is spending at Allen’s home and he becomes resentful. As time passes, Laura becomes comfortable with caring for Mollie and her feelings for Allen begin to change. But she has been dating Rudy for four years and is not sure she should give up on their relationship. The time is approaching when Laura will need to make a choice. Room on the Porch Swing takes us back to Bird-in-Hand and the Riehl family. It was nice to catch up with Jamie and Kayla from A Place at Our Table along with Mark (Laura’s twin) and Cindy (the youngest Riehl). While Room on the Porch Swing is part of a series, it can be read alone (but why would you want to miss out on A Place at Our Table). Change is in the air and Laura is not ready for it. Room on the Porch Swing is an emotional book as Laura and Allen deal with their grief. Every person handles grief in a different way as we see in this novel. Their romance is sweet and progresses slowly. It is not something Laura or Allen are looking for or expect. I thought Room on the Porch Swing was well-written and engaging. My attention was captured from the very beginning and it was held throughout. Laura and Allen are great characters. I thought they were well-developed and perfect for this story. While Rudy was needed for the story, I had many unkind thoughts regarding him. I did not like how he was using Laura and then grew resentful of the time she spent at the Lambert home caring for Mollie (Rudy would go a week without contacting Laura). I like how the faith elements are woven into the story (especially the importance of prayer). We need to remember that things happen in God’s timing, not ours. There is a reason for the events that happen in our lives (tragedy, heartbreak). We must be open to change and be prepared (open/accepting) for what will happen next. Room on the Porch Swing contains hope, grief, joy, heartbreak, faith, and more. It is a heartwarming novel that will have you laughing, crying, and sighing (a happy one at the end). Sit down for a spell in a comfy chair and spend some time with Room on the Porch Swing.
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