May Contain Spoilers
I decided to borrow Elijah and the Widow from my local library because the cover is cute. I was also curious to see how the romance would play out in an Amish community. I was a bit afraid that there would be too much religion worked into the narrative, but that wasn’t the case at all. What there was was seamlessly woven into Martha and Elijah’s daily lives, without being the slightest bit preachy. Some of the Love Inspired titles haven’t worked for me because they were too preachy for me, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this story.
Elijah and the Widow is a very sweet romance about a young widow who is given a second (or third, if you count the guy who dumped her so he could leave the Amish faith), chance at love. Martha has been trying to maintain her farm since her husband’s unexpected death, but finally realizes that she needs help. Elijah and his large family, as well as members of her small community, charge to the rescue, first by planting crops, and then by making repairs to her house. Her husband, Ike, had become disappointed when Martha failed to become pregnant (because, as we all know, it’s always the woman’s fault when there is a problem with fertility! Ike was a jerk), and turned his attention away from his wife. The house was neglected, but with the emotional distance between them, Martha couldn’t coerce him to work on either the house or their marriage.
The relationship between Elijah and Martha develops slowly, just a glance here and there or a short conversation while he’s working on the house. Martha is attracted to Eli, but after being burned by love twice, resolves to ignore the sparks between them. She is also seven years older, an impossible gap she feels is too large to overcome. Eli is very popular with the younger women in the community, and surely he will become tired of her, too.
Eli wants to open a carriage repair shop, and has spent most of his young life saving for this goal. When he realizes how clever and hard working Martha is, he decides he will let her know that he wants to court her. First, though, he has to have a way to support a family. Unexpected obstacles derail both their plans for the future, but with the help of family, friends, and each other, they work through them.
This was just a nice read. There are no villains or jealous exes, just people struggling to do what’s best and working to have a comfortable lives. Internal struggle is the name of the game. If I have any complaints about the book, it’s that there are so many characters that it was sometimes confusing. This was a pleasant find and I’ll probably read more by the author.
Grade: B+ / A-
Review Copy Borrowed from my Local Library
About the book:
The Widow’s Second Chance
Martha King has been a widow for only a few months, but already the community wants her to remarry. But after her childless marriage, she isn’t in a rush to give her heart to another man—until Elijah Lapp. The handsome—and younger—Eli hires on at Martha’s farm to earn extra money to fund his dream of owning a carriage shop. But the more time Eli spends with Martha, the more he realizes his life should also include a wife. Can Eli convince the Amish beauty to overcome their age difference and accept a future with him?