Upon a Spring Breeze by Kelly Irvin is a beautiful, emotional Amish book. At 20 years old Bess is newly married and pregnant, life couldn’t get better. Then, as she’s making stew for her husband one evening she get’s the news of his death. After her son is born he looks just like her late husband and coupled with her exhaustion and her babies colic she has a very hard time dealing with it. Her hormones are out of whack because she has postpartum depression and doesn’t realize it. She feels like a total failure with things. Her mother-in law has dementia and thinks Bess’s baby is her son who passed away and tries to care for him which just adds to Bess’s stress. Bess takes a job at a Bed and Breakfast Inn close by and the son of the owner falls for her. he is an Englisher. She now has two men that have fallen for her, Dusty the Englisher and Aidan, who was her husbands best friend since childhood. Aidan has been in love with her since childhood but she married his best friend. He still carries the strong feelings for her.
Aidan, Caleb and Bess’ best friend since childhood, does his best to repress his guilt over Caleb’s passing. Try as he might, he blames himself for sending him into town that tragic day. He promises on Caleb’s dying breath to watch over Bess and their unborn child. He tries to make that a reality but his long standing feelings for Bess start to get in the way.
Bess tries to find her way working in a B and B in town. When the rumor mill runs wild with stories of her and the English owner’s son, she has to begin to face reality instead of living in her own world of grief. She soon learns to rely on a group of widows in her community. The guidance and love that they giver her along with Aiden’s unyielding support soon give Bess hope that there might be a future for her and young Joshua after all.
Kelly really has a way with bringing her characters to life. The reader is quickly drawn in as the characters are so easy to identify with and root for in their quest for happiness. I really enjoyed the many strong female voices in the book. The group of supporting widows that reached out to young Bess was easy to connect with and understand their loss and struggle with their own stories. Even though at first I was not a Mattie fan, my heart began to ache for her and the fact that Soloman left his wife’s dementia untreated for so long. The author did an excellent job delicately working Mattie’s tale into the story, although I hoped that in the epilogue she would have found treatment and possibly have recovered.
Kelly Irvin’s writing is easy to follow. Intriguing, clean, and charming. The charcaters are believable. Their life situations are realistic. I was able to connect with both characters. Loss, grief, love, and faith are themes commonly found on every page.
I received an ARC from Thomas Nelson and Zondervan via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.