A Forbidden Rumspringa by Keira Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Although this isn’t a historical romance, much of it reads like one because of its setting within the contemporary Amish community in Minnesota. One of the book’s strength is its world building. The author brings the Amish world to life without sentimentalising or demonising her protagonists. She has obviously done a lot of research, but it’s woven deftly into the story without overwhelming the characters.
The romance between David and Isaac is sweet and anguished and beautiful. It’s a slow burn, but well worth the wait. For both of them it’s a sexual awakening that challenges their most profound beliefs about themselves, their lives and the world in which they live and this gives the story a poignancy that’s piercing.
And, oh boy, the angst. The inevitable consequences of the heroes’ exploration of their relationship, of their doubts and of the world beyond their community, leaves them with no easy resolution to their situation. The author doesn’t sugar-coat this either—there can be no fairytale ending for David and Isaac and they’re forced to choose between their families and community and their love for each other.
I loved this book for its melancholy, for its moments of joy and, ultimately, for its hopeful ending. Recommended.
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