An achingly real novel: "The Solace of Water" by Elizabeth Byler Younts


Delilah Evans is trapped in her grief after losing her young son when he is drowned in a river while he was supposed to be under the watchful eye of Delilah's teenage daughter, Sparrow. When the Evans family moves from Alabama to Pennsylvania, the family is hoping for a fresh start. They are also longing to encounter a town of people who won't judge them for the dark colour of their skin. However, racism still abounds, Delilah's grief won't let her go, and Sparrow is retreating into a dark place inside her soul. But Amish neighbour Emma, suffering from her own griefs and struggles, is unexpectedly drawn to Sparrow and Delilah, and as theirs lives intertwine, their pain and grief mingles until healing springs forth just when all seems lost.

Reaching back in time to the 1950's, Elizabeth Byler Younts offers up a richly composed novel of grief and loss, pain and healing, one that moved me to tears by the end of the story. There were times I was reading the novel and I actually cringed at what I was reading. The journey isn't for the faint of heart, as there are some terribly painful waters that Younts will walk you through. But the journey is worth taking, as the glimpses of healing that happen are all the richer for the dark times that these characters live through. The way Younts draws together an African American and an Amish family make for some fascinating encounters, especially as these women realize they aren't all that different after all. In our modern day where racism continues to rear its ugly head in society, and perhaps at times in all of our hearts, this story serves as a call to set aside our differences and let each other into our lives. Delilah, Sparrow and Emma show us that God's plans can be far different than what we could ever imagine, but that his healing can come from the most unexpected - and beautiful - of places.

Younts' novel is one that I will remember for some time, a book filled with heartache and joy all at the same time. Fans of historical novels that are written with beautiful prose and emotional depth will enjoy "The Solace of Water". I give this book a solid rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher through the Booklook Bloggers program.

about the author...

Elizabeth Byler YountsElizabeth Byler Younts is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. She gained a worldwide audience through her first book Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl and is a RITA nominated writer. She is also the author of The Promise of Sunrise series. She has consulted on Amish lifestyle and the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect two award-winning television shows. Elizabeth lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, two daughters, and a cockapoo named Fable.

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