Title: The Amish Teacher’s Gift by Rachel J. Good
Love and Promises Series Book One
Genre: Contemporary, Amish/Inspirational, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
A Teacher’s Love
Widower Josiah Yoder wants to be a good father. But it’s not easy with a deaf young son who doesn’t understand why his mamm isn’t coming home. At a loss, Josiah enrolls Nathan in a special-needs school and is relieved to see his son immediately comforted by his new teacher, a woman whose sweet charm and gentle smile just might be the balm they both need.
With seven siblings to care for, Ada Rupp wasn’t sure she wanted to take on teaching, too. But the moment she holds Nathan in her arms, she realizes she’ll do all she can to help this lost little boy. Plus, it gives her a chance to spend more time with Josiah. Falling for a man in mourning may be against the rules, but his quiet strength is the support Ada never knew she needed. And, together, they could have the loving family she’d always hoped for.
The first installment in the Love and Promises series, The Amish Teacher’s Gift by Rachel J. Good is a heartfelt romance between an Amish schoolteacher and one of her student’s father.
Widower Josiah Yoder dearly loves his six year old son, Nathan, and he is heartbroken by the boy’s obvious distress following his beloved Mamm’s death. He is also quite bewildered by the young boy’s volatile and violent reaction to Josiah’s presence. The problem is compounded by his inability to communicate with his deaf son, so he is very open to sending Nathan to the newly formed school for special needs.
Nineteen year old Ada Rupp is excited but concerned about her new position as a schoolteacher at the special needs school. Despite her youth, she is very well suited to the job since she has been caring for her seven younger siblings for much of her life. Ada is a gentle soul with infinite patience and a great deal of responsibility resting on her more than able young shoulders.
Ada is immediately infatuated with Josiah but she knows a relationship between them is impossible. Trying to focus on the charges in her care, her life becomes soon becomes entangled with Josiah and Nathan as she attempts to understand the reason behind Nathan’s extreme reaction to his father. Since she takes her job very seriously, Ada not only attempts to ensure the young boy is not in physical danger but she also continues trying to help father and son bridge the gulf between them.
Josiah is equally enamored of Ada but he knows he cannot yet act on his growing feelings for her. Instead, he tries to focus on improving his relationship with Nathan. He also finds himself in a difficult situation at work when the construction owner challenges him on his adherence to the tenets of his faith. This lack of understanding about the Amish faith leads to some very prickly interactions and leaves Josiah worried about his future with the company.
Josiah and Ada both experience a great deal of inner turmoil over their inability to act on the growing feelings for one another. There are many misunderstandings between them since they only communicate well on matters pertaining to Nathan. Some of their interactions become a bit repetitious as they continue to experience the same thoughts and feelings each time they are together. Later in the story, an added complication is the Bishop’s wife Betty’s obvious animosity toward both of them as she jumps to erroneous conclusions about the nature of their relationship.
The Amish Teacher’s Gift stands out from other Amish novels due to special needs aspect of the storyline. Rachel J. Good’s research into the various teaching methods for special needs students is absolutely impeccable and provides added depth and authenticity to the plot. The relationship between Josiah and Ada is sweet despite a little unnecessary angst and drama. This engaging beginning to the delightful Love and Promises series will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next installment.