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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Is there a hidden curse? One that affects an Amish couple, only when an Ebersol and Bontrager marry? In Yesterday's Gone by Cindy and Erin Woodsmall, we learn that Eliza Bontrager and Jesse Ebersol don’t believe in the curse. They’re determined to marry and pursue their dreams in the small Amish community where such beliefs are taken seriously, even the belief in a curse. When Eliza buries one child after another and realizes she and Jesse may be cursed with a childless marriage, there is a way to end the chain of unhappy events. A wedding gift from Great-Aunt Rose comes with a promise that Eliza can wish for and change something from her past. Can she change the past and, if so, will the change be for the better? Saddened not to have a living, healthy child, Eliza believes the best thing to do is change her past commitment to Jesse, allowing him to be free to marry someone else and have a large family of his own. What she doesn’t understand is that any change will have a domino effect and the result can be far-reaching and devastating to a lot of people.
Cindy and Erin Woodsmall’s novel, Yesterday’s Gone, is a comfort read set in Amish country. The plot revolves around choices, respect, and caring for those you love, even if it means giving up something precious. Told in the third person narrative, mostly from Eliza’s point of view, the story follows the budding romance, the plans to marry, the starting of Jesse’s cabin-building enterprise, and the mounting sorrow as the couple loses one child after another. The authors are well versed in the life of the Amish and the reader will instantly feel engaged in this charming community. The descriptive narrative, character development, and the use of dialogue make for a complete, wholesome story that will have readers yearning for more. This is a good read!