About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Monday, March 27, 2023

A Brighter Dawn (Amish Memories #1) by Gould

A Brighter Dawn (Amish Memories #1)

Ivy Zimmerman is successfully navigating her life as a young Mennonite woman, one generation removed from her parents' Old Order Amish upbringing. But when her parents are killed in a tragic accident, Ivy's way of life is upended. As she deals with her grief, her younger sisters' needs, the relationship with her boyfriend, and her Dawdi and Mammi's strict rules, Ivy finds solace in both an upcoming trip to Germany for an international Mennonite youth gathering and in her great-great-aunt's story about Clare Simons, another young woman who visited Germany in the late 1930s.

As Ivy grows suspicious that her parents' deaths weren't, in fact, an accident, she gains courage from what she learns of Clare's time in pre-World War II Germany. With the encouragement and inspiration of the women who have gone before her, Ivy seeks justice for her parents, her sisters, and herself.

"Incredibly well-researched, thoroughly enjoyable, and singularly original." --SHELLEY SHEPARD GRAY, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

"A beautiful story of love, loss, and the bonds that connect a family to its faith." --SUZANNE WOODS FISHER, bestselling author of A Season on the Wind


I absolutely loved this dual-time plot that alternates between 1937 and 2014! The two stories revolve around members of an Amish/Mennonite family, with one primarily set in Germany and the other in Pennsylvania and Oregon. The contemporary story relates Ivy Zimmerman's efforts to accept the car accident that took her parents' lives. Her younger sister was driving the car and many believe that Brenna's lack of driving experience was the cause. Is this the case or are there more sinister circumstances involved?

As Ivy works through her questions and grief, she learns of the struggles of her ancestor, Clare Simons. Clare's visit to Germany in 1937 began an inspiring journey of danger, faith, and perseverance as she worked to protect two children from the evil that was present during the days leading up to WWII. Author Leslie Gould gives readers a powerful history lesson about the persecution of the Anabaptists during the 1930s/1940s. I was both surprised and horrified by some of the true facts that are woven into Clare's story!

I love history so I was totally absorbed in Clare's story but I also enjoyed the mystery surrounding Ivy's search for truth. I highly recommend A Brighter Dawn to fans of dual-time stories and Amish fiction! It's a book to read, savor, and read again!

I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Leslie Gould is the best-selling and award-winning author of over forty novels. She loves research, traveling, and church history. She and her husband live in Portland, Oregon, and have four grown children and one grandchild. http://www.lesliegould.com,

Learn more by visiting Leslie's  Website     Facebook    Twitter    Instagram

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Connie! I’m touched by your review of A Brighter Dawn! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!