This review is posted as part of TLC‘s Book Tour for The Solace of Water.
About the Book
“Younts has set herself apart with this exquisite story of friendship and redemption . . . I’ll be talking about this book for years to come.” —Rachel Hauck, New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress
In a time of grief and heartache, an unlikely friendship provides strength and solace.
After leaving her son’s grave behind in Montgomery, Alabama, Delilah Evans has little faith that moving to her husband’s hometown in Pennsylvania will bring a fresh start. Enveloped by grief and doubt, the last thing Delilah imagines is becoming friends with her reclusive Amish neighbor, Emma Mullet—yet the secrets that keep Emma isolated from her own community bond her to Delilah in delicate and unexpected ways.
Delilah’s eldest daughter, Sparrow, bears the brunt of her mother’s pain, never allowed for a moment to forget she is responsible for her brother’s death. When tensions at home become unbearable for her, she seeks peace at Emma’s house and becomes the daughter Emma has always wanted. Sparrow, however, is hiding secrets of her own—secrets that could devastate them all.
With the white, black, and Amish communities of Sinking Creek at their most divided, there seems to be little hope for reconciliation. But long-buried hurts have their way of surfacing, and Delilah and Emma find themselves facing their own self-deceptions. Together they must learn how to face the future through the healing power of forgiveness.
Eminently relevant to the beauty and struggle in America today, The Solace of Water offers a glimpse into the turbulent 1950s and reminds us that friendship rises above religion, race, and custom—and has the power to transform a broken heart.
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Release date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
About the Author
Elizabeth Byler Younts 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.
Connect with Elizabeth
I’m not sure there are words adequate enough to describe just how amazing The Solace of Water is. This story is an intense experience. I feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest and stomped on. As someone currently experiencing deep grief, I have to say that Ms. Younts does a phenomenal job of capturing what it feels like to be in grief’s ugly grip. By reading this wonderful novel I was able to cry tears I haven’t yet allowed myself to purge. The Solace of Water has been a real blessing for me in that sense.
The Solace of Water deals with pain. BIG pain. The pain of losing someone dear. Someone whose death leaves a crater-sized hole in the middle of your chest. At the start of The Solace of Water it’s 1956 in Pennsylvania. Even though it’s the North, whites and African Americans stick to their own kind. But pain…pain doesn’t understand color divides. Pain just hurts hard. Out of pain comes a deep friendship between Emma, an Amish woman, and Delilah, an African American mother and pastor’s wife. I love the relationship that fosters between the two women. It’s not really a relationship they want or seek, but it’s one that happens because God puts them in each other’s paths time and time again. At one point, Emma realizes that pain, no matter how it happens, speaks the same language. Pain bonds people. I can attest to what Emma means.
The last 17 months have been excruciating to say the least. I have helped (in my small way) my best friend as she struggles through and fights a very rare form of cancer. Last March, my family was evicted from our rental so the landlord could sell his house. I’ve gone through the stress — and joy — of finding and buying my first house. My dear brother, Tim, died in a freak accident. And, since May, I have been battling a very awful lady who has brought nothing but struggle and turmoil to my family. I’m short tempered, exhausted, and overwhelmed. I just want the bad to take a pause so I can catch my breath and get my brain straight. Every time I turn around, the pain seems to get bigger and bigger. I get what Emma means when she implies that pain bonds people. Through this rough stuff, my husband and my best friend, Lara, have had my back. Their shared pain as we deal with cancer treatments, funerals, and frustrations over other peoples’ meanness has allowed us to bond and help one another get through it all. It’s very odd to say, but our pain has created a sense of community. I am not alone as I deal with all these issues, and neither are my husband and Lara. This is actually quite a comforting realization.
The Solace of Water is a stunning novel. The characters are phenomenally written. Their behaviors and reactions to the pain they each feel is so lifelike. The plot of this story is highly engaging and fast paced. I truly could not put this book down, and when I had to I did whatever I needed to do quickly so I could pick this book back up. The issues within this story are varied and complex. Ms. Younts tackles a lot in this novel, it’s almost overwhelming. But she does so with such grace and aplomb. I don’t feel like any one topic is dealt with hastily or stereotypically. This is a novel that gets readers thinking — about life and death, about God and His ways, about the past and our current experiences, about trauma, grief, and PTSD, about addictions, and about the lies we tell ourselves. The Solace of Water is a novel that will stick with me for forever. I highly recommend this poignant story. Be warned though, grab LOTS of tissue before beginning this book. You are going to need it.
I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via NetGalley through TLC Book Tours. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Elizabeth Byler Younts’ TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, July 9th: @hollyslittlebookreviews
Tuesday, July 10th: What is That Book About – author Q&A
Wednesday, July 11th: Write Read Life
Thursday, July 12th: @jennblogsbooks
Friday, July 13th: Books & Spoons
Monday, July 16th: @createexploreread
Tuesday, July 17th: The Book Diva’s Reads – author guest post
Wednesday, July 18th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Thursday, July 19th: All of a Kind Mom
Monday, July 23rd: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, July 24th: Bookchickdi
Wednesday, July 25th: Splashes of Joy
Thursday, July 26th: The Christian Fiction Girl
Friday, July 27th: Time 2 Read
Saturday, July 28th: Fiction Aficionado – author Q&A
Monday, July 30th: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, July 31st: @girlandherbooks
Tuesday, July 31st: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Wednesday, August 1st: Girl Who Reads
Thursday, August 2nd: @novelmombooks
Monday, August 6th: Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
Thursday, August 9th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Friday, August 10th: Openly Bookish