In the summer of 1951, eighteen-year-old Maggie Esh is in need of some hope. Sweet-spirited and uncommonly pretty despite struggling with a debilitating illness, she is accustomed to being treated kindly by the young men of her Old Order Amish church district. Yet no one but Jimmy Beiler ever asks her out, and she always declines, certain he only pities her. To make matters worse, Dat has recently remarried, less than a year after Maggie's mother died. And while her stepmother is kind, she's much younger than Mamm, and she simply doesn't understand Maggie or her illness the way Mamm did. Strong in her faith, Maggie has been taught to accept her lot in life as God's will. But with declining health, an unsettled family situation, and few future prospects, any sense of hope seems elusive. When tent revival meetings come to the area, Maggie attends out of curiosity, but the words of the evangelist begin to stir something deep inside her. Dare she hope for a brighter future?
On the day before her Amish parents' twentieth wedding anniversary, Sylvia Miller stumbles across the key to the old brass tinderbox her father keeps in his Lancaster County watch repair shop. Piqued by curiosity, Sylvia unlocks the cherished heirloom, not realizing that what she is about to discover will splinter apart her happy life. Once Sylvia overcomes her shock, she confronts her father about the contents of the box. To her amazement, the respected convert to the Old Order admits that he is not fit to be a member of the Hickory Hollow Amish church--in fact, he never was. Burdened by the weight of his deception, Earnest Miller reveals the details about his past to Sylvia--and to his wife, Rhoda. The long-kept secret alters everything for the close-knit family, and when word of Earnest's deceit reaches others in the community, the truth pits Amish neighbors against one another and threatens to dry up Earnest's livelihood--as well as to break up Sylvia's engagement to the preacher's grandson. Can the Millers find a way forward through the turmoil to a place of forgiveness and acceptance?
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