Each novel in the Hannah’s Daughter series by Emma Miller has been a standout, however Hannah’s Courtship (Love Inspired Books) will hold a special place in the hearts of its readers. It’s a rarity that older women are romantically featured in Amish novels, but Hannah’s Courtship features cheerful, self-sufficient Hannah, in her late 40’s, finding love. Emma Miller has delivered a beautiful Amish romance that won’t soon be forgotten by her readers. Emma gives us more than just Hannah’s romance; she also brings Hannah’s youngest daughter, Susanna, into the story. Susanna is 21 years old and has Down syndrome.
The story begins with Hannah, a widow, awakening feeling something is not right. She discovers that her daughter Susanna is missing from the house. Hannah begins a search and soon runs into Albert, the local Mennonite veterinarian out on a late night call. He had come across Susanne and her friend, Dave, at the scene of their buggy accident. Albert was walking the tearful couple back home when Hannah came across the group.
Albert, in his 50’s, is an old family friend. He confesses to Hannah that he feels he overlooked God’s plan for him by not marrying and having a family. Albert lives alone and loves his job, but feels that something is missing from his life, so he looks for a new hobby. He decides to start raising alpacas and using Hannah’s barns and fields to house the animals in exchange for free veterinary services.
Meanwhile Susanna and her friend Dave are seen kissing and holding hands. What was assumed to be just a friendship has progressed into something more. Hannah rationalizes that this relationship must be broken up because she thinks two young people with Down syndrome must not marry. Susanne and Dave insist that they should be allowed to continue their relationship and want to start courting. Can Hannah allow her Down syndrome daughter to have the same experiences as her older daughters had?
As Albert spends more time with Hannah while taking care of his alpacas, their friendship deepens. Hannah feels excited and scared, and she’s “behaving as foolish as a teenager at their first singing.” But the situation is impossible, as how can a proper baptized Amish woman and a Mennonite man ever court and marry?
Hannah’s Courtship is such a remarkably insightful book. It takes great sensitivity to capture the wants and desires of a young Down syndrome couple in love as Emma Miller realistically and thoughtfully writes about Susanne and Dave. In addition, Hannah and Albert are so lovely together, readers can’t help but hope for their prayers to be answered and for God to show them a path forward.
Hannah’s Courtship is the eighth book in the Hannah’s Daughters series. Each of Emma Miller’s books is very well written, enjoyable, and sprinkled with humor. All of the books in the series will stand on their own but the entire series is definitely worth reading and owning. Hannah’s Courtship will be published June 1, 2014.