Sarah Yoder hasn’t seen Henry Byler since he became engaged to an Englisch woman, which is best for her peace of mind. Since Henry never joined the Amish church, any relationship but a neighborly one is impossible. So she stays busy with her family, welcoming her son back from the ranch he’s been working on in Colorado, doing a little matchmaking for her sister-in-law, and making the teas and tinctures that heal the members of her church.
Then Henry seeks her out, desperate for a balm for his sensitive hands before his success as a potter is jeopardized, and Sarah must call on every ounce of strength to deny the cry of her heart. Yet there is Someone who just might have a special cure in mind—a healing balm with the power to change everything. But with Henry’s wedding only weeks away, is it already too late?
4.5 stars! “Sarah and Henry stand front and center as the side stories of Pris’ romance, Joe and Simon’s return from Colorado, and shy Amanda’s dangerous escapade with rebellious Jesse keep Whinburg Township on its toes. Readers will be pleased and relieved when this intense romance is resolved and Henry accepts that his heart’s desire was beside him all along.” Kerry Sutherland, RT Book Reviews magazine
“Adina Senft has once again produced a simply sweet and engaging Amish romance novel, filled with twists and turns, enjoyable beyond compare with her new novel, Balm of Gilead (Faith Words). The title, Balm of Gilead, refers to a species of poplar tree with fragrant, sticky buds that are used as a salve for certain skin conditions. This is the third book in the Healing Grace series. Characters from the prior two novels reappear in Balm of Gilead yet the book reads fine as a stand-alone novel but readers are strongly urged to read Adina’s two previous novels in this series, Herb of Grace and Keys of Heaven. Reading this novel is an intoxicating experience as readers are pulled into the Amish experience of neighborliness, forgiveness, and Godliness. The food descriptions will delight even the most talented cooks. And the romance will surprise, confound, and in the end, gratify readers. Adina Senft has done a beautiful job with character development as she tells the tale of widowed Sarah Yoder and longtime friend Henry Byler. … Adina does a fantastic job engaging the reader in the agonizing longing of a woman for a man. Additionally, Balm of Gilead has several thought-provoking and topical side stories interspersed within its 294 pages. All in all, readers will find the book eminently readable and inspiring in its strong Christian content.” Gloria Johnson, Amish Reader
“I absolutely love the way Adina writes. She builds up her story slowly and peels away the layers not too quickly and not too slowly. You are immersed in her work, her story and her characters until they become a part of your family. The same is true with Balm of Gilead. Sarah is strong in her faith and convictions but is also kind, loving and respectful. She offers advice out of the love of her heart and faith in God. God is the centre of her life and I think this a practice so many of us forget. When we put our trust in God and put Him front and centre we live truly enriching lives. This is a lesson she tries to teach Henry without becoming too emotionally attached to him. No matter how strong her love is for him, she will never hurt Henry (with his fiancée) nor come between him and God. The lessons she teaches him are so important for everyone to follow. I know that I can step away from my religious teachings and put material things first but this was the perfect reminder that I need to always remember to put my faith in God. He will always provide, care and heal us. While I was sad about Henry’s engagement and path away from the Church, especially as he would be perfect for Sarah, the ending really threw me off track (in a beautiful, happy way!). Balm of Gilead is a beautiful story of love, life and God (and not in that order!). It will leave you with a sense of peace, hope and a few tears of happiness!” Working Mommy Journal
“I loved both Sarah and Henry throughout this poignant story of challenges and unexpected intrusions in Henry’s life. Sarah is portrayed as a gentle and compassionate person, a balm to the soul like her herbal balms are to the body. Adina Senft has obviously researched her topics well. Her knowledge of the Amish community is commendable, and the information regarding herbal medicines reveals much research. Minor characters are realistic and support the roles of the main characters, and the story unfolds with grace and feeling. I thoroughly enjoyed Balm of Gilead, and highly recommend it! This Amish fiction contains both depth and sensitivity. Don’t miss the other books in this series. I have read Herb of Grace, but have not had the pleasure of reading Keys of Heaven yet. I will be adding that book to my collection. These books are meant to be read as a series, but I had no trouble following along without having read the second book in the series.” Nancee at Novel Crossing
“Balm of Gilead is a truly captivating and heartwarming journey of faith and love that is sure to be a hit with fans of the Healing Grace series. The novel is beautifully written and the storylines are realistic. The characters continue to grow and evolve as they struggle to overcome challenges that test their long held beliefs and ultimately strengthen their relationship with God. The fate of the characters is uncertain for much of the story and Adina Senft brings the story to an emotional conclusion that is heartfelt and emotionally satisfying.” Kathy at Book Reviews and More