Balm of Gilead comes out on July 21
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?
In the ancient world, a tree known as Balm of Gilead, or the Mecca balsam, provided healing balsamic oils. In the new world, a species of poplar tree possesses similar properties and is also known as Balm of Gilead. Its fragrant, sticky buds are harvested and infused with oil to make a salve for the treatment of skin conditions. In plant lore, poplars are considered to be protective trees, which may be why the Amish and Englisch alike plant them as windbreaks in fields and along roads.
There is also a belief among ancient peoples that in the whisper of the poplar tree’s leaves, you can hear the still, small voice of God.