The characterizations throughout Hopeful represent many personality types, covering a broad spectrum. Miriam is a comforter, saddened by the fact that she is still single, but finds comfort in helping others. Junior is mature beyond his years, having been the father/mother figure for his numerous siblings since both parents died. Mary Kate is a newcomer to the community of Sugarcreek, and harbors secrets from a past tainted relationship. Her past admirer is overbearing and devious. As these characters intermingle throughout this story disappointment and anguish create depression and unhappiness, but hope is what inspires them to continue moving forward.
The author has revealed a complex set of relationships throughout this book, and has created a realistic depiction of disappointment, heartbreak, compassion and an underlying hope that life will somehow become more satisfying and joyous. Family is an important element throughout, evidenced by a young couple who recently discovered they cannot have children of their own, as well as others seeking companionship and a life shared with someone they can love and honor. The Amish way of life is woven throughout this book, creating a community of people who share the same beliefs and expectations that we've come to respect through these examples. I enjoyed the interactions between the diverse characters in this story, and look forward to the sequels in this series.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
I enjoyed this book, and we are returning to Sugarcreek, with a brand new series.
This story brings to light that people don't realize what they have, until it is taken away. We take things so easily for granted. Also we have a story of fear, stalking, and no one believing.
Can you imagine having a secret so scary, that you cannot tell anyone. Even your parents don't really believe you? That is what the new teacher Mary Kate is dealing with. I can't even imagine, but know this goes on in all cultures, not just Amish.
We have a delightful, kind, and there for you person in Miriam Zehr. She has one person on her mind, know since they were kinner, and what does Junior Beiler do?? He asks her for help getting to know another woman. Kind and loving Miriam, tries!!! Oh my!
You are going to love Junior's family, especially the little one. Their parents have passed on and we see what problems, and yet a lot of love that holds this family together. Loved the banter between the siblings, and although they, kind of, get Junior in trouble, it can be funny.
You won't want to leave here, and there is also a side story in this community, that affects a lot of Amish/English Woman, and we hope the Doctor is wrong.
You will not regret picking this one up! Enjoy!
I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
Hopeful is the the first book in the Return to Sugarcreek series by Shelley Shepard Gray. It is also the first book that I have read by this author. I would definitely choose to read one of her books again.
Miriam Zehr has loved Junior Beiler for as long as she can remember. She hopes and dreams that some day he'll see her for who she is and love her too.
When it finally seems that Junior has taken an interest in her, Junior dashes that hope by asking her to introduce him to Mary Kate Hershberger, who is their community's school teacher and Miriam's best friend.
Although it is not easy for her, Miriam agrees to help Junior, even though she knows how difficult it will be to see the two of them together.
Even though it seems that Miriam isn't going to get her turn at love, marriage and family she still carries that hope in her heart.
When I first started to read Hopeful I wasn't sure that I was going to like the story because I had a hard time connecting with the characters. But as I continued to read I found that I was truly enjoying the book, even reading it well into the night. I really enjoyed the time I spent getting to know the characters and now look forward to the next book in the Return to Sugarcreek series, Thankful. (The first chapter of Thankful is provided at the end of the book.)
**Hopeful by Shelley Shepard Gray was provided for me free by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.
I've read some of Shelley's other books and was looking forward to returning to Sugarcreek, and this book didn't disappoint. If you are new to Amish fiction and have never read Shelley before but love Amy Clipston or Tricia Goyer, Shelley will be right up your alley.
The story centers around Miriam, who is an old maid by Amish standards, when an acquaintance Junior, wants to court her friend Mary Kate, who is new to town and the school teacher. Miriam, at first, thinks that Junior is interested in her, but soon she finds out that he is interested in Mary Kate, or is he, after he gets to know both girls, he soon is surprised by who has his heart.
With a great cast of supporting characters, this is a well balanced story, that will make you want to snuggle up, and transport yourself to Sugarcreek, I can't wait for the next book, Thanksful!
Another excellent story from Shelley Shepard Gray! This series returns you to Sugarcreek, OH. When a story makes me laugh, cry, feel love, have faith, and search for hope, then the author has down her job of getting her message across. In this story, Shelley has intertwined the lives of Miriam, Junior, and Mary Kate along with some others we have read about before. She shows us how to hope, love, and help those in need. I didn't want to put this book down once I started reading. It felt like I was in Sugarcreek with the characters. I'm anxiously awaiting Book 2 in this series.