I have thoroughly enjoyed EVERY book written by Shelley Shepard Gray, and this book was no exception. Upon picking it up from my mailbox, I had this compelling urge to read it immediately!! However, that was not to be, as we were preparing for a vacation in Lancaster County, PA. BUT, I did read the novel, while in Amish country. How appropriate to hear the horses and buggies travelling down the road, as I read this Amish tale.
Right from the first chapter, I was intrigued with the main characters. They had very real problems that presented challenges that seemed to be insurmountable in the Amish faith. Christina became a friend who I wanted to enfold in my arms and assure that everything would work out just fine, if she waited for God to work on His plan for her life. Aden proves to be an honest, caring individual who any girl would love to have for her partner in life. But was that to ever to be possible??? Would he wait for that still, quiet voice? This couple had a very different and yes, difficult relationship. Could they overcome the odds?
The plot was well developed and had just the right amount of suspense alongside the growing romance to keep the reader interested. The topic of adoption and caring for an orphan was dealt with in a sensitive, realistic manner. Being thankful for what you have and are given is the theme throughout the book. Also addressed, is the topic of fostering a child of a different race. These twists and turns in the plot really made me think of all I have and should be thankful for. We all need to stop and think of how blessed we really are!!
Definitely a five star book!! Book Two of the "Return to Sugarcreek" Series is one that you do not want to miss. Totally different slant on events in the Amish community!
This book was supplied by Litfuse in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Funny Story: I started reading this as soon as I received it. Then we moved and I misplaced it. Isn't that just the way these things always happen_
Fortunately Litfuse is an AWESOME company and they understand that their reviewers are only human. So we got it all worked out and I was able to finish the book.
I'm glad of that because I'm not one of those who will pretend to read the books I am entrusted with and ad-lib a review.
However, this review is going to be a little different than my norm.
I'm struggling here and I'm working really hard to sound as positive as possible.
I cannot help the feelings that this book evoked in me and I hope Shelley understands that this is only my opinion and does not hold it against me_ too much anyway. And it is very possible that I'm totally off-base with this opinion but this is part of my job as a reviewer so I'm going ahead with it.
I get the feeling here that perhaps Shelley had so many people begging her to go back to Sugarcreek that she got tired of hearing it and she gave in and agreed to write more in that series. When I read Hopeful, I had the feeling that she had left the theme that held true in the original series, plus there were a few things that I didn't care for in the story, but the book was well written so I didn't think much of it then.
However, looking back I think that either she is moving so far away from the Amish in the other books that she's writing that it is tainting this series_ or she had a good plot for Hopeful but she ran out of ideas for Thankful and since she was under contract, she had to figure something out.
Again, it's only my opinion.
The good part about it is this_ Shelley, being such a good writer, took two plots that were a little weak and still managed to pull out a good book. Her characters are just as deep as they always are. The story moves along nicely and the outcome will satisfy her fans, I'm sure.
It's just not a personal favorite of mine.
But don't take my word for it. Read it for yourself. Then make up your own mind.
Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for an honest opinion!
Thankful is a heartwarming addition to Shelley Shepard Gray's Return to Sugarcreek series.
Christina, Aden, as well as some of the other characters, have problems of the heart to deal with. But they each have their own hurts, questions and struggles from the past to work through before they are ready to find the love right in front of them.
Although the book has an Amish setting, Shelley has written a story with issues that any reader can identify with in their own life choices. And one of the biggest choices of all is to find a place of being thankful instead of fearful so moving forward into love becomes possible.
Including Judith's and Ben's story of deciding whether to foster a baby provides a different twist to an Amish story. Jana's story -- although not Amish -- also fits in nicely with the theme of thankfulness.
Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
This book seemed a bit lighter than the last book in this series. However it does reunite us with familar faces from Book One.
I enjoyed the story, but often felt myself getting frustrated with the two main characters. If they had just communicated it would have been better. I loved the side story of Jana, in fact I liked her story better than I did Christina's and Aden's. Overall a good fast read, a great way to spend an afternoon. 4 stars from this reviewer.
This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.
Christina Kempf surrendered her heart to Aiden Reese when they were young children. He was her hero, best friend and protector. He was taken in by her family after the tragic death of his parents. They have not revealed the depth of their love for for each other fear the other only carries the love of a sibling.
Christina makes the move to court other young Amish men at the persistence of her parents. This rips a hole in Aiden's heart. He is afraid of loosing her but also fears loosing the respect of Christina's parents if he were to reveal his true feelings for their daughter.
This story touched my heart to the point I had to keep a box of tissues in my lap while reading the book. In fact it did not take me long to read the book because I refused to put the book down until the very end.
This story had so much to offer me as a reader. It was tragic, romantic and it had dedication to family and community. Lessons were learned in trusting God without fear and to pray He for Him to lead us to the life He has planned for us.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from HarperCollins /Avon Inspire/