I would recommend this book to everyone who loves Amish Fiction, it is fantastic, I have read alot of Amish Fiction and this book took me where know other has taken me before, I loved this book from the first page once I started this book I could not put it down until the very last page, now I am waiting patiently for the next book in this series, Lucy is a wonderful caregiver and I truly hope that Mattie beats her fight with Cancer.
I found this book to be one very well written. In this book you are faced with alot of twist and turns butthis is an excellent book. You shed alot of tears over this book and it brings alot of emotions out; your becomes anry, sad, happy and yes love always finds way. This book traels through abuse, cancer and everyday toils. You fall in love with the characters and Shelly leaves you wanting more. can't wait for book 2. You need to get this book. You willre-read it many time,
The Caregiver by Shelley Shepard Gray is the first book in the Families of Honor series. Lucy Troyer is traveling alone on a train to Jacob's Crossing to help care for her cousin Mattie who is battling cancer. Lucy's still trying to get her life back after the death of her husband, Paul, a year ago. Although they were only married for two years, Lucy was permanently changed by his constant and brutal physical and verbal abuse. She's no longer the independent, strong and happy woman she once was. She meets Calvin Weaver and his little sister, Katie, on the train, and the trio lean on each other when the train has technical problems, creating a bond in the midst of adversity. Calvin and Katie just happen to be from Jacob's Crossing, which Lucy sees as a sign of God's hand. Calvin is still smarting from the betrayal of his best friend and girlfriend who fell in love with each other, leaving him humiliated in front of the community. Calvin and Lucy both tentatively connect through their enforced time together, but misunderstandings leave them both disturbed by the other's behavior. Still, neither can deny the connection between them, and their hesitant and sweet romance is the strength of the book. Mattie's battle with cancer and the ensuing depression and distance from the Lord adds depth and complexity to the plot. Without her, the story would seem almost too sweet, but Mattie makes Lucy speak her mind and face the truth, even when it's uncomfortable. The two young women come to see that they have much in common: both were placed in terrible situations where they questioned God's will and their lives were irrevocably changed by it. Gray has filled Jacob's Crossing with a variety of interesting characters who will surely make the series an enjoyable read. While Lucy and Calvin's romance is delicate and sweet, Mattie's anger is very real and gritty, and her relationship with Graham is an enigma. Plus John, Calvin's uncle who left the faith twenty years ago, has returned and is torn between an Englischer woman and an Amish widow with a son. There's a lot to love about this series. Gray is one of my favorite writers of bonnet fiction; she really makes the characters come to life.
"The Caregiver" by Shelley Shepard Gray touches on a subject that I have rarely read about in the amish stories that I read, and that is domestic violence among the Amish. In this story we have the protagonist Lucy, who married a man that the Amish community thought well of.Soon after marrying Paul, he becomes verbally and physically abusive towards her. While many of the people in her community knew what was going on they did nothing. Lucy figures that she is destined to live the rest of her life with abuse,something that she blamed herself for. The only place that she could pour out her emotions were in the pages of her journal, so when an accident claims the life of her husband, she finds herself writing that she is actually relieved that he is dead.
When her friend Mattie is diagnosed with breast cancer, Lucy decides she will head to Jacob's Crossing near Cleveland to help take care of her. Traveling alone by train she meets Calvin Miller and his precocious sister Katie, the only other Amish people on the train. When the train breaks down outside Toledo, the trio spends the day together,and while Lucy wants to believe that Calvin is nothing like Paul, she is afraid to trust.
Calvin is carrying the hurt of betrayal of his former girlfriend Gwen and his friend Will. But when he finally gets home to Jacob's Crossing he can't quit thinking about Lucy. Will Lucy's past keep her from realizing what a great guy Calvin is, or will they be able to work beyond their past hurts to claim a future together?
I really enjoyed reading this story, I felt like the author accurately portrayed the feelings that Lucy would have probably experienced as a person living with domestic violence. My heart broke for her on several occasions, especially when she longed to be the girl she was before the abuse began. I felt like Lucy's role as caregiver started long before she started helping to take care of Mattie. She was a daughter that married, so that it would ease the burden of her parents overcrowded house. When she found herself in an abusive marriage she then took the blame on herself, but always tried to anticipate the needs and wants of her husband. I was so glad when she found him dead, although had I been the author I would have probably had him ran over by a car or stomped by a bull, instead of simply falling off of a ladder.
The author introduces to several secondary characters that have interesting stories of their own, which makes me anxious to read the next book in the Families of Honor series. While this book will definitely appeal to readers of Amish fiction, I think it would hold appeal to anyone who enjoys a well written inspirational story that weaves together the elements of faith, love and learning to trust again.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis Lucy is traveling by herself via train to Jacob's Crossing to help care for her cousin Mattie, recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Trying to overcome the sudden death of her husband, she's glad to get away and focus on someone else for a while.
The only other Amish people on the train are Calvin Weaver and his little sister, Katie. When their train breaks down outside of Cleveland, Calvin and Lucy band together to face the outside world. But Calvin also carries the weight of past hurts. When an altercation brings both their wounds to light, they question whether they can trust each other.
Once in Jacob's Crossing, Lucy is occupied with caring for Mattie, while Calvin does his best to run his family's farm. But they can't stop thinking about those special hours spent together. Will the bond they formed last? And will Lucy and Calvin be able to put away the pain in their pasts to recognize the happiness that is suddenly in their grasp?
I enjoyed reading this book and it made me realize that being Amish doesn't guarantee that there won't be abuse and heartbreak.
Lucy shows great courage as she tries to get on with her life. I can't imagine the abuse she has suffered in her young life. Now she is headed to a new challenge ...helping her cousin Mattie. Mattie has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is about to start her chemo treatments.
Calvin had what he thought was his heart broken, his girlfriend Gwen had betrayed him with his best friend Will.
I "loved" how Calvin and his brothers treated their Mom! They truly showed their love and joy with her, going out of their way to make her happy. Then there is delightful Katie and their Uncle John. John is struggling to find his way in the English world, or back to his Amish roots.
My main criticism of this book is that almost everything is left hanging. There are so many unanswered questions, but I take it they will be answered in the coming books.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from HarperCollins Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.