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But when two unexpected visitors show up, hoping to stay for Christmas, the family must test their commitment to hospitality. Levi is a widower who lost his wife four years ago and can't bear the thought of another Christmas alone. And Melody is a young pregnant woman who won't open up about how she ended up on her own at Christmas at almost nine months pregnant. Anna, who knows a thing or two about keeping secrets, doesn't trust her, and strives to find out the truth about these two strangers who have disrupted their holiday.
But as the Christmas spirit descends on them all, along with a snow that traps them at the inn, a healing and hopefulness takes over, allowing new relationships to be built, and the boundaries of family to be extended.
|Title: Grace, Sisters of the Heart Series, #4|
By: Shelley Shepard Gray
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Avon Inspire
Publication Date: 2010
|Dimensions: 7.17 X 4.71 (inches)|
Weight: 8 ounces
Series: Sisters of the Heart
Stock No: WW990960
A Christmas Sisters of the Heart novel, Grace by Shelly Shepard Gray brings back the beloved characters from her popular series of inspirational novels set in a tightly knit Amish community. A touching, provocative, and uplifting tale in the bestselling vein of Beverly Lewis, Wanda Brunstetter, and Cindy Woodsmall, Grace is Christian fiction at its very finest—a heartwarming examination of selfless giving and the true meaning of Christmas from the acclaimed author of the Seasons of Sugarcreek series.
Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.
But then the family's Christian charity is put to a test. Out of nowhere arrive two guests who are desperate for shelter, food, and rest. One is a girl named Melody from Kentucky who is alone, nine months pregnant, and baffled about what to do to help herself and her forthcoming baby. Also arriving is a brooding, gruff-speaking older man named Levi Bender, who is secretive, suspicious, even surly.
The home begins to look like Noah's ark as the clan of relatives starts pouring in: Katie and her husband Eli and their three children; Anna and her new hubby Henry; Jonathan and his sister Winnie and her husband Samuel; Mother and Father; and, now, two unexpected houseguests. And before anyone can volunteer to leave or be asked to leave, a blizzard blankets the county, trapping everyone indoors for the next five days. (This, obviously, gives a modern day spin on the pregnant girl finding "no room in the inn.")
Katie cannot help herself from probing and questioning and prying into the lives of the two strangers. She wants to know their hidden secrets and what chain of events led them to the Brenneman home at the Christmas holiday season. We readers do, too, so this becomes a mystery story as well as a home-and-hearth tale. The characters learn much about each other, about what it means to share, love, and care openly, and how and when to be "my brother's keeper." Gifts of Christmas are not just the packages that are wrapped and placed under the tree. Even greater gifts are acts of mercy, forgiveness, kindness, understanding, and sharing.
This plot moves at a rather slow pace, but that allows the author to showcase several of the central characters and also to portray rural American life. The dialogue is sprinkled with German verbs and nouns to give an Amish feel to the setting. Readers longing for an old-fashion Christmas without blaring televisions, flashing neon lights, silly outdoor blow-up reindeer fixtures, and endless holiday advertisements, will find relief in this story. High art this isn't, but relaxing reading it is. Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Grays latest embodies the meaning of Christmas. It is a reminder that all situations good, bad or inconvenient happen for a reason: It is Gods plan. — Romantic Times BOOKclub
Featuring beloved characters from Grays Sisters of the Heart series, this simple, homespun love story is sure to please fans. — Library Journal
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