The Sisters of Sugarcreek
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The Sisters of Sugarcreek

Tyndale House / 2017 / Hardcover

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Sisters of Sugarcreek, by Cathy Liggett

Lydia Gruber is a young Amish widow, whose husband took care of everything.  When he dies in a fire, she must learn how to survive.

Liz Cannon lost her friend Rose in the fire.  The two had created the Secret Stitches Society, delivering gifts in the middle of the night to folks in trouble. She must rebuild her new life now with out Rose.

Jessica Holtz inherits Rose's Knit One Quilt Too Cottage. Even though she knows nothing about knitting or quilting, she is determined to keep the shop open in her aunt's memory.

The three women form a friendship as Liz convinces Jessica to make Lydia their first mission.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 149642235X
ISBN-13: 9781496422354

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Publisher's Description

Many lives were changed the day a fire burned down Faith Community Church, devastating the small town of Sugarcreek, Ohio.

Now a young Amish widow, Lydia Gruber faces an uncertain future. Her husband, a craftsman and volunteer firefighter, always took care of everything, keeping her isolated from others in their community. Without anyone or any skills, how will she survive?

With the death of her beloved aunt Rose in the fire, single mom Jessica Holtz inherits Rose’s Knit One Quilt Too cottage. Though determined to keep the shop open in her aunt’s memory, she doesn’t know the first thing about knitting and quilting and begins to see her aunt’s dream slip through her fingers.

When Liz Cannon lost her dear friend Rose, she also lost her partner in the Secret Stitches Society—the name they gave themselves while delivering gifts of hope to troubled folks in the dark of night. Liz convinces Jessica to keep the anonymous society going, despite the younger women’s inadequacy with knitting and sewing needles. But soon Liz has problems of her own as the life she has rebuilt for herself begins to crumble again.

When Liz and Jessica choose Lydia for their first mission, the three women cross paths and form an unlikely friendship in the aftermath of tragedy. As they walk together through triumph and heartbreak—through grief and new chances at love—they begin to discover that with friends by your side, a stitch of hope can be found anywhere.

Editorial Reviews

Three women drawn together by a shared loss and a good deed discover a friendship that leads to new opportunities and blessings for each of them. Amish widow Lydia Gruber recently lost her husband in a tragic fire. Single mom Jessica Holtz inherited her aunt’s Knit One Quilt Too Cottage, when her aunt perished in the same fire. Liz Cannon lost her close friend and accomplice, Rose. Together, these woman take on the challenges of life—dealing with grief, running a business that seems destined to fail, and maintaining the missions of the Secret Stitches Society, bringing gifts of hope to those in need. Liggett is an accomplished writer. Each character grows in amazing ways as the trio suffers setbacks and victories. Readers will feel the charming town of Sugarcreek come alive as they are drawn into the saga of these delightful women. Highly recommended.
In the aftermath of a local church fire, a trio of unlikely friends take it upon themselves to bring hope to their Ohio community of Sugarcreek, one anonymously delivered care package at a time. Lydia Gruber is a young Amish widow haunted by questions about her short marriage. Liz Cannon is a middle-aged real estate agent in a struggling market grieving the loss of her best friend. Jessica Holtz is a single mother who knows little about handicrafts but suddenly inherits her late aunt’s quilt and craft shop. Together, they make up the Secret Stitches Society, and when trouble hits close to home, they must rely on their shared faith and strength of sisterhood to see them through. Liggett (Beaded Hope, 2010) crafts a heartwarming beacon of friendship and tender new beginnings in this cozy, sweet Christian romance featuring strong female leads from different generations and cultures. The small-town charm and interconnectedness, fastened with knitting, quilting, and crafting, make this an ideal feel-good read. Liggett writes with loveliness and uplift and is a refreshing breath of wholesome goodness.
In Liggett’s latest, the characters demonstrate triumph, heartache, grief and friendship, as well as the impact one person can have on others. The concept behind the Secret Stitches Society is heartwarming and encouraging. The charming characters are relatable, and it is easy to visualize the quaint scenes.

After losing her husband in a fire, Lydia Gruber is trying to move on. She is not sure how to do that on her own, particularly when she learns some things about her husband that she didn’t know. Single mother Jessica Holtz lost her aunt Rose in the same fire. Jessica inherits a quilt shop and wants to keep her aunt’s dream alive, but she is not a crafter and is struggling. Liz Cannon was friends and partners with Rose in the Secret Stitches Society, a group that gives gifts to community members in need. Liz and Jessica come together to help preserve Rose’s legacy, and they choose Lydia for their next mission. What plans does God have for these three women when their paths cross?
A heartwarming story of faith and friendship in unlikely places, this novel offers a welcome message of hope in a divided world.

Cathy Liggett’s The Sisters of Sugarcreek shows that hope can rise from the ashes of loss.

In the classic midwestern town of Sugarcreek, Ohio, the Faith Community Church has just burned down. Lydia, Jessica, and Liz are all affected by the tragedy. Lydia, an Amish woman, loses her husband, and Liz and Jessica lose Rose, Liz’s friend and Jessica’s aunt. Each woman is challenged by her unique circumstances and grief, and each seeks faith and hope in the midst of her pain. Liz and Jessica decide to use sewing in honor of Rose, who owned a sewing and knitting store, to show care for Lydia.

The story shows how women can forge meaningful, healing friendships despite their differences. The women’s care for each other is shown to have the power to uplift others as well, even in the toughest times.

The writing achieves a simple, elegant balance of dialogue, narration, and exposition. The pace is steady and moves smoothly forward, investing just the right depth in each moment. The book conveys unassuming faith with its Bible verses and Amish proverbs, and focuses on the love that unites people of faith rather than presenting a singular expression of any particular faith tradition. The look inside Amish life is intriguing.

The story, with its warm and positive tones, will particularly appeal to Christian readers, especially those who’ve lived through the loss of a loved one, or who are drawn to encourage others who are suffering. Discussion questions at the end of the book will help individuals and groups to live out the beauty and hope of the story.

The Sisters of Sugarcreek is a heartwarming story of faith and friendship in unlikely places, and a welcome message of hope in a divided world.

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  1. Just Commonly
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Kindness & friendship - pay it forward together!
    February 18, 2017
    Just Commonly
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    This review was written for The Sisters of Sugarcreek.
    "Kindness, when given away, keeps coming back." - Amish Proverb

    The Sisters of Sugarcreek by Cathy Liggett is a different Amish fiction as I had thought it would be. Granted, that's probably because I didn't read the back of the cover, but then again, now that I read it, it wouldn't really give much away. You see, the typical Amish stories I've read, they're generally and majority involve the Amish community predominantly. In Sisters, it's a mixture of the two, Amish and the Englisch, and I like it very much. It gives readers a sense of how the two cultures, and to many, the two worlds can seamlessly coexist and work together. Sure, there are some conflicts, but when it comes to kindness, just like God's love, there are no difference.

    "Sometimes we forget the big things when we're focusing on all the little ones." - (262)

    Don't we? And the big picture and fundamentally the theme and message of The Sisters of Sugarcreek is kindness. I love it. It's so naturally woven into the story line of three different women of three different walks of life and age, that it's surprising and inspiring all at the same time. The kindness they've shown to each other, as well as to those they don't even know on a personal level. Isn't that what God had want us to do? To be kind to our neighbors, to walk in Jesus' image? Are we so focused on ourselves that we miss it? Kindness isn't just for us to reciprocate, but for us to initiate.

    A tragedy that joined our main characters together, but what ensued is a friendship that reaches beyond their own lives to those around them. The idea of "pay it forward" drives this story, so why don't we join the spirit of this story in "stitching hope through random acts of kindness"? Don't know how and where to start? And don't despair if you don't see your "kindness" being "forwarded", because it's not about us.

    "We're generally not as patient with Him as He is with us." - (193)

    Patience may not be what we need here, but the heart of knowing that our acts are not for show or for judgement, but to be kind, and it need not be reciprocated. What a beautiful story and theme! Don't worry, there's more to it than the message, because the story in itself relates and makes an enjoyable read, but life's issues from pain to loss to financial troubles, and not to mention romance for all ages. The Sisters of Sugarcreek is for all kinds of fans, because all can relate, and all will enjoy.

    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
  2. Jen Pen
    Midwest
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Sisterhood shared in a delightful way...
    February 15, 2017
    Jen Pen
    Midwest
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This review was written for The Sisters of Sugarcreek.
    SUMMARY:

    Lydia Gruber, a recent young Amish widow, feels alone in her community. When two women leave a gift for her along with an invitation, Lydia finds she cannot refuse though she may have tried. Learning to knit with the women of Roses Knit One, Quilt Too Cottage, Lydia and the other women continue the tradition of the Secret Stitches Society, sharing compassion, hope, love and friendship through their mission. With romance, goodness, and faith, The Sisters Of Sugarcreek, by author Cathy Liggett, shares sisterhood in a delightful way.

    A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:

    A sweet light read, I enjoyed this Amish genre book by a new author to me. Liking the writing style which was fun, snappy and fluid, I breezed through this novel quite quickly. Though not too deep, the storylines kept the book moving while the characters were endearing. Charming mixed with a bit of faith and compassion, The Sisters Of Sugarcreek definitely has the makings of a series which hopefully is being considered. Definitely an author I will read again, I plan on searching for her previous novel, Beaded Hope.

    RATING:

    4 (out of 5) pennies

    *I received a complimentary copy of The Sisters Of Sugarcreek from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review*
  3. Kara
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    The Sisters of Sugarcreek
    February 12, 2017
    Kara
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This review was written for The Sisters of Sugarcreek.
    The Sisters of Sugarcreek, by Cathy Liggett, is a very sweet novel. Set in Sugarcreek, Ohio, the story brings together three women who become friends in the wake of a tragedy.

    Lydia Gruber has just lost her husband, who died helping fight the fire that burned down a local church. Not sure how long she will survive on the money from the sale of her husbands possessions, she heads to town to find a job. Jessica Holtz has lost her aunt Rose in the same fire. Trying desperately to keep open her aunts knitting and quilting shop but knowing very little about either one, she hires Lydia to help. Liz Cannon, Roses best friend, recruits both women to assist her with the Secret Stitches Society, which she and Rose began to deliver anonymous gifts to suffering people. The three begin to form a friendship that helps them through the suffering and uncertainty ahead.

    I enjoyed this book. The three womens friendship is a relationship that most women would love to have. I thought it unrealistic that the Amish and English in the story would mingle so readily, as the Amish tend to keep mainly to themselves. However, the story was easy to follow and very charming.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction.

    Kara

    I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

  4. MaureenT
    Syracuse NY
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Coming Together
    February 1, 2017
    MaureenT
    Syracuse NY
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for The Sisters of Sugarcreek.
    A lot of friendships begin over tragedy, and the premise of this story is just what happens. I enjoyed the way Leah got her job at Roses Knit One Quilt Too Cottage, and that job fell in her lap, along with the new friends, and again with a lot in common, sad in the fact they have lost loved ones.

    We also get to enjoy two different cultures that pull together, Amish and the local residents coming together to help one of their own. There is also a bit of romance here, and it comes in different forms to all three of them. Although you dont know if any of these couple will end up together, or should, we get to enjoy the immersion into their everyday lives.

    I got to walk in each of these amazing womans shoes, and watch what happened in their daily lives, and cringed at some of the happening. You are going to be chuckling, although I guess it isnt funny, when we have a meal at Lizs and her scrumptious meal is ruined, but that in it self is a blessing in disguise.

    I would love to be able to continue with theses sisters of choice, and be in Sugarcreek with the people there, except for the banker.

    I received this book through Edelweiss and Tyndale House Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review.
  5. Pat from MUC
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Stitches of Hope
    January 29, 2017
    Pat from MUC
    Quality: 1
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    This review was written for The Sisters of Sugarcreek.
    A fire at Faith Community Church reduced the building to ashes, and it has also claimed the lives of two peoplevolunteer firefighter, Henry Gruber, and church member, Rose Holtz, the owner of the Knit One Quilt Two Cottage. Both are sorely missed by the community. Henry Gruber left his wife Lydia, a young Amish woman, who moved with him from Pennsylvania eight years previously. Because of her husbands preference for isolation, she has made few friends even among the members of her church district.

    Rose left behind not only the shop, but 27-year-old Jessica, a niece she has raised since the age of eight, and Jessicas six-year-old son Cole. Jessica has now inherited her aunts shop, and she and Cole move into the small apartment above the shop where Jessica grew up. The adjustment is difficult for both of them for many reasons. In addition to missing his Great Aunt Rose, Cole has just started first grade and had to leave many toys and treasures behind. Since his mother is now running the shop, she seems too busy to spend time with him. Besides mourning the woman who raised her when her parents were killed, Jessica is faced with a job she knows virtually nothing about. Even though she grew up around the fabric, yarn and sewing supplies at the Cottage, she never took an interest in learning the crafts. Now she is faced with customers asking for her advice and the task of ordering merchandise shes not familiar with.

    Liz Cannon is a frequent visitor to the cottage. She is the type of person who smiles from head to foot with her sparkling eyes, plump rosy cheeks and fun-loving spirit. She buys yarn for her very simple knitting projects and checks on her best friends niece and great-nephew. A widow for the past seven years, Liz has felt adrift ever since the church was destroyed. It was there that she helped the community by cooking good meals for both church fellowship times and community members who need encouragement. Her small kitchen and the absence of the company of other church women, especially her best friend Rose, have left Liz questioning her purpose.

    Near the beginning of the story, we see Jessica and Liz driving the back roads around Sugarcreek looking for the farm where Henry Grubers young widow is now living alone. Liz, a local real estate agent, purchased a bundle of shirts from an auction held recently at the Gruber house. Even though both Liz and Jessica have little in quilting, they decide to turn the fabric from the shirts into a Make-in-a-Weekend quilt to comfort Lydia. Their goal is to leave the gift anonymously during the night in keeping with the code of the Secret Stitches Society, a group consisting of Aunt Rose and Liz as an outreach from Faith Community Church. Jessica has only recently learned about the secret project her aunt was involved in. Apparently Liz feels that Jessica is the perfect person to carry on Roses role in the Secret Stitches Society.

    When Lydia discovers the origin of the quilt, she also meets the women who made it. This is the beginning of a friendshipor a sisterhoodthat helps each of the three women discover what is important to her and how to look forward rather than back. In addition to sharing the secret of the anonymous gifts they continue to give, they also share a spirit of gratitude and a generosity. Despite the tragedies that have befallen them, they know that God is good and want others to experience that sentiment when troubles come. Rose used to say that the Secret Stitches Society gave more than gifts. They offered a stitch of hope . . . that could get a person through hard times more easily.

    The Sisters of Sugarcreek is a novel of friendship, but its real message is one of hope and encouragement. This is the perfect book to read when you need some inspiration or are just craving a good story. It captures the spirit of a small town at its best and of the power of faith.
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