Tuesday, February 16, 2010

TLC: Winter's Awakening by Shelley Shepard Gray -- Review

Joshua Graber knows his future is set. He′s expected to work at his family business, the Graber Country Store. He′s expected to marry Gretta Hershberger, who he′s been courting for several years. But when a new English family moves next door and their lovely teenage daughter, Lilly Allen, catches his eye, Joshua wonders if all the plans for his future are too set in stone.
Gretta doesn′t know what′s going on with Joshua. When they argue and later stew in silence, it feels a lot like the frosty atmosphere at her home. After promising herself to never have a marriage like her parents, she wonders if perhaps another man might be a better match. A man such as Roland Schrock. He′s steady and kind and somewhat boring. If she marries him, she won′t ever have to worry about loving him and getting hurt.
Meanwhile, Lilly is enamored with the Amish way of life, and especially her handsome neighbor Joshua. But despite being drawn to him, she has a secret that will only drive him away. Her family moved to Sugarcreek to hide her pregnancy from their community back home. Once she′s had the baby, they plan to send her off to college without anyone from their old neighborhood knowing the truth. But as Lilly becomes wrapped up in the simplicity and graciousness of the Amish people, she begins to question what′s expected of her, and whether giving up her baby, and leaving Sugarcreek, is what she truly wants.
As the coldest winter on record blows into Sugarcreek, these three young people must struggle to determine the path of their futures
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Honestly Shelley Shepard Gray is probably my favorite Amish Fiction author of the current Amish Fiction craze. Her reflections into the lives that interact and are affected by the Ohio Amish are fresh and refreshing. I enjoyed her previous Sisters of the Heart Series and I am fairly certain that I will be even more impressed with her new Seasons of Sugarcreek Series if this book is any indication.

Most romances these days are all about the new relationship that is budding. This book however shows true romance from a different perspective, the future of a relationship that is already in existence. I have never read a book that touched on the relationship behind marriage quite like Shelley was able to in the pages of this novel.

Reading into the lives of Gretta and Joshua and hearing their thoughts and feeling their emotions while they try to understand whether they were meant for each other in God's divine plan is quite an adventure. Learning the neighbor Lilly's secrets and past relationships and decisions on new ones with throw you for a twist. Reading between the lines on other characters in the way they interact is all so amazing. This book is full of possible routes and choices and really allows a reader to imagine what might be.

I highly encourage you to jump in and read along into the lives of the Sugarcreek Amish and their Englischer neighbors. See if things are how you would imagine they might end up to be. What do you envision your marriage to be? Would you be willing to work on it if it was not quite right?

*Thanks to TLC Book Tours and HarperCollins Avon Inspire for providing a copy for review.*

View all my reviews >>

ISBN: 9780061852220; ISBN10: 0061852228; Imprint: Avon Inspire ; On Sale: 2/2/2010; Format: Trade PB; Trimsize: 5 5/16 x 8; Pages: 304; $12.99; Ages: 18 and Up

Click the label "Shelly Shepard Gray" to see other of my reviews for her books. 

Buy it: Click the images below to go to Amazon, or go to CBD using the link on my sidebar. 

Hidden (Sisters of the Heart, Book 1)Wanted (Sisters of the Heart, Book 2)Forgiven (Sisters of the Heart, Book 3)
Winter's Awakening: Seasons of Sugarcreek, Book OneSpring's Renewal: Seasons of Sugarcreek, Book Two

2 comments and creative thoughts:

trish said...

"The relationship behind marriage" is something that simply fascinates me! I didn't realize this book explored that topic. Marriages are so much more complex than a budding relationship.

Thanks for being on this tour! Love your review. :)

Shelley Shepard Gray said...

Thank you so much for sharing my novel on your website! I've had a great couple of days, exploring creative madness. : )

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