Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A New Series From Shelley Shepard Gray

                                                                "Hopeful"                              

By Shelley Shepard Gray

Synopsis:(from back cover of book)
Return to Sugarcreek, Book One
In the Amish town of Sugarcreek, love comes in many forms. But will it come at all for Miriam?
Miriam Zehr has worked at the Sugarcreek Inn longer than she cares to admit. The restaurant is a favorite of town residents as well as the many tourists who come to taste the famous Amish fare. Though she always tries to have a smile for every customer, deep down Miriam knows something’s missing: a family of her own.
Miriam has never felt particularly beautiful, especially because she’s always been a bit heavier than other girls her age. When Junior, the man she’s pined for all her life, suddenly seeks her out, she’s thrilled to be noticed . . . until she realizes he’s only asking her to help get the attention of Mary Kathryn Hershberger, her pretty friend.
If Miriam helps Junior court Mary Kathryn, she’ll get to spend a lot of time with him, but she might lose him in the process. Are these few stolen moments worth a lifetime of sacrifice? Is Miriam right to even hope for the life she dreams of?
My Opinions and Thoughts about this novel:
I have been a faithful follower of all of Shelley's Amish fiction and have been looking forward to revisiting Sugarcreek, and perhaps catching up with some of the characters of the former series, Seasons of Sugarcreek. Book One of this series was certainly no disappointment! I have loved all of Shelley's Amish novels, and this one was another winner!! 
Shelley describes her characters in a detailed, realistic way. You immediately, are able to identify with the main character, Miriam. Amish women have the same kinds of problems as anyone else, and you come to know Miriam as one of your dear friends. She has the desire of many wormen, she so wants to find the right husband, marry her one true love and have a big family! The delay in her hopes and plans is a worry and tends to affect everything she does and feels in her daily life. I felt such empathy as I read of her insecurities, as she suffers a definite lack of self confidence, believing herself to be unattractive, as she has always been a bit on the heavy side.  Her troubles and disappointments became mine. Her fears and heartbreak weighed on my mind. I wanted to help this young lady!!! Then , I had to catch myself- Miriam is a character in a story!!!! NOT REAL!! At times, I would forget this one little fact!!
The plot, although not a complicated one, draws you in from the first page. There are unexpected twists and turns that keep you glued to the page. Will Miriam wait upon the Lord and seek His guidance while waiting for His plan to be revealed?? Will the gentleman who Miriam fancies, also listen to that small quiet voice?? Should we all have a life where hopes and dreams are fulfilled?? Perhaps, God has other ideas, but we do have to patient to find out. This is a clear message in this book!!
Definitely a five star book! I can hardly wait for the next one!

About the Author:

SHELLEY SHEPARD GRAY
Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, 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.
To read other reviews of this book , click on the following link: http://litfusegroup.com/author/SGray
This book was supplied by the author and Litfuse, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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