Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hopeful Book Review

Return to Sugarcreek
Book One

SUMMARY:  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?

REVIEW:  This book shows life can be difficult, whether we see it or not.  Miriam wants to have her own family but hasn't had a suitor.  Mary Kathryn is trying to hide from an abusive and controlling boyfriend and anyone of the male persuasion who wants to get close.  On the outside, both women look to have it all together but inside, don't.  
     Sometimes I had a hard time keeping my attention on the story.  I liked how Mary Kathryn was trying to stay safe but questioned some of her decisions: working in a job she hated, telling her parents where she was living when she knew they would tell her former boyfriend and his family, and going out with Junior but being resistant the whole time they are out.  Also, there were a few other stories mixed in, I guess from her Seasons of Sugarcreek series, that I had some difficulty completely following because I was not familiar with their backgrounds.  
     I did like how Miriam stepped in as a reading tutor to help Junior's sister, who was having a difficult time understanding what she read.  I also like how Junior, after being turned away as Mary Kathryn's suitor, stepped up to defend her when Mary Kathryn's former boyfriend showed up and started harassing her.  They didn't let their hurts get in the way of helping a friend in need.  
     This book also has a lot of extra features in the PS section with discussion questions, information about the author, a recipe and a sneak peek at the next book in this series.
     While this book isn't at the top of my list, it is still a pleasant read.

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group for review without compensation.
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.  More information can be found at

No comments: