Friday, May 1, 2009

Review: A Gift of Grace



Author:  Amy Clipston
Review Copy Provided by:  Blog Tour Spot 

About the Book:  Rebecca Kauffman’s tranquil Old Order Amish life is transformed when she suddenly has custody of her two teenage nieces after her "English" sister and brother-in-law are killed in an automobile accident. Instant motherhood, after years of unsuccessful attempts to conceive a child of her own, is both a joy and a heartache. Rebecca struggles to give the teenage girls the guidance they need as well as fulfill her duties to Daniel as an Amish wife.

Rebellious Jessica is resistant to Amish ways and constantly in trouble with the community. Younger sister Lindsay is caught in the middle, and the strain between Rebecca and Daniel mounts as Jessica’s rebellion escalates. Instead of the beautiful family life she dreamed of creating for her nieces, Rebecca feels as if her world is being torn apart by two different cultures, leaving her to question her place in the Amish community, her marriage, and her faith in God. 

My Review:   I chose to review this book and participate in this blog tour because this book is about the Amish.  This is a religion that I don't know alot about but have heard and seen on tv many things.  Even though the community in this story is fictional, many of the rules and traditions are factual.  I have always wondered about the Amish, their ways, etc, and this book was a great introduction for me.  I now know that I want to learn more.  I'm so glad that this book is the first in the series, Kauffman Amish Bakery Series, and I'm excited for the 2nd book!

I didn't know if I was going to like this book, because of the religious nature, but it wasn't heavy.  What I mean is, it didn't push religion on the reader, it merely tells the story of an Amish family.  It is a great story, by the way!  I finished this book in less than 24 hours, because I just couldn't put it down!  I cried in the beginning and I cried at the end.  Now that's the definition of a good book, at least I think so.  When a book makes me emotional, makes me feel something, it's a good one for me!

This is a story of grief, love, family, and how all of those things make us whole, make us who we are.  Lindsay and Jessica are uprooted from everything they know and sent to live with relatives they don't know, in a community that is worlds apart from the one they grew up in. Who can blame them for resenting their aunt and uncle, at least a little?  The girls are typical teens and typical siblings.  They argue, help each other, don't understand each other, and love each other.  Yet, they are so different from one another.  The way that Clipston portrays each of them is phenomenal!  She shows both sides of the teenage coin.  One is the girl who deals with her grief, adjusts to her new life, and decides to go on.  The other is the rebellious teen who blames God for her loss, hates her new life, and just wants to run away.  Each girl is strong in her own way, determined, and stubborn.

This isn't just the story of two sisters who learn to live with the loss of their parents, but of the couple who becomes their guardians, and has to learn to love again.  Rebecca and Daniel have been told they can't have children, and are delighted when they learn that they will be the girls' guardians.  However, the tension in the house with the girls there threatens their marriage.  Clipston shows how a couple in love can overcome strains on their marraige, no matter how bad. 

I really enjoyed this book and am so glad that I joined this blog tour.  I will anxiously await the second book and what's to come in this series.  You can read the beginning of the second book at the conclusion of this one.

You can find Amy at her website, blog, or on Facebook.







Blog Tour Spot
Book Nook Club
Bound to His Heart
Camy’s Loft
CommuniKate
Fictionary
Gatorskunz and Mudcats
J’s Spot
Karen R. Evans
Kells Creative Musings
Lighthouse Academy
My Christian Fiction Blog
Prayerfully Penned
S.A.G.A
Scraps and Snippets
The Friendly Book Nook
The Gospel Writer
The Journey of Writer Danica Favorite
This That and The Other
wandering, wonderings of a whacked-out woman

7 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

What a thoughtful review! I loved the movie "Witness" so I also would find this book interesting.

Amy Clipston said...

Wow! Shelley, I'm overwhelmed, humbled, flattered, and blown away by your review. I can't thank you enough. I'm so honored that you enjoyed my book. Thank you so much for reading the book and for writing such a detailed and lovely review.

Janel said...

I'm intrigued by the Amish too. I've never heard of this book, but I'm putting it on my wish list now!

cupcakewitch said...

This sounds great- I also don't know much about the Amish lifestyle (besides from the one movie The Devil's Playground)... I'll be sure to check it out!

bermudaonion said...

This looks like a book my mother-in-law would like. Hmm, Mother's Day is coming up.

Beth F said...

This sounds fantastic. I live in Pennsylvania and very near "Amish country" -- so I should take a look at this.

Cindy said...

Shelly, thanks for the great review. Another Amish book to add to my to buy list. I love reading Amish books.

 
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