A Son’s Vow
By Shelley Shepard Gray
The Charmed Amish Life, #1
Avon Inspire, 2016
Three months ago, everything changed for Darla Kurtz and her family.
Darla’s father was responsible for a terrible fire at Charm’s lumber mill which killed five Amish men. And though he, too, lost his life, the town of Charm hasn’t looked at her family the same since. Even Lukas Kinsinger—with whom Darla used to have a close friendship.
Now her brother’s anger at the town is spilling over onto Darla, and she has the bruises to prove it. The accident already cost five lives, but if something doesn’t change soon, Darla fears it will cost her—and her family—even more.
Lukas Kinsinger wants to mourn the loss of his father, but he can hardly find the time to breathe. Suddenly the head of his father’s lumber mill and responsible for taking care of his three siblings, he’s feeling the pressure. He has also never felt more alone—especially with the new tension between he and Darla. But when he learns of her troubles at home, Lukas knows he can’t simply stand by and watch. Someone has to help her before another tragedy occurs.
As Lukas and Darla attempt to repair their families, they discover something deeper than friendship growing between them. But will Lukas and Darla’s love be accepted after so much loss? Or will the pain of the past overcome any chance of future happiness?
Shelley Shepard Gray’s first book in her Charmed Amish Life series is set in the quaint Amish village of Charm, Ohio, and tells the stories of the Kinsinger siblings who are each struggling to find both forgiveness and love in the face of tragedy.
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.
Connect with Shelley:
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With A Son’s Vow, Shelley Shepard Gray begins a new four-book series, transporting readers to the Amish village of Charm, Ohio (population 110). I always find much to enjoy in Shelley’s writing and am delighted with this new series. Although Shelley incorporates a wealth of sensitive issues (grief, anger, physical abuse, blame), the narrative isn’t especially deep - but other factors combine to make this a really good story. The heart and emotion of its characters are vividly conveyed, and the story’s length of 262 pages seemed just right. And the bottom line? A Son’s Vow is not your typical Amish story, and that makes for a compelling read.
At the center of this story is the lingering effect of an accidental fire at the Kinsinger Lumber Mill that killed five men, including the fathers of Lukas and Darla. Lukas, the eldest son, shoulders the responsibility of running the mill and taking care of his family. Anger manifests itself in different ways . . . For some, it’s in laying blame at the feet of Darla’s father; for Aaron, Darla’s brother, it’s an uncontrollable anger that leads to abusive behavior.
One of the things I liked most about A Son’s Vow is that it presents a realistic look into the lives of a flawed people, showing that there’s really no difference between the Amish community and us when it comes to dealing with life issues. From unimaginable grief over the loss of a loved one, to the need to forgive and go on – the Amish struggle is just as difficult as ours.
For Lukas and Darla, the road to redemption and forgiveness might be rocky, but God’s hand and lovingkindness is seen throughout. I look forward to all that is to come in this series – hopefully more from Lukas and Darla, as well as Hannah, Rob, Aaron and Hope. Book #2, A Daughter’s Dream, releases in May 2016.
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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