Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Review: A Daughter's Dream

A Daughter’s Dream
By Shelley Shepard Gray
The Charmed Amish Life, #2
Avon Inspire, 2016


A young teacher and farmer discover they have much in common, especially when it comes to healing old wounds from the past . . . and finding love in one another.

Rebecca Kinsinger has always dreamed of being a teacher. But when she's given the opportunity she's been waiting for at Charm Amish School, she's dismayed to discover that teaching is hard work---work she's afraid she's not very good at.

That is, until Lilly Yoder joins the class. A thirteen-year old who's just lost her parents, Lilly is in need of someone like Rebecca. For the first time since starting her new job, Rebecca feels a sense of purpose. But when she meets Lilly's uncle, Jacob, his good looks and sweet, easy-going temperament are hard to ignore. How can she even entertain romantic thoughts of Jacob when his niece is her student?

Suddenly becoming Lily's sole caregiver, Jacob Yoder never thought he'd be a single parent---or a farmer. Having been living in Florida as a carpenter, Jacob feels more at home wielding a hammer than a backhoe. The only bright spot in his life is Rebecca Kinsinger. As Lily and Rebecca develop a bond, Jacob's fondness for the pretty teacher grows, too.

But when a fateful accident brings them together, Rebecca and Jacob must choose between duty and desire. Will they follow the path before them? Or set out to find true happiness . . . and true love?

My thoughts

There’s just something about a Shelley Shepard Gray story that makes me relax and smile. A Daughter’s Dream gently pulls readers into the life of an Amish community in Charm, Ohio, connecting with and building on characters and themes from the previous book. It flows easily and there are moments of delightful humor, making it the perfect comfort read for me – yet there’s good character depth and emotion. Enough background is provided that this book can stand alone, but I recommend reading the series in order.

Rebecca and Jacob are featured, along with strong supporting characters who give A Daughter’s Dream the feel of an ensemble cast. The lingering effects of the fire at the lumber mill still overshadow a community still dealing with grief and loss. But as with anything Shelley writes, relational issues are at the heart of her stories, all of which are easy to relate to. Rebecca struggles with teaching, which she thought would fulfill her deepest dreams. Jacob and his niece, Lilly, are afraid to show the world the person they really were for fear of disappointing. Rachel, who found happiness and self-worth in teaching, fought against her husband’s desires that she quit due to pregnancy.

It’s fun to journey along with Jacob and Rebecca as their relationship grows, and I love the feel reflected by the book’s cover. The blossoming of young love between Lilly and Peter is a sweet touch and I hope we see more of them. And a lot of foundation is laid for what promises to be a not-so-simple romance between Rebecca’s sister, Amelia, and a worker at the lumber mill who just might have some regrettable experiences in his past.

A Daughter’s Dream is an enjoyable story that also inspires. We can all take these words of wisdom from Jacob’s dad to heart . . .

“Be the person God meant you to be, Jacob.
If you do that, everything else will fall into place.”



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.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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1 comment:

  1. great review, Carole! "But as with anything Shelley writes, relational issues are at the heart of her stories, all of which are easy to relate to." -- so true! One reason I enjoy her books so much!