Reviewer: Trudy Smith
Title: Grace - Part of the Sisters of the Heart series
Author: Shelley Shepard Gray
Publisher: Avon Inspire
Release Date: October 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Inspirational Romance
Year/Setting: Present day/outside Cincinnati, OH
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: None
Shelley's Website/Blog: www.shelleyshepardgray.com
The Brenneman family is preparing for Christmas and looking forward to just family since no visitors have made reservations for their Bed and Breakfast. That is until two unexpected guests arrive at the same time.
Melody Gingerich has had a hard time recently having survived rape and is now over 8 months pregnant. Though her time is close, she decided the best thing to do for both herself and her family is to get away for the holiday. Maybe she can stay to herself and not have to deal with the unkind looks and whispers that she has in her Amish community.
Levi Bender has also been dealing with his own demons since his wife and child died at Christmas time a couple of years ago. Blaming himself, Levi has had a hard time moving on so he decides to get away from family and the holiday. Levi thinks he can stay to himself to try to forget.
Though unprepared to share the holiday, the Brennemanís can do nothing less than invite their guests to help them celebrate Jesusí birth (though not all of them are as willing as others). Curiosity and concern have them trying to explore Melodyís situation and try to pull Levi out of his doldrums. During their time together, Levi and Melody are pulled toward each other though you would think their circumstances would keep them apart.
Though we donít always know the reason for lifeís hurts and trials, Godís grace is His greatest gift. And since its Christmas, miracles happen. Melody delivers a sweet baby girl on Christmas Eve, Levi looks to her and the baby as a possible new beginning and the Brennemanís are counting their Christmas blessings.
When itís time to go home, will Melody and Levi be able to survive a long-distant relationship? Will Melodyís experience taint her ability to move on? Can Levi forgive himself and trust God enough to build a new life?
Grace is an enjoyable Christmas story telling us that Godís grace is the greatest gift of all. Ms Gray has a way of writing that turns tragedy into blessings without being too preachy or overpowering. It was refreshing to find that this Christmas story is truly about Christmas, not just a story that happens around the holiday. The characters are strong as Melody and Levi both have had tragic experience and are able to allow God to work with them to overcome.
It doesnít have to be Christmas to enjoy this great story. Itís a great reminder of Godís grace and blessings in all circumstances.
Question or comment regarding the review or the book? Click here and let Trudy know.