Sunday, August 30, 2009

Forgiven-Shelley Shepard Gray

Shelley Shepard Gray
Harper, Aug 2009, $12.99
ISBN: 9780061474477

The fire devastated the Lundy barn and injured Winnie Lundy when she tried to rescue trapped animals. Her brother Jonathan (see WANTED for his tale) saves her life. An ambulance takes the severely burned Winnie to the hospital, which is too far from her loved ones to visit her by carriage. Family friend Eli Miller accompanies her to the hospital. The marshal tells them cigarettes caused the inferno.

Eli arranges for his English brother Samuel Miller, who left their Amish community for the university, to visit Winnie at the hospital so she has companionship while healing away from her family. Soon after he began seeing her, Winnie and Samuel fall in love, but though they believe in the Lord, their belief systems are different. While they seek a common faith, Jonathan cannot turn the other cheek like he knows he should forgive the transgressor and his wife Katie encourages him to do so; instead he obsesses over who smoked the cigarettes. Also Anna and Henry pray her mom will come around

The third Sisters of the Heart inspirational Amish romance is a terrific tale with three subplots that tie together around the theme of forgiving the FORGIVEN for their sins. The cast is strong as an obstinate Jonathan cannot move past the fire with his sister so badly hurt; Samuel and Winnie need to forgive one another if they fail to find common ground; and Anna cannot move past her mom’s rejection of her embracing love and faith in Amish country. Shelley Shepard Gray writes a strong inspiring tale as to err may be is human but to gracefully hug the forgiven is truly divine.

Harriet Klausner

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