Saturday, July 9, 2011

Book Review: A Gift of Grace (Book 1) by Amy Clipston

Amy Clipston is a first-time author and I am always looking for a new author to appreciate.  A Gift of Grace looked like a possible pleasant surprise in the Amish fiction genre.

Unable to conceive, yet always desiring to be a mother, Rebecca's longings are fulfilled in a very different way than she ever imagined.  When her older sister, Grace, dies in a car accident, Rebecca becomes the guardian of Grace's two teenage girls.  The struggle is that Grace had left the Amish community and the Amish ways and the two teenage girls have been reared in the modern world!  What will Rebecca do?  How will she, and they, assimilate to living together?  Can they make this work?

I really liked this book because Clipston develops her characters in a way that allows you to peer into their thoughts and feelings in the midst of the conflicts.  One of the main conflicts in the story, obviously, is the conflict between the girls' modern ways and the Amish ways of the community they now are living in.  While Rebecca is more patient in helping them adjust, Daniel, her husband, struggles with their progress (or lack thereof). Daniel's struggle produces the second major conflict in the story being between he and Rebecca.

Rebecca, as an Amish wife, is portrayed as an independent woman, yet submissive to her husband at the same time.  This ability is a very tender balance and Clipston pulls it off well.   She also develops the oldest teen, Jessica, with balance...again not leaning too far where the character is a "typical teenager" nor is she unrealistic in her role.  Clipston manages to make you feel as if you are living in the house with the Kaufman's as they are trying to make this scenario work out.

The sadness for me was as this plot was building and I couldn't put the book down it seemed as if all of a sudden everything stopped, the author threw in these two major emotional events,  and then resolution was obtained.  Almost like an hurried end which made the two major events unrealistic and the resolutions anti-climatic.

Would I read another book by this author?  Yes, at least one more to see if this is her writing style or if what occurred in this book was a one-time experience.

3 stars
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan in exchange for my fair and honest review. 

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