Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Grace Given

by Beth Shriver
Realms Publishers

Elsie Yoder can't forgive her sister, Katie, for leaving the community. Unable to let go of her sadness, she withdraws from her friends and family, nursing her feelings of betrayal. 

Gideon Lapp has held a special place in his heart for Elsie and longs to help her get through her troubles. Together they find comfort in their study of the Martyrs Mirror, a centuries-old book that describes their ancestors' sacrifices for their faith through years of persecution. 

As Elsie opens up and begins to put her trust in Gideon, she tells him about the harassment she and her sister received at the hands of some local men. When the men return and threaten the community, Elsie and Gideon much stand together to do what is right. But can Elsie learn to give grace and to humble herself to accept grace as well? 

My Review:

The elements that stood out to me about this story was not only the setting in the state of Texas, but the re-occurring theme of harassment. This made for a unique backdrop to everything that was happening, and makes for a completely different type of Amish novel. Shriver kept me guessing on where she was going with the story, and really kept me turning those pages! Last but not least, I had to admire the community's determination to deal with the climate changes and challenges in living the Amish lifestyle in the arid state of Texas. 

I do have to admit I was very sympathetic when reading about Elsie's sadness that her sister Katie has left the community. I was a runaway once, and left my family, church, and community. I never thought how it affected my sisters when I left them behind, and reading Elsie's side of the story really just broke my heart. 

This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. 

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