Dealing With The Past
An Amish Family Christmas by Shelley Shepard Gray is a contemporary Amish romance. It is the fourth book in the Charmed Amish Life series but can be read as a stand-alone. It is a perfect read for any time of year and not just for Christmas.
The novel deals with the theme of running away. Julia and her six year old daughter Penny have been running away for six years. Julia is letting her past define her and have a hold on her life. “Running from problems didn’t solve anything.” She needs to face her demons and deal with them.
Tying into that theme of running away is the difficult topic of domestic abuse. It is the reason Julia is running and the reason she has trust issues. It is not always easy reading but Shelley Shepard Gray has sensitively portrayed it.
There are the duel themes of truth and lies. Julia has been living a lie for six years. She needs to tell the truth and not be ashamed of who she is.
The novel deals with loss. The Kinsinger siblings are still trying to recover from the loss of their parents. “He hated admitting to anyone that he was still having a difficult time.” People take as long as they take to grieve, there is no set formula.
Trusting and praying to God is important at any time. In times of loss, God can be our only firm thing in our lives. Characters keep praying but “No matter how hard he prayed, he still felt empty inside.” Faithfulness to God always results in faithfulness from God.
An Amish Family Christmas is about family and community. The community of Charm is close knit. They support each other and look out for each other, practicing the command to take care of the widows and orphans. Likewise the Kinsinger family looks out for not only its family members but also anyone needing help, love and support.
The characters in the novel are all wonderfully drawn and very likable. Six year old Penny is a darling. Shelley Shepard Gray writes in such a way that the reader becomes intimately acquainted with the various personalities. Many are lovely. One is not and Shelley Shepard Gray has perfectly captured the darker side of human nature.
I always enjoy Shelley Shepard Gray’s books and am thoroughly enjoying this series. I am hoping for many more books.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.