Of Promises And Brotherhood
An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray is a marvellous Christian historical romance, set in the aftermath of the American Civil war. I absolutely loved it.
War changes people – for better or for worse. Bonds of brothers formed in hardship, persist in peacetime, united by shared memories and promises. Women and children suffered. Men did unthinkable things. Some people still believed in goodness. “She still believed in goodness in the world, even though she had survived a war.”
War can make or break people, freeing them from their past. In times of crisis, men turned to God. “I realise how much they have to be thankful for and they count their blessings.
Counting Your Blessings
Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray is an Amish romantic mystery and I really enjoyed it. It is the first book of The Amish Of Hart County which promises to be a cracking series.
Her Secret has many themes including that of secrets. Secrets are never a good idea. They may become burdensome. Secrets need to be brought out into the light and burdens shared. “Even if the truth hurt, it was always better in the end.”
There is the topic of anxiety. Anxiety can ruin our lives. Anxiety can trap us into a prison of our own making. Anxiety links to worry. “It ain’t a good idea to go around worrying about the future.” God tells us to worry about nothing and to pray about everything. Fear is the opposite of faith. “Faith is believing when you don’t have proof.” Faith is handing our fears over to the One who has conquered death.
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.
To Protect And Serve
The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray is a Christian historical romance and I loved it. It is set in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Bonds and vows sworn in war time were not easily broken. The novel follows the fortunes of one group of men who pledged loyalty to each other.
No matter who ‘wins’ the war, the reality is – everyone loses. Husbands, sons, brothers, fathers, friends on both sides perished. War changes people. Peace time can be hard to live through if loved ones are lost. The novel deals with the subject of deep depression and thoughts of suicide. “Perhaps today was not the day to die after all. ” War robs people of hope. People mourn the loss of their dreams. “Men and women of strong grit survived instead of giving up.” It takes courage and determination to live without ones loved ones.