Saturday, April 11, 2015

"The Caregiver" by Shelley Shepard Gray

About the Book

Lucy is traveling by herself via train to Jacob's Crossing to help care for her cousin Mattie, recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  Trying to overcome the sudden death of her husband, she's glad to get away and focus on someone else for a while.
The only other Amish people on the train are Calvin Weaver and his little sister, Katie.  When their train breaks down outside of Cleveland, Calvin and Lucy band together to face the outside world.  But Calvin also carries the weight of past hurts.  When an altercation brings both their wounds to light, they question whether they can trust each other.
Once in Jacob's Crossing, Lucy is occupied with caring for Mattie, while Calvin does his best to run his family's farm.  But they can't stop thinking about those special hours together.  Will the bond they formed last?  And will Lucy and Calvin be able to put away the pain in their pasts to recognize the happiness that is suddenly in their grasp?

This book was released in March 2011
This book is from my own personal collection.

My Review

“The Caregiver” by Shelley Shepard Gray is the first book in her series 'Families of Honor' and what a start to a series. I have to say that this is the second time around that I have read the series, and I have enjoyed it as much this time around as I did the first time. Even knowing what was going to happen didn't stop the learning of a few new things. I must admit that I love books that I can read time and time again all the while learning something new.

When I first realized that this was a different type of Amish book for it was the first Amish book that I have read that showed a darker side of life. It was the first book that showed that Amish, though always portrayed as this idyllic lifestyle where nothing bad really happens, this book showed that Amish life can just be as dark as an Englischer life. Of course there is good and an happy ending (love romances for that happy ending) but it was not easy.

Lucy is a young woman who is doing what she can to move on by helping her cousin who is going through something that every woman fears, Cancer and all that goes along with. Lucy takes the time away from home to learn some things about herself and rediscover a few things as well. There are reasons why Lucy is the way she is that the reader is able to see from the very start of the book, and one can't help but cheer for her as the story unfolds.

Calvin is a young man who has been dealt a blow and has done something that he was encouraged to do so. By doing this things unfolded for him in a way that he never expected. Through the story we see Calvin as a young man who is completely human with all those faults, while at the same time showing his true honorable character at the same time.

Things might seem as if things move a little too easily but at the same time we don't see everything that happened before the story starts. I have to say that the thing that I learned this time around with this story is that there is always hope. Hope for a better future once the darkness moves into the past, and hope is there when things are at their darkest when one is willing to search for it. Hope is a thing that sometimes is hard to see as it is shown here in this story with one character, yet it is there if one is willing to reach for it.

The realities that were shown in this story, were at time hard to take, but yet those just added to the story for it was if things were happening to a friend or family member. This was truly a story that I loved the first time around and now so glad that this series is part of my own personal collection so that I can visit with these people time and time again when I so desire. I wonder what I will learn from the book the next time I read it for I have learned about the hope this time. The first time was that dark things can indeed happen even within the Amish lifestyle.

I have to say that now that I have read the series once before, I can say that there are little hints to the future books. Oh there is nothing that shouts that this is going to be part of a future book, but there is enough of a hint to wonder if there is something more going on, and then just as quickly the story moves on and then that thought is moved to the background.

I strongly recommend this book to all who enjoy Amish stories not to mention those who enjoy romances as well. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and proud to have it as part of my collection at home.

Other "Families of Honor" books

The Caregiver
The Protector
The Survivor