An Amish Family Christmas

An Amish Family ChristmasAn Amish Family Christmas by Shelley Shepard Gray
Series: The Charmed Amish Life #4
Genres: Amish, Christmas
Published by Avon Inspire on October 18, 2016
Pages: 288

 

Publisher’s Summary:

Ever since his father died in a tragic fire, Levi Kinsinger has felt adrift. Newly returned to Charm, Ohio, Levi is trying to fit into his old life, only to discover he seems to have outgrown it.

But when Julia, his young widowed neighbor, asks for his help with a Christmas project, Levi finds a sense of purpose for the first time in months. She and her daughter are new to Charm and could use a friend, a job Levi takes personally. Soon enough, friendship grows into attraction, but Levi can’t help having doubts. There’s something about Julia that doesn’t ring quite true . . .

Like Levi, Julia Kemps has survived her fair share of hardships—but only by hiding the truth of her past. Being an unmarried mother in an Amish community was unthinkable. Feeling hopeless, Julia did the only thing she could do: she moved to a new town and pretended to be a widow. But meeting Levi, she’s hopeful for the first time. Little by little, she begins to imagine telling him her darkest secret, and eventually . . . perhaps even sharing her life with him.

Christmas is a time for family, and as the holiday draws closer, Julia and Levi will have to face their pasts together . . . in order to find the healing, support and love they so desperately desire.

I keep saying this … but it’s because it’s so true. Shelley Shepard Gray writes with such heart that her characters and their stories become part of you.

Shelley Shepard Gray writes with such heart that her characters and their stories become part of you.

The Kinsinger family is no exception. I fell in love with them in A Son’s Vow and eagerly reunited with them in A Daughter’s Dream and A Sister’s Wish. Now, saying goodbye to them in An Amish Family Christmas is a bit bittersweet after all. In the best possible way. (Though I do admit that I got a bit sentimentally teary at the last scene.) These characters have become dear friends, and their stories have touched my heart.

Levi has dealt with grief in his own way, perhaps not the healthiest way. First, escaping to a different state and then escaping to a different house once he did return to Charm. The memories hold him hostage and are just too much to handle. Julia is held captive by her own set of painful memories as well as some secrets she’s desperate to keep.  Yet, both of these characters have such life in them, a vibrancy that brightens even more in the presence of Julia’s adorable daughter Penny.

My favorite parts of An Amish Family Christmas? Spending more time with Simon – he is truly one of my favorite characters in this series. Watching Levi and Julia fall in love. (Levi in love is just plain sweet, which is exactly what Julia and Penny need.) The friendships, the family, and the community. AND the authenticity of the characters and their lives. They are real and flawed and they face painful and ugly situations just like the rest of us.

They are real and flawed and they face painful and ugly situations just like the rest of us.

An Amish Family Christmas may be the last book (wail!) in Shelley Shepard Gray’s The Charmed Amish Life series, but the Kinsinger family and their friends won’t be leaving your heart so quickly. Their faith and love and humor blend beautifully with the realities of life in a broken world. While it can easily be read as a standalone novel, you don’t want to miss out on the other books either.

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