Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Gift of Grace: A Novel - Amy Clipston

Summary from Good Reads: Rebecca Kauffmans tranquil Old Order Amish life is transformed when she suddenly has custody of her two teenage nieces after her "English" sister and brother-in-law are killed in an automobile accident. Instant motherhood, after years of unsuccessful attempts to conceive a child of her own, is both a joy and a heartache. Rebecca struggles to give the teenage girls the guidance they need as well as fulfill her duties to Daniel as an Amish wife.

Rebellious Jessica is resistant to Amish ways and constantly in trouble with the community. Younger sister Lindsay is caught in the middle, and the strain between Rebecca and Daniel mounts as Jessicas rebellion escalates. Instead of the beautiful family life she dreamed of creating for her nieces, Rebecca feels as if her world is being torn apart by two different cultures, leaving her to question her place in the Amish community, her marriage, and her faith in God.

Rebecca Kauffman receives custody of her older sister's children after she and her husband died in a tragic car accident.  Grace left the Amish way of life and was shunned by her family and community to persue her education in the English world.  Jessica and Lindsay weree from Viriginia Beach and life in Bird in the Hand, PA is quite different.  Lindsay adjusted quickly while Jessica felt out of place and wanted to return to Viriginia because she did not belong and could not adjust to the Amish rules.

All things happen for a reason.  Rebecca was not able to have her own family and felt that raising Grace's children was a blessing from God.  Jessica was a typical 16 year old teenager who challenged every Amish rule.  She did not belong there and refused to try to adjust.  Lindsay, who is a year and a half younger, quickly adapted to the Amish culture.  She worked in the family bakery with her aunt and learned Pennsylvania Dutch, went to their meetings and even began to dress like them.  She did this to feel closer to her mother.  It was natural for her.  They both missed their parents and since it happened recently, they could not believe that it was true.  Daniel was faced with rumors about Jessica's behavior and it was commented on by the bishop.  Daniel needed to gain control of his household or their would be problems.

This was a great book!  It showed me that everything happens for a reason and that something good can come out of a tragedy.  It also explained how one group's culture may not be for everyone.  Although you may want it to work out, it is not for everyone.  I throughly enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series, A Promise of Hope.

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