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Christmas in Sugarcreek: A Seasons of Sugarcreek Christmas Novel Hardcover – October 25, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[A] feel-good winner.” (Library Journal (starred review))

“An Amish community backdrop adds homespun sweetness, with a focus on simplicity and family that’s never heavy-handed...new readers will have no trouble starting the series here.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“A story of love and forgiveness, Gray paints a stirring picture of Christmas time and the magic it can have on people.” (The Deseret News)

“A sweet, straightforward story about how love can be tested by family, faith, and personal insecurity. Enjoyable and heartwarming.” (USA Today)

From the Back Cover

Judith Graber has always been the obedient daughter. When her older brother Josh struggled with his love life, she offered wise counsel. When her younger brother Caleb flirted with the idea of leaving their order, she firmly told him he was wrong. Over the years, she’s watched her younger siblings, helped around the house, and worked in her family’s store during her spare time. Judith feels overworked, overlooked, and underappreciated this holiday season.

But everything changes when her father hires Ben Knox.

Ben Knox is the “bad boy” of Sugarcreek. Though he’s never considered jumping the fence, he’s certainly never tried to be anything close to dutiful. Two years ago he left Sugarcreek under a cloud of shame. Rumors circulated that his rumspringa had been filled with more than the usual harmless explorations.

Now he’s back and working side by side with Judith.

As the chaos of the holiday season threatens to sap all joy, sparks fly between Ben and Judith. But Judith steels herself to ignore her infatuation. The last thing she wants to be is just one more girl who falls under Ben’s spell. Ben, on the other hand, wants Judith to realize there’s more to him than his bad reputation. When he fled Sugarcreek, he was running from a disruptive home life. Now that he’s back, he wants a fresh beginning.

Could this Christmas season bring love and a new life for the unlikeliest pair in Sugarcreek?

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Product Details

  • Series: Seasons of Sugarcreek
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Inspire (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062089765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062089762
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,150,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Avid Mystery Reader VINE VOICE on September 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have not read any of the Sugarcreek novels before, so this is my first. The writing is simple. I know that many people reading this will not specifically care about the writing style but as an educator, that is one of the first things that I notice.
The story is also a sweet love story. The only thing off-putting for this reader is the use of the Amish dialect that makes some of the reading a bit difficult. Many books use language as it is spoken in a certain community or country and often times I find this makes the reading a bit "hard going" at times. Maybe the word "tedious" might be more appropriate.
There is only one innuendo that is of an adult nature in that there is a reference that makes one think that one of the characters had a baby out of wedlock. Otherwise, the story of somewhat innocent love and the details of Amish everyday life are enchanting. I think that this would be a good book for anyone regardless of age from tweens on up. Even my 74 year old mother enjoyed the story.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Christmas In Sugarcreek is a most predictable story line. Boy meets girl. Boy and Girl fall in love. As predictable as the story is, insight into the Amish values and way of life is shown through the Christmas holiday season. Amazon made this book possible for me in my search to better understand the Amish community.Christmas in Sugarcreek: A Christmas Seasons of Sugarcreek Novel
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Judith Graber has always done what her family wants whether it is working in the family store, cooking, cleaning the house, or babysitting her younger siblings. But she sometimes thinks that no one cares about what she wants - which is to find someone she loves. Ben Knox, long considered a "bad boy" in the Amish community, is back in Sugarcreek - just long enough to sell his family's home. However, his plans may change as he grows closer to Judith and her family. Will both Ben and Judith find the love they've been looking for?

"Christmas in Sugarcreek" is the first book I've read in Shelley Shepard Gray's Seasons of Sugarcreek series, but it won't be the last. Although this is part of a series, I never felt lost and I quickly became caught up with the various characters. Set in the Amish and Mennonite communities, the novel has several plot lines. Newly married Lilly Miller is determined to be the perfect wife (even if she can't cook) and is searching for just the right gift for her husband Robert. Judith's brother Caleb loves Rebecca Yoder but wonders what secrets she is keeping from him. And there is the main plotline involving Judith and Ben. All of these are nicely done as three people - Ben, Lilly, and Rebecca - all struggle with feeling that they don't deserve love. Rebecca and Ben's story lines are especially moving. Ben is a particularly interesting character, not as "bad" as he pretends to be and it interesting to read as Gray slowly reveals various aspects of his character. The romance between Ben and Judith is very sweet. The Christmas setting is nice (Gray starts the book ten days before Christmas and ends it the day after) and it is always interesting to read how the Amish celebrate Christmas. The whole Amish setting is very nicely done.

"Christmas in Sugarcreek" is a nicely done novel and a perfect read for the holidays.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Judith Garber has always been there to help her family whenever they needed her and little thought was given to what Judith really needed. Love, attention and a man of her own. Well less then two weeks before Christmas Ben Knox who had disappeared from Sugarcreek suddenly returns and with ten days left till Christmas winds up working in the store with Judith and her father and other family members. Thru those ten days we learn about the life the loves and the events that take place in there family and with other relatives.

Christmas is a time for thanks and this is one year Judith will not only give thanks but truly appreciate the true meaning of the season and not only for Jesus' birth. Now she will have all the things she always wanted plus a feeling of belonging and having found love the town and people of Sugarland look even better and to make the story even more interesting there is a Gift of the Magi story intertwined a truly enjoyable book and hopefully you wont have to wait till Christmas to read it.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My wife read this book, enjoyed it and asked me to post this review to encourage others to read it.

Although this is the first book in the Sugarcreek series I have read, reading the others is not necessary to fully enjoy the book.

Although the story is somewhat typical:

* Boy [Ben]leaves town amid rumors
* Returns years later after parents are gone to sell the homestead
* Goes to work in a family own store in Sugarcreek 2 weeks before Christmas
* Falls for daughter of the owner [Judith](whom he knew in high school)
* Judith realizes that Ben was not the trouble maker people thought he was
* And, of course -- Ben and Judith fall in love

I loved the plot and enjoyed how the author wove other characters in and out of the story to show the importance of family in the Amish community.

My only criticism is that I did not care for the Amish dialect intertwined within the book. It didn't add value to the book and -- instead -- made a good book a bit harder to read. That said, most readers will find it to be a very enjoyable book, one that will help get them in the mood for a joyous and loving Christmas season.

Sheila B. Scott
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