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A Gift of Grace: A Novel (Kauffman Amish Bakery Series) Paperback – April 8, 2009
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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From School Library Journal
Rebecca Kauffman's Old Order Amish life is thrown into upheaval when her sister, who had joined the outside world, is killed in a car crash and leaves two teenage daughters for Rebecca to raise.
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From the Back Cover
Rebecca Kauffman's 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 Jessica's 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.
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At times I wanted to just give up on each of these characters. They all had a lot of learning and understanding to to deal with what was going on. Each person was stubborn, but each person also had a very good reason why they were being stubborn. So, although I would get mad at them, I also could fully understand their position (understanding and agreeing with are two different things). It was a story that was hard to put down until the end, and now I am anxious to start book 2 ('A Promise of Hope') to find out more about the folks in this Amish community in Pennsylvania and see what becomes of the folks I have gotten to know.
While Jessica struggles with all kinds of rules of being Amish, Lyndsay ends up flourishing in her new home. I really felt for Jessica as she was struggling in her new household as it's apparent that she's overall a good kid, but just not comfortable in this new environment. She yearns to be able to go back to her hometown and live but she doesn't want to leave her sister behind either. However the longer she stays with her Aunt Rebecca the more miserable she becomes.
The troubles with Jessica start to put a strain on Daniel and Rebecca as maybe their farm isn't the place for the two girls. But Rebecca really wants to make things work as God hasn't blessed her and Daniel with a kid of their own and she really likes this chance she's been given. How will this family be able to come together and what if both girls aren't meant to live with Rebecca forever?
The book also introduces you to several other characters that you will likely see in the subsequent books in the series as this is the first one. If you like Amish stories this definitely was as good as some of the other ones I've read on my Kindle.