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Winter's Awakening: Seasons of Sugarcreek, Book One Paperback – January 16, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Joshua Graber knows his future is set. He's expected to work at his family business, the Graber Country Store. He's expected to marry Gretta Hershberger, who he's been courting for several years. But when a new English family moves next door and their lovely teenage daughter, Lilly Allen, catches his eye, Joshua wonders if all the plans for his future are too set in stone. Gretta doesn't know what's going on with Joshua. When they argue and later stew in silence, it feels a lot like the frosty atmosphere at her home. After promising herself to never have a marriage like her parents, she wonders if perhaps another man might be a better match. A man such as Roland Schrock. He's steady and kind and somewhat boring. If she marries him, she won't ever have to worry about loving him and getting hurt. Meanwhile, Lilly is enamored with the Amish way of life, and especially her handsome neighbor Joshua. But despite being drawn to him, she has a secret that will only drive him away. Her family moved to Sugarcreek to hide her pregnancy from their community back home. Once she's had the baby, they plan to send her off to college without anyone from their old neighborhood knowing the truth. But as Lilly becomes wrapped up in the simplicity and graciousness of the Amish people, she begins to question what's expected of her, and whether giving up her baby, and leaving Sugarcreek, is what she truly wants. As the coldest winter on record blows into Sugarcreek, these three young people must struggle to determine the path of their futures.

About the Author

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

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Product Details

  • Series: Seasons of Sugarcreek (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1 edition (February 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061852228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061852220
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #600,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have been a big fan of Shelley Shepard Gray's Amish fiction. Her previous series, Sisters of the Heart, was really fun to read because I felt that they were comfort Amish reads. I never feel as if the Amish lifestyle is being pushed on me. Instead reading Gray's books are more of an introduction to the Amish as opposed of making me feel bad for not living like them. In this new series, we are shown what happens when the Amish and English world come together. I was really happy with how that was handled in this book. No one in the book wants to leave the Amish, no one wants to join the Amish. In fact there weren't very many cliches that are found in other Amish books which made me very happy.

The main characters in this book are all in their late teens and early 20s so this book has cross over appeal with a young adult audience as well. Even though Gretta is totally Amish, I felt like I could relate to her and I really liked her character. To be honest, I was not a fan of Joshua and how he treated Gretta. I was actually rooting for her to get over him, maybe not with Roland but anyone else. Still though I really pleased with how the story fleshed out. I found myself sympathizing with Lilly due to the way her parents were treating her. I understand why they acted the way they did but I think they might have taken it too far. Therefore it was an interesting contrast at how Joshua's family reacted when they found out about her situation.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Even if you don't normally read Amish fiction, if you enjoy a light contemporary read, this is a good one for you. It's not preachy or trying to push any agenda. The story just gives a good look into the Amish lifestyle while being able to embrace the outside world as well.
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Format: Paperback
Honestly Shelley Shepard Gray is probably my favorite Amish Fiction author of the current Amish Fiction craze. Her reflections into the lives that interact and are affected by the Ohio Amish are fresh and refreshing. I enjoyed her previous Sisters of the Heart Series and I am fairly certain that I will be even more impressed with her new Seasons of Sugarcreek Series if this book is any indication.

Most romances these days are all about the new relationship that is budding. This book however shows true romance from a different perspective, the future of a relationship that is already in existence. I have never read a book that touched on the relationship behind marriage quite like Shelley was able to in the pages of this novel.

Reading into the lives of Gretta and Joshua and hearing their thoughts and feeling their emotions while they try to understand whether they were meant for each other in God's divine plan is quite an adventure. Learning the neighbor Lilly's secrets and past relationships and decisions on new ones with throw you for a twist. Reading between the lines on other characters in the way they interact is all so amazing. This book is full of possible routes and choices and really allows a reader to imagine what might be.

I highly encourage you to jump in and read along into the lives of the Sugarcreek Amish and their Englischer neighbors. See if things are how you would imagine they might end up to be. What do you envision your marriage to be? Would you be willing to work on it if it was not quite right?

*Thanks to TLC Book Tours and HarperCollins Avon Inspire for providing a copy for review.*
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a harsh winter descends upon Sugarcreek, Ohio, we are introduced to Gretta & Joshua, a young courting couple with plans to marry. When a new English family moves next door to Joshua's family, he is captivated by their teenage daughter, Lilly, and begins to have doubts about his future with Gretta. While he knows he cannot court Lilly, he steps back from Gretta and she agrees that they need to think about and work on their relationship. Gretta begins to court Roland, who is steady & kind, but she realizes that her heart still lies with Joshua.

As Lilly's family begins to befriend Joshua's family, Lilly finally tells them that she is pregnant and her family moved to Sugarcreek so she could have the baby and give it up for adoption. Eventually, Lilly decides that she wants to keep the baby and begins working as a waitress in the same restaurant where Gretta works. As Lilly and Gretta become friends, a fierce snowstorm traps Gretta & Joshua in his family's store and they begin to see how much they mean to each other and no one else. Gretta and Joshua marry and Lilly's family attends the wedding. Will Lilly change her mind and keep the baby or give him/her up for adoption as her parents want? An intriguing tale of love, friendship, faith & trust. Can't wait to read the next book in the series.
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Format: Kindle Edition
After reading A TEXAN'S PROMISE, I was eager to get other books by Shelley Gray. WINTER'S AWAKENING was not nearly as good. The main plot is centered around the misgivings and uncertainties of Josh and Gretta (the two main Amish characters) regarding their relationship. This continues during most of the novel, and it gets old, redundant, and disappointing. An unwed Englisher teen makes up a subplot, but there is no storybook ending for her. There were even several large editing mistakes in this book. All-in-all, it was a let-down.
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