The best thing about this book is that it could easily have been just a book that happened in the winter.
Christmas was definitely central to the story but the focus was more on the couples in the story than the holiday.
It made me feel a lot less silly about reading it in February (actually, it fits right in with the romantic theme of the month).
Here’s a bit about the story from GoodReads:
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
This story flows smoothly from “Autumn’s Promise”, just like the rest of the series has. You would never know Shelley worked on several other novels in between.
I love that the story focuses on several couples (despite what the excerpt says) instead of just one. Typically a novel in a series will have the characters from previous stories in the story participating but they are not central – they’re on the sideline. In this one, several different couples share the focus of the story (I hope that doesn’t give too much away…). I just love that the story seems to spill out over every character we’ve met and brings them all into focus!
It’s a wonderful story of life and love and celebrating the birth of Jesus.
Once again Shelley has written a wonderful story and I am thrilled to be able to start “Hopeful” feeling like I know all of the characters very well.
I’ve gotten to know them so well, I feel like they’re like old friends and I can’t wait to go back and visit them – to see how they’re all doing.
So… onto “Hopeful” to find out what’s going on with our friend Miriam.
HERE is a link to the book page on GoodReads
and HERE is a link to Shelley’s website.
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