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The Caregiver: Families of Honor, Book One [Kindle Edition]

Shelley Shepard Gray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Shelly Shepard Gray, the much-beloved author of the Sisters of the Heart and Seasons of Sugarcreek books, returns with The Caregiver, the first book in her moving and inspirational Amish romance series, Families of Honor. A heart-soaring tale of faith and love in the bestselling tradition of Beverly Lewis, Wanda Brunstetter, and Cindy Woodsmall, it tells of two lives that converge one stormy night on a train bound for Cleveland. The Caregiver is Christian romantic fiction at its very finest.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 470 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0062020617
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1 edition (8 Mar. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004HW76Z4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #546,036 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unromanticised Amish 13 May 2011
According to her website, Shelley Shepard Gray enjoys writing stories about "people who have a strong faith, a quieter way of life, but aren't perfect." Thus sets the scene for the first novel in her Families of Honour series, which includes a cast of characters that most wouldn't expect to find in Amish novel. Lucy has escaped an abusive marriage following her husband's sudden death, Calvin is picking up the pieces of his life after his long-term girlfriend left him for his best friend, Mattie is struggling with breast cancer and John is returning to his Amish roots after a long period in the English world. Their lives collide when Lucy travels to Jacob's Crossing, Ohio, to care for her cousin Mattie as she undertakes chemotherapy, and ends up sitting beside Calvin and his English Uncle John on the train. Still having nightmares about her husband's temper a year after his death, Lucy finds it difficult to be comfortable around men. And just as she starts to open up to Calvin, she witnesses him having a heated argument that causes all of her fears about men to surface again. When she arrives in Jacob's Crossing she throws all of her energies into caring for Mattie, but can't help but keep running into Calvin. Lucy finds herself challenged to put her past behind her and open up to the new possibilities of the future - and a life with Calvin.

The Caregiver was my second experience with Shelley Shepard Gray, and while I wouldn't say that she's becoming one of my favourite authors in the Amish genre, she's definitely one you can depend upon for a great story. Shelley doesn't shy away from writing about tough topics, and I commend her for showing the Amish in a truthful light and not falling into the trap of romanticising their lifestyle.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  72 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Amish do NOT live in a perfect world 18 Mar. 2011
By Deborah - Published on
As I've said in the past, Shelley Shepard Gray's Amish stories are the best ones that I've seen out there. No idealized life, very few English turns to Amish just for love and just stories about the culture and the lifestyle. This book is no different and even breaks ground with the subject matters brought forth in the book. This is the first book dealing with the Amish that I have read that deals with cancer and domestic violence IN the Amish. Both subjects seem to be taboo among other authors and I'm glad that Gray brings them into light with this book.

Lucy is the victim of an abusive husband. What makes her situation unique is that both she and her husband are Amish. I find this groundbreaking because other books dealing with the Amish tend to make their entire lifestyle to seem so peaceful and full of tranquility and that nothing from the outside world taints their community. However Gray clearly shows that the Amish are not immune from this type of behavior and Lucy's husband was just as terrible as abusive husbands from the outside world. What probably made it even more worse for her is that there was absolutely no one she could tell this to and to get any sort of help would have been really frowned upon. I ache that she had to go through all of it alone and the emotional and physical scars that it left on her.

At first I got annoyed with Lucy for making such a harsh judgment about Calvin after one single incident. Her complete 180 attitude and not even bothering to try to listen to his reason for why he did what he did got on my nerves. Then I realized that she is coming from an abusive relationship. She is wary of any sort of hints of abuse in a person's character because she fears it. I immediately changed my mind about her and began to empathize with her.

Cancer is another topic I hadn't seen mentioned in this book. Again it shows that even the Amish are not immune to the diseases that ravage the rest of the world. Mattie is very young to deal with breast cancer and it's painful to watch her have to suffer with it. Even though her faith is quite strong, there are days where she's angry and sullen which is completely normal and I am glad that Gray portrayed her in that light.

With all the heavy talk, there is still a nice romance thrown in as well. I really liked seeing Lucy and Calvin's relationship grown throughout the story. It's well done because the relationship feels to grow at a natural speed. I also really loved how much the Amish love Wal-mart. It's totally awesome to see them visiting the store and being quite comfortable with it. This is another winner from Gray and I can't wait for the next book in the series.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new take on the Amish story 19 May 2011
By Janna R. Ryan - Published on
There are so many Amish books out there right now that sometimes it can be hard to sort through them and find ones that are a little unique or different. Here's a hint, find ones with Shelley Shepard Gray's name on them, pick them up and read them. "The Caregiver" is a beautiful story that deals with marital abuse, cancer, widowhood, love and trust. I'm thinking that Shelley knows someone that has gone through cancer because her descriptions as she deals with Lucy helping her cousin Mattie go through her chemotherapy I was near tears. It was moving and touching as Mattie deals with depression and Lucy struggles to keep her from losing hope. Lucy is Mattie's caregiver, but she soon finds out that maybe she needs a little more care herself than she realized. There are some wonderful plot points in this book and Shelley has a way of making you really care about the different characters. A beautiful story and I look forward to the next one in this series.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exasperating! 18 May 2012
By Orianna - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As an Amish romance, the book opens with a flashback of Lucy and her abusive husband, who, as you soon find out, got his just desserts and died some months earlier, leaving the Lucy free to get involved with the new man in her life. If she can overcome her Battered Woman's Syndrome, that is. There's also the storyline of Mattie, an Amish woman in the middle of therapy for breast cancer, and the story of Calvin, obviously the hero of the story.

While I do like Amish romance novels, I found this one exasperating. For one, the POV switches between at least four people, which can get confusing, especially when those people aren't in the same place as each other. One minute you're on a train traveling the countryside during a storm, and the next you're in town going to a medical center for cancer treatments, and the next you're back on the train. Personally, I prefer novels that start new chapters when introducing a new POV character, rather than inserting completely new scenes into the middle of existing scenes.

I also found the author's use of sentence fragments quite annoying. The occasional sentence fragment can be used successfully for dramatic effect, but she uses them on every single page! By page 38, I wanted to throw the book across the room. It's lazy writing.

Then, too, the psychology in the story seems a bit odd. It's been my impression that women suffering from Battered Women's Syndrome aren't aware of the reasons behind their reactions. They may act skittish, and have low self-esteem, and all of that, but they don't typically sit there and analyze their actions, thinking, "I'm behaving this way because of what my abusive husband did to me." At least, not unless they're highly educated in the subject, which (perhaps I'm wrong) it doesn't seem likely an Amish woman would be.

On the other hand, the characters are interesting. The author has a way of inserting backstory and giving the characters a three-dimensionality that's refreshing to read. And the story itself is good. The premise puts a twist on the usual Amish romance, so it's not quite your standard fare. Even so, the writing made the book very difficult for me to read.

Three stars, because while the book has some redeemable qualities, it also has some major issues. I might try this author again after she's had a few more books under her belt and has had time to mature as a writer.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting For Book Two 3 May 2011
By AuburnTygr - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Caregiver is the first book I've read by Shelley Shepard Gray and leaves me wondering just what I've missed by not reading her previous books. The characters are so realistic facing everyday challenges (loss, illness and pain) so much like real life. It just ended too soon-I hated coming to the last page and closing the book.....It does contain a preview of Book Two and I can't wait for it's release so that I can continue following the characters introduced in The Caregiver. Fans of Wanda Brunsetter and Cindy Woodsmall should enjoy this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED IT! 12 Mar. 2012
By joyful books - Published on
The Caregiver by Shelley Shepard Gray
"Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me."
Psalm 23:4

Walking into the Public Library last week, I was captured by the cover of the book sitting face up in the "new book section." I wasn't expecting to find "Amish Christian Romance" at the Public Library. But, I am very much a girl who likes "beautiful" simple book covers and, "The Caregiver" by Shelley Shepard Gray was like the best looking cookie on the platter.

Opening the book to the Prologue it began with an explosive abusive scene between the main character Lucy and her abusive Amish husband Paul. "You are such a disappointment, Lucy," he bit out, each word seething with venom. "Such a disappointment. In every possible way." Her lip bled as she fought to remain still under his glaring eyes. Prepared herself for another diatribe. Then Paul simply shook his head in disgust and stormed out the kitchen door." As I read on and finished the prologue, I just knew...this was going to be one book I just had to read!

In the book, "The Caregiver" by Shelley Shepard Gray, Lucy travels by herself on a train to help care for her cousin Mattie who has breast cancer, as well as try to help get past the sudden death of her husband Paul. While on the train, Lucy meets a handsome Amish stranger, Calvin who also has some pain in his past as well. Both must learn to trust one another.
I absolutely loved the book, "The Caregiver!"

"The Caregiver" is enjoyable and believable! I couldn't wait to pick it up and read. I am so glad there are more books in the series! Even if you are not a fan of Amish fiction you would enjoy the believability of the struggles that each character faced through abuse in marriage, learning to trust people again, friendship and cancer; all while putting their faith in Jesus Christ.

"Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me." Psalm 23:4

God Bless Your Day Today!
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