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Spring's Renewal: Seasons of Sugarcreek, Book Two [Paperback]

Shelley S Gray

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Book Description

April 19 2010 Seasons of Sugarcreek (Book 2)

Shelley Shepard Gray, the beloved author of the Sisters of the Heart series (Hidden, Wanted, and Forgiven) returns with the second novel in her Seasons at Sugarcreek series, Spring’s Renewal. A moving tale of love and faith set among the Amish community, it tells a story of courage and sacrifice that fans of Beverly Lewis, Wanda Brunstetter, and Cindy Woodsmall will take deeply into their hearts.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; 1 edition (April 19 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061852368
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061852367
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 14.2 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #249,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“Clara is a well-crafted and relatable character. You’ll soon be as partial to Clara as the author, especially as she develops and comes out of her shell.” (Romantic Times BOOKclub)

From the Back Cover

Tim Graber arrives in Sugarcreek to help his aunt and uncle with spring planting. At first, Tim doesnÆt fit in with his many cousins and their crowded lifestyle. But when he meets Clara Slabaugh, the local school teacher, he understands why the Lord brought him to Sugarcreek. Clara is shy and quiet. Scarred from a fire when she was small, Clara has resigned herself to living alone and caring for her mother, who tells her that no man will ever see past her scars, and that Clara needs to keep teaching in order to make ends meet. Her father passed away years ago, and her mother depends on her. But the scars mean nothing to Tim. He appreciates her quiet nature and her wonderful, loving way with children. Yet Tim has a sweetheart back home in Indiana. As these two hearts struggle to determine their path, tragedy strikes, and every other worry seems insignificant in comparison. Though they now face a life they never imagined, will Tim and Clara have the faith to step out and risk everything for a chance at true love?

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely enjoyed this book Aug. 21 2010
By Barbara Koehler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the first book by Shelley Gray that I've read. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The characters quickly developed into "people" that I cared about and wanted to follow through the story. The main protagonists were fleshed out with sufficient depth and behaved unpredictably enough that they were credible and interesting. However, some of the more peripheral characters were fairly shallow and predictable.
One of the things I liked best was the calming effect the book had on me the a reader. It held my interest despite a lack of the gratuitous violence, terror and cruelty that so many authors build into their novels. The glue that held this book together for me was the fundamental human values shared by many of the characters -- love of family, respect for the truth, a regard for the needs of others, and a drive to become the best person they could be.
The book is obviously written from a heavily Christian perspective -- afterall, most of the characters are Amish. That particular world view does not resonate with me, but to Ms. Gray's credit, she presented it in a way that came across as honest and heartfelt, not preachy. She writes with a soft touch that will likely speak to readers of various religious persuasions.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story! May 9 2010
By Pamela A. Burke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Spring's Renewal was even better than Winter's Awakening, the first book in the Seasons of Sugarcreek Series. Clara's story was very touching, and even tender. Watching her character develop strength and independence was enjoyable. The truth about beauty being only skin deep was well presented, but in some interesting ways. Shelley Shepard Gray has made some great contributions to the Amish fiction genre, and I look forward to reading much more from her -- including the next book in this series, Autumn's Promise.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Always a Good Read April 29 2010
By Deborah - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I know I have said this before but I really am a fan of Amish fiction by Shelley Shepard Gray. Unlike other Amish books, her stories do not involve conflict between the Amish world and the outside world. There are no main stories about Amish teens struggling between their world and the new things they discover during their Rumspringa or drama about the church and ways of belief. Instead her books just embrace the culture and just let the characters do their own thing and just be Amish. They are always good reads and just very comforting.

In this story, we meet up with schoolteacher Clara who has the unfortunate fate of being scarred from an accident when she was young. She lives with her mother who seems to overly depend on Clara almost to the point of suffocation. There seems to be no hope for a better life and as the years go by and she gets older, Clara resigns herself to this life. Then Tim, a young man trying to find himself, arrives in their town and everything begins to change. While I found myself liking Clara immediately from the beginning, it really took me a while to bond with Tim. He just got on my nerves at first, I think it might be due to maybe the community he was from being a bit stricter. As it stood, I felt that Clara had a lot more daring in her and was more outspoken. Which is more than I could say about Tim's annoying girlfriend Ruby. Woo, what a...well let's just say there are choice words I could have said about her that aren't very nice.

The story focuses on Clara and Tim's relationship as well as their own personal lives. There's a bit of a drama scene at the end but it ties things together nicely. Also part of the story and returning from the first book in the series is pregnant teen Lilly. I was a tad disappointed at the way her story started off in this book. I just felt that after all the buildup from the first book, it felt like this book was such a downer. Still though, I do like Lilly and I am looking forward to reading more about her in the series. Reading about the Amish culture was lots of fun as well. There's lots of talk about food which I like very much and I would love to go visit the restaurant where Lilly works. I really enjoy Gray's books and I am eager for the final book in the series. If you like Amish fiction and are in the mood for a sweet read, this is a great series.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Renewal of the Soul! MUST READ!!!! April 28 2010
By Molly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As always, I LOVE an Amish book! And, like Winter's Awakening, book 1 in the Seasons of Sugarcreek series, book 2- Spring's Renewal, did NOT disappoint!

This story captured me, I feel, even more than Josh and Gretta's story in Winter's Awakening. In this book, through Clara and Tim's story, a message of God's love for us-even with imperfections-is POWERFUL! He really spoke to me through this book. Not only does Shelley Shepard Gray's story speak of this message, she adds humor, love and heartache to the story so the reader stays focused and completely captured through out the book. I loved reading about Clara, whom we saw a glimpse of in the end of Winter's Awakening, and about Tim who is a whole new character in this book.

I don't know which character pulled at my heart more...Clara or Tim. Both went through struggles and both had some imperfections that they had to come to an understanding that God's love is powerful enough to over look the imperfections and love you for who you are. I could relate to both characters in some way or another. That is another bonus for me. Being able to relate to the characters in someway always makes me love a story more!

So, the conclusion of my review is this: a HIGHLY recommended book, though I think you should read book 1, Winter's Awakening, as well! Both books are FIVE star worthy and two thumbs! They have earned a permenant placing on my book shelf and I am saving a spot for the next book in the series, Autumn's Promise(due out in the fall of 2010)!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True beauty goes beneath the skin! April 28 2010
By Stephanie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Spring's Renewal is a sweet love story of finding true beauty beyond outward looks.

Clara, badly burned when she was a little girl, has tried to be satisfied with her lonely life. However, she can't help but long for someone who would love her for HER and see past her disfigured body.

Tim, visiting his aunt and uncle, is drawn to the quiet Clara, despite the fact that he has a sweetheart back home. Which woman is right for him?

Spring's Renewal is the second book in Shelley's `Seasons of Sugarcreek' series. I hadn't realized my mother in law had book 1, Winter's Awakening, until after I'd read this book.

I think Spring's Renewal was pretty self-explanatory, although after glancing at the back of Winter's Awakening, I'd like to read it to know the background behind several of the characters, mostly Lilly.

You shouldn't judge a book by its cover...but sometimes I judge the cover by the book, and I did not think the cover depicted Clara at all!

Clara has green eyes on the cover (brown in book) and she does not appear to have any burn scars. I could almost think her face was turned just enough not to have to portray the scarring, but her right hand is clearly shown.

So what? There's a part in the book that makes a big deal about Tim holding Clara's right hand and how most people avoid touching her or her scarred hand. Ok...so not really a big deal in terms of the book itself, but I often notice those little things.

So, besides the cover and the few grammar/editing errors I found, I thought Spring's Renewal was a fast and easy rainy-day read and look forward to Autumn's Promise, the next book in the series.

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Check out more book reviews on my blog: thecreativesideofsteph DOT blogspot DOT com
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