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winter's awakeningWinter’s Awakening by Shelley Shepard Gray

Published by Avon Inspire

Pages: 304

Publishers Summary:

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.


Winter’s Awakening was a breathe of fresh air for me. It was refreshing to read a story about young love that didn’t involve an overly immoral theme. Granted one of the main characters had committed an indiscretion and landed her family in Sugarcreek to escape the humiliation that would come in their hometown; it still focuses on more important things. Things like making the right choices, accepting others’ faults, and growing up.

“Every character in this story is wonderful and I loved being able to hear from each of the main characters. They all were at a stage in their lives where they needed to make some difficult decisions and become adults. Being what I consider a fairly spiritual person myself I really appreciated Gretta’s character, her quiet thoughtful ways and her desire to listen to God. And though each of the characters eventually acknowledged their own need to rely on God I never felt I was being ‘preached’ to. I have to say, that was so nice!

“One of the other wonderful bits about this story that I loved is that it was in Ohio. It is in fact somewhere that holds a special place in my heart after spending a year and a half long mission for my church in the areas central and southern Ohio. It was wonderful being transported back to a time and place that I fell in love with. I still recall the buggy’s riding down the road and the Amish store just within walking distance of one of my residences. Shelley did a magnificent job of describing the scenery and beauty that encompass that entire area, somewhere I long to visit again.

“All in all I would highly recommend this book. It was a quick, fun and meaningful read. And as I said before, refreshing in today’s market that’s saturated with immorality, it was nice to read a book that wasn’t preachy, but still morally based. Another great thing is that it’s the first in a series with the second book, Spring’s Renewal, due out in May. I can’t wait!”

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 14  and up. A delightful story, wonderful characters and an amazing setting.

shelley shepard gray

Be sure to check out Shelley Shepard Gray’s site and find out more about her books.

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Other reviews of Winter’s Awakening on the TLC Book Tour:

Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot

Life In Review

Book Reviews by Bookluver81

Books, Movies, and Chinese Food

This book provided for review as part of TLC Book Tours.
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11 Responses to Winter’s Awakening by Shelley Shepard Gray

  1. Jan@eatingyabooks says:

    This sounds like a really lovely book. I have been staying away from many of the romance novels of late, and I think this one might just be one worth reading.

  2. Gina says:

    I’ve actually seen this cover around, even though I don’t generally read books from this particular genre. Reason? I want to read the story FOR THE STORY, not be preached to… Sounds like this may be one of the rare jewels that accomplishes just that. The Amish tie-in brings back home as we lived a short drive from Amish country back in my home state. Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..CONTEST: Puppy Love! =-.

    • Gina, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up were it not for the Tour, but I’m so glad I got the chance. I’m in the same boat, I HATE being preached to, I’ve had to many books turn terribly bad for that reason alone. But yes, this one was quite different and I think Gray did a great job of not crossing the line. And if for no other reason to try it, the setting! If you lived around it before, you will love how the story brings it back to life, wonderful!

  3. trish says:

    I’m so glad you liked the book! I love books that have morals and faith but that don’t get preachy. Thanks for being on this tour! I love your review!
    .-= trish´s last blog ..Review – Lost by Jacqueline Davies =-.

    • Thanks so much for having me! It was such a treat and a really great read, I’m glad I had this opportunity.

      • Shelley says:

        Thank you so much for giving my book a try, and for featuring it on your beautiful site!
        When my editor gave me the opportunity to write another Amish series, I knew right away that I wanted to place the books in Sugarcreek. I think it is such a beautiful part of Ohio, and I love the hills and trees there. I’m thrilled you found the setting to be a good one.

  4. MillyMarie says:

    I think this is the 2-3 time I’ve seen really good positive reviews for Winter’s Awakening. Sounds like a very charming and lovely book. I’ll add it to my wishlist. Really nice review.
    .-= MillyMarie´s last blog ..Book Review: Prairie Tale by Melissa Gilbert. =-.

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