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Would I find it in my heart to let go and move on? With a powerful message of hope, consequences, and love, this book has a little something for everything. Readers will find themselves falling for Susanna and Neil, while trying to solve the whodunit mystery to bring peace between the families. They may even find themselves unable to put the book down until the mystery is solved. I was not required to leave a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Dec 15, Victoria Brinius rated it it was amazing. As usual I really enjoy her stories. Suzanna Schwartz is very happy to be on her new farm with all of her family right in time for Christmas.
Why does it seem that other people are trying to hurt them or at the very least trying to make them leave? It can be no accident when her sister is almost killed. Neil Vance is the man who used to own the farm with his family, before they lost it. He is very upset but then he meets Susanna.
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She is not at all how he though she would be and he finds himself drawn to her. Susanna is in the middle, everyone believes that they know who is the real culprit. She also is drawn to Neil. Should she just leave with her family, or should they try to find the guilty person.
Whatever she decides she better hurry! I was given this book for a review and all opinions are mine. Nov 15, Chastity Ray rated it it was amazing. Although it's the third book it can be read as a stand alone. I believe once you read it though you will go back and read the entire series so far, it's that good! Susanna Schwartz and her family are enjoying their new farm. On her way home from dropping her sister off at a friends house, Susanna has a buggy accident. It takes her a few weeks to recover, but once she's ready she is excited to attend their firs The Gift is Shelly Shepard Gray's third installment in her Amish of Hart County series.
It takes her a few weeks to recover, but once she's ready she is excited to attend their first church service in the new community. When she receives a less than warm greeting she is confused as to why half the community is angry with her and her family. They had hoped this was a chance for a new beginning, but she's beginning to think they will never be welcome.
Neil Vance and his family are the talk of the town. His dad finally had to come clean about his gambling and all the debts he owed. The family had to put the farm up for sale. That's bad enough but the family that bought the farm barely offered them enough to make it worth selling. Forced to move in with his dad's brother, Joseph, the family's shame and anger is at an all-time high. Neil can't stop thinking about the girl he helped in the buggy wreck.
She was the prettiest girl he had ever seen and he would love to see her again. Imagine his surprise when the girl of his dreams shows up at church! Things were going along great until he learns her name, Susanna Schwartz. Then his admiration turns to anger, her family is the family that bought his farm, and in his opinion cheated his family.
The Gift is a great reminder that there are always two sides to every story and that things aren't always what they seem. Susanna and Neil spend a great deal of their time trying to figure out their friendship because of family bias. I understand the need for family loyalty but sometimes you have to make up your own mind about a person.
Neil is hurt and angry and sometimes he takes that anger out on Susanna. What I love about him though is that he's quick to apologize and mean it. You have to give him credit for that. I know people who are wrong and know they are wrong but never will admit it. Neil isn't a guy who plays around with someone's feelings. He's a straight shooter and you always know where you stand.
The Gift (The Amish of Hart County #3) by Shelley Shepard Gray
He comes off as gruff and abrasive at times but I really liked the fact he wasn't a flirt. Susanna lacks self confidence. She always sees herself as an odd ball and an ugly duckling, which couldn't be further from the truth. Sure she isn't as outgoing as her sister, but she is a true blue friend and will stick by you no matter what. I love her heart, she is open and honest and willing to do just about anything to help a friend. Her shyness makes her a little awkward in social situations, but once you get to know her you will love her.
I really liked Susanna, I feel like we could be friends in real life. She has a kind and compassionate heart and isn't overly dramatic. I felt bad for her though, because she kind of took the brunt of the Vance's family anger for a while, but she was persistent and eventually won them all over. As Neil and Susanna's friendship grows a series of random accidents has them questioning everything they know.
Can Susanna trust Neil? Or could he be the one causing her family all the trouble? When Susanna shares with Neil her belief that these accidents are anything but random their friendship will be put to the ultimate test. Shelley Shepard Gray has done an amazing job of weaving mystery and romance together. You will be hooked from the first page and won't be able to put the book down until you finish. She creates characters that are flawed yet have redeeming qualities and you will find yourself having a hard time remembering they are fiction!
I absolutely loved The Gift and believe you will too.
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It would make a great gift or stocking stuffer for the book nerd in your life. And if you're like me and are the book nerd in your family treat yourself to this great book. You'll be glad you did! All opinions expressed above are my own. Nov 17, Lisa Johnson rated it really liked it. Susanna Schwartz and her family are excited to be living on their own farm for the first time ever.
Her father had to work for an Englisher on a farm until they could save enough money to buy their own farm. They have had to leave their Amish community in Ohio and move to Kentucky, but they are looking forward to making new friends as well as celebrating Christmas in their new home. Soon after the move in, Susanna has a buggy accident when her horse is spooked by some gunshots fired too close to the buggy.
The shooter is not caught and she begins to think maybe a hunter had some shots go astray. The circumstances of the family who had lived on the farm previously and had been forced to sell their home are made known to her. She meets one of the sons of that family, who she forms a friendship with after some awkward and tense conversations.
Susanna begins to suspect someone wants them to leave the farm. He takes out his anger on Susanna upon their first conversation. He knows he has treated her unkindly. He apologizes and then forms a friendship with her. He begins to take her seriously about someone wanting them off the farm when several incidents occur, each one more dangerous than the last.
Is her family going to have to live in fear indefinitely? I have read the other two books in this series and found them to be suspenseful, but this third book lacked that element for me. It was evident to me who the culprit was early in the story, and the ending proved anticlimactic.
I will continue to read her writings and look forward to what she publishes next. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Nov 15, Kathleen Kat Smith rated it it was amazing Shelves: contemporary-fiction , christian-action-adventure , chick-literature , christian-fiction , religion , romance-fiction , mystery-fiction , amish-fiction. Sometimes through no fault of our own making, things change in unexpected ways that leave us feeling upset and downright mad. When the Vance family put their farm up for sale, there were no takers for quite some time. Forced into the option by their Uncle whom their father has quite the debt to pay thanks to gambling issues, they were left with no choice than to take whatever was offered, even if it wasn't enough to settle the debt.
While their Uncle demanded full payment or turning the property Sometimes through no fault of our own making, things change in unexpected ways that leave us feeling upset and downright mad. While their Uncle demanded full payment or turning the property over to him to settle things, their father decided to take the next offer for far less than what the property was worth. He wasn't about to turn everything over to his brother in hopes of appeasing him.
Just that one circumstance would set off a series of hostility to the new family whom the community seemed to have taken advantage of the situation, and an Amish family at that. The Schwartz family had hoped to embrace their new home and community but instead found themselves trying to justify how they were able to purchase the farm amid the rumors circulating about them.
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For Susanna, she loses control of her horse and buggy coming home during a winter's storm and feels that someone was shooting at her. Of course, that is easily explained away that hunters apparently forget just how close to the roads there were now that hunting season was in full swing. It cost her family a new horse and buggy. When a series of unfortunate accidents begin to happen on their farm and to their family, it appears as if someone is wishing them to move. When first the shooting, then a property line section of fencing is destroyed, along with a bridge collapsing that almost took the life of their younger sister, the family begins to question those in the community, but instead of getting help, they are seen as accusing the community of trying to bring them harm.
When Susanna and Neil Vance begin their own investigation, signs point to something more sinister. They have little time to figure things out before things begin to turn deadly. Readers who love a great suspense among their Amish novels, will want to pick this one up. This is the third novel in the Amish of Hart County and as with all of Shelley Shepard's novel, I don't even have to read the back cover because she involves the reader so much, they feel like they're a part of the book. There are some bonus material at the conclusion of this novel including reader's guide questions, insights into the story line and some delicious Amish recipes to try.
I give this novel a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. Oct 29, Marilyn rated it it was amazing Shelves: family , , fiction , christmas , amish-genre. The Schwartz family had expected to be accepted in their new Amish community, but instead accidents and actions seemed to be happening to their family to convince them to return to Holmes County, Ohio. However, the Vance family and members in the community felt like they had stolen the farm from them with the low price they paid.
Neil Vance and Susanna Schwartz meet when she was injured in a buggy accident, but never were introduced until later. The remarks Neil leased out to Susanna did not go well and he regretted it later. Dale Kaufmann and his family had been neighbors to the Vance family, thus his friendship with Neil included speaking opening. No one seemed to know who the culprit was causing the misfortunate accidents that clearly were accidents when Susanna, Neil and Dale decided to investigate a sturdy bridge that gave way when young Traci Schwartz walked across it.
The action, realistic characters, anguish, regrets filled with disappointment kept the pages turning to see how the lives of these loved characters would play out with their faith and trust in God with Christmas approaching. What tragedy would cause the community to rally together on Christmas Eve night? Whose relationship will blossom?
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The Gift will inspire and give new meaning to how valuable relationships are with one another and with the Lord Jesus, who came that Christmas night so many years ago. Relationships are truly a beautiful gift any time of the year, but extra special at Christmas. I look forward to reading the next book in this series that had a sneak peek at the end of The Gift. I received a complimentary copy of The Gift from the author. I have expressed my honest thoughts for this astonishing Christmas story. Sep 30, Fizzy rated it really liked it Shelves: suspense , read , amish-mennonite-fiction , christian-fiction , romance.
I mean, I loved it, it was amazing, and Shelley Shepard Gray can grip me into a story about popcorn, but WOW just didn't get me with this one. It did keep me guessing though. It's been a long time since I was wrong about the bad guy and this time, I was so very wrong. Before I get into the book though, this one was much more benign than the previous ones. It does mention happenings in th In my whirlwind tour of The Amish of Hart County series, 'The Gift' is the first one that didn't just wow me.
It does mention happenings in the previous two but in such a way that it truly can stand alone if you haven't read 'Her Secret' and 'His Guilt'. It also is extremely low on the trigger warning scale. So, necessities aside let's look at this book I loved but didn't wow over, shall we? This book eased into the story like warmth from a candle on a chilly fall evening. It didn't jump in with a clatter and it was a softer book than the previous one's in this series. I felt the lag from time to time that I probably would not have noticed if I wasn't reading them back to back.
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I think that's why the nefarious character snuck by me as well. I had my heart set on this person from early in the book, it just made sense based on what little info I had gleaned at this point again early. As the take progressed I just kept falling back to the same person. There were other potentials but this person still fit the bill. Needless to say, it wasn't my person at all but yet. This one didn't neatly wrap up either.
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It all but says the real person who did it did it but. At least for me. I needed that confession ya know? There's another thing that bothered me that, again, I probably wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't been reading the series back to back. However, this book referenced the happenings in 'His Guilt' as though they had taken place in the other town.
This bugged me. It almost felt like there was a disconnect between what happened and this book and instead of addressing it as a community they talked like it was the community over from them. Again though, probably only even picked up this being mentioned only twice as I had literally just finished 'His Guilt'. But why? It makes me think of a quote I love by GK Chesterton. He wrote;. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony.
It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately but has never got tired of making them.