Sunday, February 24, 2013

Threads of Grace - A Book Review

From the Back: When Grace Beiler was only a girl, she was married off to an older Amish man in order to save her family's farm.  Years later, she finds herself newly widowed and a mother to a young son.  She has finally fled her sad past and plans to settle into a quite life in Pennsylvania.  As soon as she arrives, she captures the attention of Seth Wyse, the most eligible bachelor in Pine Creek.  Seth is candid about his feelings for her, and for her son Abel, but Grace is determined to protect her heart.  her determination falters when her brother-in-law reveals the troubling contents of her late husband's will.  Seth offers Grace his hand in marriage, and thus a means of escape.  But despite his having saved her from another loveless marriage, Grace is slow to trust her new husband.  And as the months wear on, Seth wonders if he has made a mistake.  But God is quietly at work in their hearts, and Seth and Grace soon discover that threads of grace bind them together in a tapestry rich in hope and love.

Synopsis:  The book opens with Grace being married off to Silas Beiler, a smarmy man who is at best a loveless man and at worst an abusive man.  Grace is left little choice in the matter and gives in and marries Silas.  By Chapter 2, the story has progressed nine years and Grace is now a widow with a young son.  She has fled to Pine Creek to hide from her husband's brother and hopes to quietly raise her young, autistic son.  She meets Seth Wyse, an eligible suitor who is quite attracted to Grace.  Grace, however, has no intentions of falling in love again.  She's not even sure she remembers what true love really is.  Through a variety of circumstances, Grace is forced into a situation where Seth offers to marry her.  In order to save herself from another potentially abusive relationship, Grace marries Seth but is resigned to a relationship that is a marriage in paperwork only.  Over time, Grace's heart begins to soften and she sees that Seth is quite different from her first husband.

My Review:  This is the first book I've read by Kelly Long.  I'm still figuring out Amish fiction and still trying to figure out whether or not I really like it.  This book was a quick read - easily finished in a weekend.  The plot isn't all that complex and the story moves pretty quickly.  While it's a sweet story, the characters don't have a lot of development behind them and Grace actually comes off as annoying in several places.  I was also disappointed that the ending just sort of happened.  It was almost like Long got tired of writing and just wrapped up the story lines.  The final chapter or two were too tidy - the abusive brother changes his tune quickly, the marriage between Grace and Seth is suddenly wonderful and everything is nicely wrapped up in a bow.  It just wasn't believable and left me wanting more.  Overall, it's a nice, quick read but didn't leave me wanting to find more of Long's work to read.

Score:  3.0 bookmarks out of 5.

Note:  Thomas Nelson Publishers gave me a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.