Sunday, June 27, 2010

RACHEL’S GARDEN by Marta Perry

Pleasant Valley Book Two
Publisher: Berkeley
Date published: March 2010
ISBN: 978-0425232361
Inspirational romance
Reviewed by Valerie
Obtained by publisher

About a year ago, the Amish community of Pleasant Valley lost Ezra Brand in a tragic accident. Now, family and friends are helping his young widow and her children to cope. However well-intentioned, Rachel is put under a lot of pressure by all the well-meaning advice everyone is eager to give her. She should sell the farm her husband worked hard to buy. She should move in with her parents who are only too willing to have her. She should partly sell her farm so as to keep at least her house. One day, Gideon Zook, Ezra’s best friend, comes by and asks if he can build the greenhouse her husband had promised her. At first she finds it difficult to have this man around without thinking constantly about her husband. Rachel starts to grow plants to sell and she learns some good lessons on the way. Now she needs to find the courage to embark on a new journey.

I really enjoyed reading this story. It is far from the usual fare I read, but I was intrigued from the first pages and the tight writing, good plot, held me captive until the end. The characters are very endearing. The first part of the story is mostly about Rachel. How she mourns her husband’s parting and how she fights to face everyday life. It was very heartwarming and emotional. Things get exciting when some strange accidents happen on Rachel’s farm and a simmering attraction starts between Rachel and Gideon. I know that readers of inspirational romances will enjoy this one. The lesson of forgiveness is one that is ages old but is explored in this story. One of the hardest persons to forgive is ourselves.
I would like to read the first book and any subsequent books too. I was thoroughly charmed by Pleasant Valley and its inhabitants. Certainly, the slow and technical way of life was relaxing to read about.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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