Friday, December 6, 2013

AUTUMN GRACE by Marianne Ellis

Publisher:  Penguin
Date published:   November 5, 2013
Genre:   Romance
Format:  Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Angie

Ruth Shrock has grown up in a large Amish family where her father has served as the deacon for her community.  She has helped in the school for a few years and believes teaching where her heart lies.  When a neighboring community asks her to come and teach in their school she jumps at the chance knowing in her heart, she is doing God’s work.  Her doubts come from her independence – she often has trouble knowing how to control her own impatience and pride.

Levi Yoder loves his community but fears falling in love and having a wife of his own.  He feels his path is in taking care of animals and making sure that they have a chance to survive when injured.  As a member of the school board, he also cares about the children and supports the town’s decision to hire Ruth.  What he does not expect, is that he will find her intriguing and her methods and her love for the scholars compelling.

Marianne Ellis gives readers a peek into the life and world of the plain community that led this reader to want to learn more.  Living just a few miles away from Lancaster, I often see the buggies but their privacy and wanting to respect that leads me to not ask questions.  Ms. Ellis makes their world come to live and her tale feels like reality, not just a work of fiction.  I will be seeking out her previous novel in the Amish Seasons Series, Summer Promise this week!  She has taken me into a community that will keep me wanting more.

Ruth is an amazing woman, and how she hides her emotions from those around her amaze me.  Some of the customs brought forth in this novel let me sighing and thankful for the openness of the world I live in – not speaking of their crushes, courting in secret… Not showing open emotion to even the closest family members and friends.  Yet the simple way of life in allowing the children with disabilities to come learn in their school, made me long for the simplicity of their lifestyle.    Ms. Ellis is a talented author who made feel as though I was watching life unfold from behind a curtain.  I was stuck in another world, yet able to feel the emotion pour from the pages. 

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