Shelley Shepard Gray’s Charmed Amish Life series is set in the quaint Amish village of Charm, Ohio, and tells the stories of the Kinsinger siblings who are each struggling to find both forgiveness and love in the face of tragedy.
Three months ago, everything changed for Darla Kurtz and her family. Darla’s father was responsible for a terrible fire at Charm’s lumber mill which killed five Amish men. And though he, too, lost his life, the town of Charm hasn’t looked at her family the same since. Even Lukas Kinsinger—with whom Darla used to have a close friendship.
Now her brother’s anger at the town is spilling over onto Darla, and she has the bruises to prove it. The accident already cost five lives, but if something doesn’t change soon, Darla fears it will cost her—and her family—even more.
Lukas Kinsinger wants to mourn the loss of his father, but he can hardly find the time to breathe. Suddenly the head of his father’s lumber mill and responsible for taking care of his three siblings, he’s feeling the pressure. He has also never felt more alone—especially with the new tension between he and Darla. But when he learns of her troubles at home, Lukas knows he can’t simply stand by and watch. Someone has to help her before another tragedy occurs.
As Lukas and Darla attempt to repair their families, they discover something deeper than friendship growing between them. But will Lukas and Darla’s love be accepted after so much loss? Or will the pain of the past overcome any chance of future happiness?
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"A Son's Vow" is a touching story that includes elements of faith, romance and forgiveness versus revenge. In this case, the latter involves residents who were allocating blame for a tragic mill fire that killed five people. The story takes place in Amish country. In addition, one young lady is deciding whether she wants to maintain adherence to the Amish faith, or whether God is leading her to join the "English" world. Speaking from my many years of experience as a Crime Victim Advocate, I appreciated that the author bravely dealt with the vital issue of physical abuse in families (siblings, in this case), and how it must not be tolerated, yet the abuser needs not only to be held accountable but also needs redemption, if s/he is cooperative with that. The reader is enriched by the viewpoints of several different narrators, but I did not find it confusing at all; rather, I found it to help me to get to know the characters. My favorite, poignant quote was on page 170, "It was a terrible accident, but it is in the past. And even if someone there had caused it, no one can take on the sins of one's fathers." So balanced and true! Shelley Shepard Gray is a gifted writer, and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.