Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Caregiver by Shelley Shepard Gray

The Caregiver: Families of Honor, Book One


"The Caregiver" by Shelley Shepard Gray touches on a subject that I have rarely read about in the amish stories that I read, and that is domestic violence among the Amish. In this story we have the protagonist Lucy, who married a man that the Amish community thought well of.Soon after marrying Paul, he becomes verbally and physically abusive towards her. While many of the people in her community knew what was going on they did nothing. Lucy figures that she is destined to live the rest of her life with abuse,something that she blamed herself for. The only place that she could pour out her emotions were in the pages of her journal, so when an accident claims the life of her husband, she finds herself writing that she is actually relieved that he is dead.

When her friend Mattie is diagnosed with breast cancer, Lucy decides she will head to Jacob's Crossing near Cleveland to help take care of her. Traveling alone by train she meets Calvin Miller and his precocious sister Katie, the only other Amish people on the train. When the train breaks down outside Toledo, the trio spends the day together,and while Lucy wants to believe that Calvin is nothing like Paul, she is afraid to trust.

Calvin is carrying the hurt of betrayal of his former girlfriend Gwen and his friend Will. But when he finally gets home to Jacob's Crossing he can't quit thinking about Lucy. Will Lucy's past keep her from realizing what a great guy Calvin is, or will they be able to work beyond their past hurts to claim a future together?

I really enjoyed reading this story, I felt like the author accurately portrayed the feelings that Lucy would have probably experienced as a person living with domestic violence. My heart broke for her on several occasions, especially when she longed to be the girl she was before the abuse began. I felt like Lucy's role as caregiver started long before she started helping to take care of Mattie. She was a daughter that married, so that it would ease the burden of her parents overcrowded house. When she found herself in an abusive marriage she then took the blame on herself, but always tried to anticipate the needs and wants of her husband. I was so glad when she found him dead, although had I been the author I would have probably had him ran over by a car or stomped by a bull, instead of simply falling off of a ladder.

The author introduces to several secondary characters that have interesting stories of their own, which makes me anxious to read the next book in the Families of Honor series. While this book will definitely appeal to readers of Amish fiction, I think it would hold appeal to anyone who enjoys a well written inspirational story that weaves together the elements of faith, love and learning to trust again.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

17 comments:

  1. Thanks for popping in on my blog, I am now following you! I love your festive background and I am also an avid reader! Ok, I cheat a little, I listen to them on my Ipod, but that way I can do laundry and clean the house while getting a good book in. Have a great weekend.-Kelly

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  2. Thank you so much for stopping by, I am now your newest follower at this moment from the saturday blog hop. The Caregiver sounds like a really good book. I'm always looking for a great read.

    Hope
    http://www.peanutbutterandhopey.com

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  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am going to have to go through the book challenges you have listed and see if there is one I am interested in. I love reading and love challenges, I just don't have much time these days to read. My 2 toddlers keep me very busy :) Hope you have a great weekend.

    www.mywallabygold.com/blog & www.mywallabygold.blogspot.com

    Angie

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  4. Thank you so much for stopping by and following! I'm following back!
    :)
    Marcy
    www.lifesgristle.blogspot.com

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  5. I'm your newest follower from Social Parade Blog Hop
    http://seemask.blogspot.com

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  6. your review actually had me teary-eyed there...domestic violence is quite common and sometimes friends and family don't want to butt in. such an interesting book!

    thanks so much for following my blog; followed you right back :)

    http://pictureclusters.blogspot.com/

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  7. Thank you so much for stopping by and following my blog. I love reading as well. I am checking out your great reviews. Have a great weekend!

    Vickie
    http://victoriasvoice44.blogspot.com

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  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog and following along -- following right back!

    ♥cyn♥

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  9. New follower from Sat Stalk:) I love reading, I can't wait to see what books are good:)

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  10. Giving you a follow back. Thanks for stopping by today.
    Amber

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  11. So awesome! Amish stories are my favorite...will definately be checking this out! Thanks for coming by GG2Life. I'm following back.

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  12. Great review of an interesting sounding book! I just joined a book club for the first time last year, and am finding I'm getting even more out of books thanks to it!

    Thanks for visiting my blog and following - just stopping by to return the favour!

    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

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  13. Sounds like a great book. I love reading and I'm always looking for good books.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm your newest follower. :) http://cherishedhandmadetreasures.blogspot.com/

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  14. New follower from the hop, following you back. Thanks for the follow. I'm currently on my 5th Outlander series novel, love it! Hubs thinks I'm nuts for reading books so big but I really enjoy it.

    I have a March Madness blog event taking place starting Tuesday so I am busily trying to get 6 giveaways (some of which are also reviews) ready to be posted. It only runs for 5 days so it's a whirlwind of giveaways from all the blogs participating. Hope you pop back over to enter some giveaways during March Madness, sponsors LeapFrog, Hasbro and more are sponsoring giveaways for this event. :)

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  15. Oh I can't wait to read this! Iam following you back as RambleSAHM on GFC! I am book marking your site too!

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  16. I am following back, thanks so much for following me.

    Nicole Weaver
    http://mysisterismybestfriend.blogspot.com

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  17. Thanks for “Stalking Me!” I'm Stalking back! Following on GFC via Both of my blogs:
    www.mrs-marine.com
    http://novelbloggers.blogspot.com
    Please follow my other blog if you haven’t already. Don’t forget to stop by next week and link up again on "Stalk Hop Friday"!

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