Book Description: Never doubt in the darkness what God has shown you in the light. -Amish Proverb
Elsie Yoder can’t forgive her sister, Katie, for leaving the community. Unable to let go of her sadness, she withdraws from her friends and family, nursing her feelings of betrayal. Gideon Lapp has held a special place in his heart for Elsie and longs to help her get through her troubles. Together they find comfort in their study of the Martyr’s Mirror, a centuries-old book that describes their ancestors’ sacrifices for their faith through years of persecution. As Elsie opens up and begins to put her trust in Gideon, she tells him about the harassment she and her sister received at the hands of some local men. When the men return and threaten the community, Elsie and Gideon must stand together to do what is right. But can Elsie learn to give grace and to humble herself to accept grace as well?
My Thoughts: Beth Shriver is a new author to me. But the title of her second book in the Touch of Grace series, Grace Given, sounded interesting.
I think that we, non Amish peoples, are quite smitten with the way Amish peoples can survive . . . the Amish raise all their own food, travel mainly by horse and buggy and cook what they raise. And yet, if someone offends them or hurts them they willingly forgive.
Now, in Grace Given, Beth Shriver is more detailed than other Amish authors I've read, especially in her historical retelling of the earlier Amish. I had not heard of the Martyr's Mirror which is an actual book that documents the stories and testimonies of Christian martyrs, especially Anabaptists. The full title of the book is The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians who baptized only upon confession of faith, and who suffered and died for the testimony of Jesus, their Saviour, from the time of Christ to the year A.D. 1660. I found this part of the book to be fascinating since I had studied a little about the Anabaptists in high school.
However, this is just part of the story. The story is more about Elsie and Gideon. Also, Elsie is trying to come to grips with the "why" of her sister, Katie's betrayal.
Then there's the "bad men" who have been harassing her and her sister and return to threaten the community. This harassment problem bothers Gideon . . . just how much does one stand and forgive?
The love story between Gideon and Elsie is sweet and tender.
Not having read the first book, I wasn't sure that I missed anything. So, I would say that these books are stand alone reads. However, I'm sure that reading the books in order would bring more understanding. Quite an interesting read.
*This book was provided for review by Realms/Charisma House*
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Realms (January 8, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1621360172
- ISBN-13: 978-1621360179