By: Shelley Shepard Gray
The Charmed Amish Life
Tragedy has hit the small town of Charm. An unexpected fire at the local lumber mill has taken the lives of five of Charm’s citizens. The fire department has ruled the fire/explosion accidental but not everyone agrees with that assessment. Many citizens are playing the blame game and forgiveness does not come easily.
Darla and Lukas have been friends for their entire lives until the mill accident takes the lives of both of their fathers. Many people in the town are blaming Darla’s father for the accident. Lukas was the eldest son and has taken over management of the mill since his father’s passing. Even though he has publicly stated that he does not blame Darla’s father for the tragedy, other town members are not convinced. Ninety-nine days after the accident Lukas reaches out to Darla. He misses her and wants to rekindle their relationship. Not everyone wants them to be friendly. Darla’s brother Aaron has fallen very deeply into his grief. He has become abusive to his siblings and cannot control his temper at work. When Lukas begins to see bruises and evidence of Aaron’s temper on Darla’s wrists, he tries to reason with Aaron and help him see that denying forgiveness is not helping anyone’s grief. Aaron is not very receptive. As Darla and Lukas become closer, they begin to heal and find that they have had stronger feelings for each other than they ever realized.
I LOVED this book! This book is about loss, grief, and the power of love and forgiveness. Darla and Lukas are put into a situation not of their making and they must navigate the feelings of both of their families and the town. The relationship they share is heartwarming and their friendship is something we should all aspire to have. I love how Lukas refuses to discard their long-term friendship even with the pressure of others pulling them apart. Lukas is there for her through her brother’s grief and lashing out. The book pulls you in and you are invested in the lives of the characters. I can’t wait to read book 2!
I would not recommend this book to anyone sensitive to domestic violence scenes.