Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel #4

A Simple Prayer (Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel, #4)
Published by Zondervan
Release Date: May 5, 2015
5 Stars

Here's a brief description:

Life has taken much from Linda Zook. Now she dares to hope for a chance at love and a new beginning.Linda Zook, 32, works part-time at the Lancaster Grand Hotel. As the sole survivor of a buggy accident that left her orphaned at age four, she was raised by her unwilling Uncle Reuben. Linda longs to be worthy of someone, but the life-long effects of her injuries and her upbringing under the care of her embittered uncle have destroyed her self-worth.
Aaron Ebersol, 32, left the Amish community 17 years ago when he could no longer bear the restrictions or the constant tension with his father. He d written too many unanswered letters to his mother and found himself incapable of putting down any roots in his new home in Missouri. Success in work could not replace the family that denied Aaron, even after all of these years.
Aaron hastily returns to the Amish community of Paradise, PA, after receiving word of his mother s stroke. Hesitant to get too close to the family he was once a part of, he decides to stay at the Heart of Paradise Bed & Breakfast. He soon encounters Linda, working there part-time, and they begin to develop a friendship.
Aaron s return allows him to reconnect with his family as he jumps into home improvement projects, hoping to make his parents house more accessible to his handicapped mother. But before long, he is enraged to learn that his brother, Solomon, had hidden all of Aaron s letters to their mother.
Linda and Aaron must each learn to forgive the family members who have deceived and forsaken them. And Aaron must also show Linda that she is worthy of his love."  

Amy Clipston is a new author for me so to be honest I wasn't sure what to expect from this book.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at the story I found inside.  The message behind the story is what stayed with me.  We are introduced to strong, lovable characters that will tug at your heart.  I found myself cheering for both characters all through the book.  The author's use of imagery will transport the reader into the story, but the wonderful storyline will keep them turning the pages. 
Linda is a sweet, young woman who has endured much in her 32 years, but her faith is what keeps her putting one foot in front of the other.  Just as she thinks she realizes her purpose in life in walks an old classmate, Aaron, that upsets her plans.  Aaron is a wonderful character that gives much insight into a person's growing up years.  Aaron made a mistakes growing up and is now trying to make amends, but the one person Aaron needs forgiveness from is himself. 

This story points out several things to me. 
First, that God loves us completely, flaws and all. 
Second, that we all make mistakes and that we should not let our mistakes define us as a person. 
This is a wonderful story that I would recommend to anyone.  I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley for a honest review without bias.  All opinions and thoughts are my own. 

Meet the Author:

Amy Clipston

A native of New Jersey, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I often joke that my fiction writing “career” began in elementary school as I wrote and shared silly stories with a close friend. However throughout school, I only considered writing a hobby, and I never dreamt of being an author.
In 1991, I graduated from high school, and my parents and I moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia. My father retired, and my mother went to work full-time. I attended Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, and I graduated with a degree in communications. I met my husband, Joe, during my senior year in college, a few days after my father had a massive stroke. Joe and I clicked instantly, and after a couple of months we started dating. We married four years later.
After graduating from VWC, I took a summer job with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, which turned into an eleven-year career. I worked in the Public Affairs Office for four years and then moved into Planning as a writer/editor.
During that time, I continued writing for fun. It was something I did to escape stress and unwind. I didn’t share the stories with anyone except for a couple of close friends. In fact, I was even afraid to admit to my husband that I wrote.

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