I have enjoyed Shelly Shepard Gray's writing for some time, and was happy for the opportunity to read her newest book- The Caregiver. While I always expect a great story, written with Shelly's signature warmth and Amish style; I wasn't expecting a story about a spousal abuse victim, especially not an Amish abuse victim. I know that the Amish are a peace loving people, but Shelly reminds us that no matter what the outward appearance, humans are a fallen species- sinners in need of a Saviour. She tackles themes along the lines of, "If God is good, why does He allow such awful things to happen in this world?" (The character Lucy was brutally abused by her husband.) and "If God is love, how come I can't feel it through the pain and suffering of a physical illness such as breast cancer?". (The character, Mattie is fighting for her life.)
Whether it's the loneliness of a bad marriage, or physical pain, depression can hover like a stealth bomber, just waiting to encompass it's victims. But, is this a book about abuse, depression, cancer and despair? Although those are some of the challenges facing the characters; this book is about hope. Life affirming hope that overcomes, is victorious, and conquers the darkness with the gentle light of love.
This story takes place in the Spring, and although it starts out in a storm, the sun comes out to warm the earth, and our hearts as we are encouraged by the quiet strength of Lucy, the abuse survivor, and Mattie, the feisty young woman battling breast cancer.
Sometimes the caregivers need someone to take care of them.
This is book one in the Families of Honor series. This is Shelly's best writing yet.