An Amish Family Christmas
Sometimes connections are made at a most inopportune time and at others they can create miracles. Christmas is a time of miracles and magic and sometimes romance. Levi Kinsinger has felt like an outcast within his own family and community sort of exiling himself by moving away and drifting apart from this loved ones. After the tragic fire that took the life of his father he left Charm but at the end of My Sister’s Wish he returned to Charm, Ohio wanting to fit into his old life even though he might not really belong there.
Julia is strong willed and so is Levi but for some reason they seem to connect. Hoping to get herself back on the ground after escaping an abusive relationship, Julia enlists the help of Levi who hires her to clean his unkempt home to supplement her salary working in a local store. She and her daughter Penny are new and Penny is a well-behaved child. Hoping to get enough money to buy her daughter a special present for Christmas yet staying true to her values even though she and Levi have made a strong connection. Hiding her past and her relationship with Luther whose voice we hear as he thinks about getting her back, seeing his daughter and hopefully keeping her in check, we hope that Julia does not fall prey to his wiles or his actions again. Julia Kemps has lived through many hard times and is hiding her part but being an unmarried mother and if the truth ever came out might make it hard for her to live in an Amish community setting. Julia moves to Charm and creates a story about being a widow. However, Levi thinks that there is something unsettling about her and Julia hopes to be able to open up but will she? With Christmas approaching and families uniting will she and Levi find a common ground? This is a story about new beginnings, trust, faith, hope, healing and the love and support of others.
As the story further develops we learn more about Simon and Amelia and their upcoming wedding while Levi and Julia seem uneasy when together yet Penny seems drawn to him so maybe they have a chance. But, Luther is cunning and wants to find Julia and that would be total destruction for both her and Penny. Things start to settle down but something tells me this is the calm before the proverbial storm.
When Penny becomes really sick with a high fever Julia is lucky that Levi comes along and takes her to the urgent care to tend to Penny. While she is doing this little does she know that Luther is working for Roman and his family trying to find out more about her and telling his own brand of lies. But, the receptionist at the urgent care needs information about Penny and the hidden secret is about to come out front and center.
Lies have a way of destroying trust and when Julia finally opens up to Levi it might change the complexion of their relationship. But, Luther is determined to get what he wants and although Levi expresses his feelings to Julia she is not quite ready for what he has in mind. Sharing Julia’s story with his family helped him to understand her reasoning for keeping her secrets and staying silent about her past. Explaining about her family and parents opened up many new questions that she answered yet their relationship was strained. Coming over to see Penny and give her back her toy was not only an excuse to see her but to try and mend their ways.
Luther was determined to get Penny and Julia to leave with him and when he shows up he continues with his threats and violence until something changes which might set Julia and Levi on a different path. Family loyalties, strength, understanding and love come into play as Levi is determined to stop Luther from ever harming Julia again. As Penny learns the truth will she gravitate to her real father or will she see him for what he is worth which is not much. What the family does and how Simon steps up to the plate will renew your faith in love, family, hope and survival. Will Julia and Levi find their way? Will Penny get a great Christmas present that her mother wanted her to get? Will she allow Levi to take care of them both? Author Shelley Shepard Gray once again scores high marks with this outstanding novel filled with surprises, twists, turns and definitely a well crafted and intricately woven plot to end this amazing series. Readers who have not read the entire series need to start from the beginning to get to know the Kinsinger family. Real issues. Real problems. One closely knit family.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine