This book was a light read, with the characters and plots very easy to follow and predict. Besides the main story of Randall Beiler's and Elizabeth Nolt's working their way past a broken relationship, there are also conclusions to two other stories from the previous books in the series.
Judith and Ben Graber struggle with uncertainties about the outcome of their foster care relationship with little James. And Pippa Reyes deals with the possibility of a new relationship as she focuses on learning to manage her restaurant. One weakness in the book is that there seems to be very little flow between the three stories, with the only real connection being that they all take place in the same community.
Fans of Amish fiction should enjoy this book. The characters and setting seem true to the typical stories of this genre. I would, however, recommend reading the first two books in the series before this one to provide the background for a better understanding of the stories.
Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for providing a copy of Joyful in exchange for my honest review.
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About the book:
A young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray's final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series.
Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm's needs first, even forsaking love. But though he tries, Randall knows he needs help caring for his younger siblings and keeping the house together.
When his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job taking care of the house and cooking for the family, Randall is furious---and guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth's heart. But when he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet, he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.
Elizabeth wants to refuse---to stay far away from the man who hurt her---but she needs the money. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that, while she's older and wiser, her love for Randall still burns strong.
Randal, too, seems to want something more. But does he want Elizabeth because he truly loves her---or because he needs a housekeeper? If Randall sincerely wants something more, he must find a way to show Elizabeth---or risk losing his chance at love forever.
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About the author:
Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.