Healing Grace (Touch of Grace Book 3) by Beth Shriver
Mose Fisher was a man of few words. He preferred action to talk. Like the other men in his family, he was a blacksmith and knew and loved horses. Living on the family farm, he traveled back and forth to town to work in a furniture store as a wood worker, between planting and harvesting seasons, to supplement the family business. His skilled hands crafted such fine pieces of furniture that many people asked for his pieces personally. But his dream was to own his own furniture shop in his community.
Abby Barker lived with her father on what used to be a flourishing farm. But the decline of the property was only the shadow of the trouble Abby and her dad faced. Life had been unkind, and her father had taken to the bottle in response, especially after Abby’s mother had died. Only Abby’s job working in the local Christian school as an ESL teacher was keeping them afloat.
While Mose was driving down the road one day, a truck and horse trailer was forced off the road by a speeding motorist in front of him. Responding quickly, Mose was relieved to see the man and woman exit the truck unharmed. He turned immediately to the horses trapped in the trailer and assisted Abby in getting them out. The filly seemed to be slightly injured, but Mose at once sensed the man’s hostility when he offered to help. Abby appreciated his kindness but was not free toexpress her gratitude until later.
Abby was no stranger to horse care, but no matter what she did, her filly’s injured leg was not getting any better. She didn’t want to let her dad know the extent of the horse’s injury since she knew they couldn’t afford doctors or vets. Her father wouldn’t even get help for his own illness. She had no other friends to turn to; she had been isolated from other people for so long. The Amish man who assisted them at the accident scene seemed to know about horse care. When she discovered that he worked in town, she turned to him for help. Thus was the beginning of an unusual friendship. But what would they do if it becomes more than friendship?
The author does a wonderful job of creating a situation where two separate worlds believably intersect. What seemed almost impossible at first glance seemed doable mid-stride. She also wrote empathetic characters with real spiritual and social conflicts especially when Mose and Abby were repeatedly drawn together through circumstances they had little control over. Both Abby and Mose found themselves at a crossroads in their lives. I felt their struggles often made them approachable and real.
The one factor I didn’t care for in the book were some of the personal conflicts between Abby and Mose. While it was easy to understand the conflict that existed between Abby and her father, between Mose and his father, the tension between the young people was not as clearly defined. Mose was struggling more with a cultural conflict since he was drawn to an English girl–something frowned upon in the close knit Amish community. But when they were together, I felt that their conversations didn’t clearly communicate what they were conflicted about. And some of their discussions didn’t even make sense to me. I felt confused more than once in figuring out what they were talking about. I got the feeling that they didn’t know either sometimes. I felt this weakened the resolution of the tension at the end of the book.
Other relationships in the story were heartwarming. For example, I absolutely loved the closeness Abby established with Becca, an Amish girl near her age. Mose’s mother took Abby under her wing and they became close both as a mother and daughter would be and as a mentor and student. Overall, this was a pleasant read with a satisfying conclusion that included an unexpected twist.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from The Booketeria and Charisma Media/Realms. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in
accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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