November 15, 2011
Christmas in Sugarcreek by Shelley Shepard Gray
This book somewhat centers around three different couples. The main couple, Ben and Judith, are thrown together when he comes to work at her store. Initially wary of him because of his past teasing in school, Judith isn't sure what to think but working with him starts to change her feelings. And Ben, well he's always thought Judith was perfect. To a smaller extent, there were two other couples featured as well. Rebecca is being pursued by Judith's brother Caleb, but she has a secret she isn't so sure she wants him to know. And finally, Lilly and her new husband are adjusting to life as Mennonites, a compromise between her Englisher and his Amish heritage. But she always feels like she isn't good enough for him, and knows that his family doesn't like her as well. But she wants so desperately to have a happy Christmas.
The characters were average in this book. I liked Judith but wasn't as thrilled with Ben. Sure he seemed compelling with his dark past, but he actually wasn't all that interesting. I just couldn't see the spark between them at all even though I was rooting for them to get together. The other characters in the other stories were also a little underdeveloped, and to be honest, I had trouble keeping them straight sometimes.
There was a lot going on in this book with the three different romances. In fact, it got confusing and I would have much preferred that the book focused only on Ben and Judith. There was enough material to work with that Gray could have written three books if need be. And there's was the most compelling romance. To throw them all together just wasn't a wise choice in this case. But they were nice heartwarming stories, and the writing was easy to read. Since it was Amish fiction it had just a touch of religion in it and you can be sure there wasn't anything offensive. A pretty tame read in other words. Which is nice sometimes. I do also like how Christmas was incorporated into this book. Too often its titled as being involved but then never really gets put into the story.
A nice read. Very pleasant and easy going. Its a good book for if you just want to relax or have some brain candy to take your mind off things.
Christmas in Sugarcreek