A Gift of Grace (Kauffman Amish Bakery Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Take a trip to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, where you’ll meet the women of the Kauffman Amish Bakery in Lancaster County. As each woman’s story unfolds, you will share in her heartaches, trials, joys, dreams … and secrets. You’ll discover how the simplicity of the Amish lifestyle can clash with the “English” way of life—and the decisions and consequences that follow. Most importantly, you will be encouraged by the hope and faith of these women, ...
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A Gift of Grace (Kauffman Amish Bakery Series #1)

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Overview

Take a trip to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, where you’ll meet the women of the Kauffman Amish Bakery in Lancaster County. As each woman’s story unfolds, you will share in her heartaches, trials, joys, dreams … and secrets. You’ll discover how the simplicity of the Amish lifestyle can clash with the “English” way of life—and the decisions and consequences that follow. Most importantly, you will be encouraged by the hope and faith of these women, and the importance they place on their families.

Rebecca Kauffman’s tranquil Old Order Amish life is transformed when she suddenly has custody of her two teenage nieces after her "English" sister and brother-in-law are killed in an automobile accident. Instant motherhood, after years of unsuccessful attempts to conceive a child of her own, is both a joy and a heartache. Rebecca struggles to give the teenage girls the guidance they need as well as fulfill her duties to Daniel as an Amish wife.

Rebellious Jessica is resistant to Amish ways and constantly in trouble with the community. Younger sister Lindsay is caught in the middle, and the strain between Rebecca and Daniel mounts as Jessica’s rebellion escalates. Instead of the beautiful family life she dreamed of creating for her nieces, Rebecca feels as if her world is being torn apart by two different cultures, leaving her to question her place in the Amish community, her marriage, and her faith in God.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Rebecca Kauffman's Old Order Amish life is thrown into upheaval when her sister, who had joined the outside world, is killed in a car crash and leaves two teenage daughters for Rebecca to raise.


—Tamara Butler
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310561880
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 4/21/2009
  • Series: Kauffman Amish Bakery Series , #1
  • Sold by: Zondervan Publishing
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 31,038
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Amy Clipston

Amy Clipston is the award-winning and best-selling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple best-seller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats. Visit her online at www.amyclipston.com Facebook: AmyClipstonBooks Twitter: @AmyClipston

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Read an Excerpt


A Gift of Grace

A Novel


By Amy Clipston
Zondervan
Copyright © 2009

Amy Clipston
All right reserved.



ISBN: 978-0-310-28983-8



Chapter One Rebecca Kauffman's pulse fluttered as the large SUV she was riding in rumbled down the narrow road past the rolling farmland and green pastures dotted by heifers. The cows chewed their cud and nodded their greeting as if welcoming her back. The serenity of the lush, open fields intersected only by clusters of white farmhouses filled her soul with a peace she hadn't felt since she'd left last month.

Pushing the cool metal button on the door, she cracked the passenger window open and breathed in the sweet, warm, moist air, free of exhaust from overcrowded city roads.

The SUV negotiated a sharp bend, and Rebecca's heart skipped a beat when the three-story farmhouse came into view. A smile crept across her lips.

Home.

The whitewashed, three-story, clapboard house stood humbly near the entrance to her family's forty acres. The newly painted white picket fence was a stark contrast to the house's green tin roof, speckled with brown rust that told of its age. The green window shades were halfway up, and the windows were cracked open to allow the springtime air to cool the house naturally.

A sweeping porch welcomed visitors entering the front, and a white barn, almost the size of the house, sat behind it. The large moving truck filled with the girls' belongings seemed out of place next to the plain farmhouse and barn.

"This is it," Rebecca said.

Running her fingers over the ties of her prayer Kapp, her mind swirled with thoughts on how her life had suddenly changed. She was finally a mother, or rather a guardian, of her two teenage nieces, her sister Grace's children. Children would again live in the large farmhouse for the first time since she and Grace had been young.

"It's beautiful," Trisha McCabe, her older niece's godmother, whispered from the seat behind Rebecca.

"Thank you." Rebecca sat up straight in the leather front seat and smoothed her apron. "I love it here. It's so quiet. If you listen close, you can actually hear the birds eating the seed in the feeder by my garden." She pointed to the area near the front door where a rainbow of flowers swayed in the gentle spring breeze. Four cylinder-shaped feeders dangled from iron poles above the flowers. "The birds love those feeders. I have to fill them at least twice a week."

Trisha's husband, Frank, nosed his large truck up to the side of the farmhouse and then killed the engine. Whispers erupted from the third seat of the truck, and Rebecca assumed her nieces were analyzing the home.

Wrenching open the door, Rebecca climbed from the truck. She inhaled a deep breath and hugged her arms to her chest. Birds chirped and a horse brayed in the distance. The familiar sounds were a welcome change from the roar of automobiles, blare of television sets, and electronic rings of cellular phones she had endured at her sister's home.

Trisha jumped out from the backseat, her eyes scanning the field. "You and Grace grew up here?"

A rush of grief flooded Rebecca at the sound of her sister's name. Unable to speak for a moment, she nodded. "This house has been in our family for generations. Grace and I were both born here and grew up here."

Trisha glanced toward the front door. "The land is just gorgeous. Can I go in and freshen up?"

"Of course," Rebecca said, folding her arms across her simple black apron covering her caped, Plain purple dress. "The washroom is to the right through the kitchen."

"I'll be right back," Trisha said before heading in the back door.

Rebecca glanced inside the truck through the open back door and spotted her nieces speaking to each other in hushed tones. Jessica Bedford was a portrait of Grace at fifteen, with her long, dark brown hair, deep brown eyes, high cheekbones, and clear, ivory skin. Lindsay Bedford, on the other hand, was fourteen, with auburn hair, striking emerald eyes, porcelain skin, and a smattering of freckles across her dainty nose.

Watching her precious nieces, Rebecca's heart swelled with love. She'd met the girls for the first time when she arrived in Virginia Beach after hearing the news of the accident that took the lives of Grace and her husband, Philip.

The girls gathered up their bags and climbed from the truck.

Lindsay gasped as her eyes roamed the scenery. "This looks like a painting." She turned to her sister. "Can you believe we're going to live here?"

"Whatever," Jessica deadpanned with a roll of her eyes. She chomped her bright pink bubble gum and adjusted her ear buds on the contraption she'd called an iPod. Her obsession with the electronic devices seemed to exemplify the Amish perspective that modern technology interfered with community and family relationships.

Lindsay pointed to the barn. "Do you have a lot of animals?"

"We have a few cats, chickens, goats, sheep, a cow, and a couple of horses," Rebecca said.

Lindsay's eyes lit up. "Cool!"

The gentle clip-clop of a horse pulled Rebecca's gaze toward the road. A smile turned up the corners of her mouth as Annie and Titus Esh's horse and buggy traveled past her home.

"It's so good to see horses and buggies again," Rebecca said, waving at her neighbors. "Such a nice change from the traffic jams."

"Yeah, but I bet it takes four hours to get to the grocery store," Jessica mumbled.

"It's a much more enjoyable ride, though," Rebecca quipped with a smile. "There's no loud radio to take away from the beautiful scenery around us." She turned her gaze to her garden. "That reminds me. I need to check my flowers."

Moving toward her garden, she found that more flowers had bloomed and vegetables had matured while she'd been gone. Daniel must have watered them for her as he'd promised. Stooping, she yanked a handful of weeds. The feeling of her hands on the green plants sent warmth to her soul. Nothing pleased her more than working in her garden.

It's so good to be home.

Jessica sidled up to Rebecca. Slipping her iPod into her bag, her hand brushed the front of her blue T-shirt revealing Grace's wedding ring hanging from a sparkling chain around Jessica's neck. "I've never seen so many different flowers."

"They're so colorful," Lindsay said, joining them.

Rebecca's smile deepened. Perhaps she'd found a common ground with her nieces - gardening. "My mother planted roses when I was about six," she said. "I helped trim and water them during the spring and summer."

"Your mother planted them?" Jessica turned toward her, her eyes wide with shock. "My grandmother?"

"Your mother helped in the garden too. It's sort of a tradition for children to help in the gardens, especially the girls." She touched her niece's arm. "Do you like to garden?"

"I guess." Jessica shrugged. "I did a little bit with my mom."

"I helped her weed," Lindsay chimed in.

"Maybe you both can help me sometime," Rebecca said.

"Yeah. Maybe," Jessica whispered. "My mother loved to take care of her roses. I had no idea it was something she did when she was Amish."

Rebecca chuckled. "Well, gardening isn't just an Amish thing, but it is part of our culture. We love the outdoors. It's a way to praise God and celebrate His glory."

Jessica nodded. "That makes sense."

"Becky, mei Fraa. Wie geht's?" a voice behind Rebecca asked.

Turning, she found her husband, Daniel, pushing back his straw hat to wipe the sweat from his blond brow. He flashed his dimpled smile and her heart skipped a beat. Oh, how she'd missed him during their month apart.

It was so good to be home!

"Daniel!" Standing on her tiptoes, she hugged him. "Daniel, I'm doing great now. Oh how I've missed you."

"I'm glad you're home," his voice vibrated against her throat, sending heat through her veins.

Stepping back, Rebecca motioned toward the girls. "Daniel, these are our nieces I've told you so much about on the phone. This is Jessica, and this is Lindsay. Girls, meet your uncle Daniel."

"Welcome." He tipped his straw hat.

"Thanks," Jessica said, shifting her weight on her feet and glancing around the property.

"It's nice to meet you," Lindsay said.

"I hope you'll be comfortable here with us," he said. "The movers and I have almost gotten all of your boxes in."

"Great." Jessica's smile seemed to be forced.

Taking his hand, Rebecca smiled up at Daniel. Yes, it was so good to be home.

Chapter Two Shoo-Fly Pie

Crumb mixture: 1-1/2 cups flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 cup sugar 1/8 cup shortening Pinch of cinnamon

Liquid: 1/2 cup hot water 1 tsp soda 1/2 cup corn syrup molasses

Combine the five ingredients of the crumb mixture, using hands to work into crumbs. Set aside 2-3 tablespoons of the crumb mixture. Line a 9-inch pie pan with pastry.

Combine the three ingredients of the liquid mixture, and fold the crumb mixture into the liquid. Pour into the pie shell and sprinkle the set aside crumbs over the top of the batter. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) for approximately 35 minutes.

(Continues...)




Excerpted from A Gift of Grace by Amy Clipston Copyright © 2009 by Amy Clipston. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 155 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(91)

4 Star

(34)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 156 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Great Read!

    Amy Clipston has truly captured the voice of fifteen-year-old Jessica. Any parent who has raised a teenager knows that the teenage years are challenging under normal circumstances. But what happens when you take a child that age, whose parents have been killed, pull them from everything familiar - their home, school, and friends - and send them to live with relatives in an Old Order Amish community? No TV. No Internet. No place to charge an IPOD or cell phone. Add to that - Jessica will no longer be attending school since the Amish only believe in taking an education through the eighth grade. There go her dreams of graduating with her friends and going to college. But Jessica's younger sister, Lindsay, adapts quite well to the Old Order ways, much to Jessica's horror.

    All Rebecca wants is a happy family and to be a good guardian to her two nieces following the death of her sister and brother-in-law. It's the family she's always wanted, and despite the unhappy circumstances surrounding the situation, Rebecca is certain that it is God's will for the girls to live with her. Early on, Jessica's rebellious behavior causes upset in the community, and Rebecca's husband, Daniel, is held accountable for Jessica's actions. This leads to troubles within the marriage as Rebecca is pulled between her husband and the duty she feels to be a good mother-figure to her nieces.

    The Old Order Amish believe that everything that happens is God's will. But what happens when our own wants and needs block out the voice of God and what is truly His will? Clipston does a great job of posing this question to the reader through Rebecca's thoughts and actions. Rebecca is so determined to be a good mother to these children and to have the happy family she's always wanted, sometimes she doesn't see the bigger picture. My heart ached for both Rebecca and Jessica as they each struggled with the changes within their lives. The ending both surprised and pleased me. It was real and stayed true to the characters.

    This is Clipston's debut novel, and she did an excellent job of capturing the ways of the Old Order Amish. Fans of Amish fiction will enjoy this book, and even if you haven't read stories set within an Amish setting, give this one a try. I look forward to more of Amy Clipston's books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Delightful Read!

    A Gift of Grace is a charming, well-written novel which focuses on the emotional and spiritual conflicts which arise between family members from two completely different backgrounds. Ms. Clipston's writing style is both lovely and riveting as she describes the everyday life of a childless Amish couple struggling to adapt to the presence of their Englisher nieces in their home. This is a fantastic story and I could not put A Gift of Grace down until I had finished the very last page! I have already recommended it to my friends, my family members, and my Ladies' Bible study group. This is definitely a MUST READ for anyone who enjoys a wholesome, well-written inspirational romance.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Perfect Glimpse into the Amish Community

    A Gift of Grace is a delightful book set in the Amish Community. The author has obviously done extensive research on the Amish Community of Pennsylvania. The places in the book are based on actual places in Lancaaster County. I enjoyed being transported into the Amish community. I was given insight to the traditional ways. Rebecca's sister, Grace, left the Amish community, married, and had 2 daughters, Jessica and Lindsay. After an accident that killed Grace and her husband, the daughters are sent to Bird in Hand to live with their Aunt Rebecca. This novel describes how 2 teenage girls felt being thrown into the Amish community. Rebecca and her husband had tried for years to have a child, however, she was unable to conceive. Now suddenly, they become the guardians to 2 teenagers raised in the "English World." The girls have just lost their parents and now they are expected to change their way of life to fit into the Amish ways of life. Could life get any more complicated??

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

    Very Good Book!

    Anyone interested in the Amish lifestyle will love this book! This story follows the journey of an Amish woman who gains custody of her two English (not Amish) nieces after both her sister and her sister's husband die in a car crash. Rumors spread and a few sparks fly, and you'll quickly find yourself saying, "Just one more chapter!" There is just enough drama and romance. I recommend reading the next books in the series. Great for book clubs or just a nice pleasure read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2013

    I always enjoy the Amish books.

    I like all the Amish books because they are good clean books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2013

    Highly recommended-if you love Amish love stories

    Very well written. You need to get the 2nd book of the series too. Hope there will be a #3 bk.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2012

    Good story line, refeshing.

    Shows family love and respect for others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2012

    Five stars!

    Another great Amish story!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    Good Book

    It's been awhile since I've read any Amish Series. This is my first time with this author. Really enjoyed this book and the rest of the series.

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  • Posted July 10, 2012

    Awesome book!!! Highly recommend!!!

    Rebecca Kauffmanis guardian of her deased sister's ( Grace & her husband Philip died in an automobile accident)teen-age children. Jessica & Lindsay are moved from their English world to Amish. Daniel Rebecca's husband doesn't think the girls will want to stay & become Amish, but he is wrong. At end of the story Lindsay does stay but Jessica does go & live with Trisha & Frank McCabe. During the story Daniel & Rebecca's marriage is tested, she must do what is right for Jessica & Lindsay & also with her husband. Her descion was hard but was for the best. She did let Jessica live in Virginia with Trisha & Frank, she could visit her sister ( Lindsay & relatives)when ever she wanted. Also at begining of story Rebecca & Daniel tried for many years to have kinner, but it didn't happen. I was happy at the end of the story she was with child. Her & Daniel were very happy of this news.I had a hard time putting this book down. I had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next!!!

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  • Posted April 15, 2012

    Must read!

    Couldn't put the book down! Wonderful!

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  • Posted April 2, 2012

    A Very good read!

    The stability and faith of the Amish draws you through the pages. It was hard to put the book down. I felt I knew the charaters and finished this book wanting to read the next in the series. KD-BR

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  • Posted March 31, 2012

    Love it!

    This was the first book I read of any Amy Clipston books. The story kept me reading from chapter to chapter until I was finished and wanted to read more! I ended up buying the whole series to read on my eBook. I am on book #4 now and still excited about reading them. I picked a great series and highly recommend it. I will be checking out more books from Amy Clipston.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    True to Life

    Although this is considered an Amish Romance, the author has sucessfully combined the very real feelings of a contemporary troubled teenager with the love story of two married folk who suddenly find themselves guardians. You are able to see both sides of the story in a plot that never feels phony. Terrific read, especially for those of us who appreciate the notion that God is with us even when he works in myterious ways.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    Great read

    I couldn't put the book down! It reminds us that our will is not always God's will and that besides praying, we also have to listen for the answer. I can't wait to start the next one in the series

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    I really enjoyed this book-- I loved the character development a

    I really enjoyed this book-- I loved the character development and the great realism of the characters' reactions to the situations they found themselves in. Amy Clipston has a real talent for writing the voices of teenage girls as well as the adults in the Amish community. I can't wait to read the next one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2012

    Loved it!

    So glad to find another author that pulls me into her story and won't let go. Heartwarming story of faith and family-just what I love. Can't wait to get into the next ones in the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Old School VS New School - We Can Learn From Both

    Amy Clipston's first book will certainly not be her last. She has a flair for telling a story that includes in depth meaning. From the beginning of the story until the end Amy has you wanting to turn to the next page to find out more.A few of the values that jumped from the pages into my life were: (A) "Jessica shook her head. 'I don't get you people. You claim to be such wonderful Christians, yet you're the most two-faced people I've ever met.'" This was a soul searching thought to ask myself are there different standards that one sets and do we live what we preach. (B) When Rebecca's mother-in-law said to her: "Have you listened to what God has been telling you? Have you really listened _ with your heart?" What a great question to each of us and one that I want to remember. Decisions in life are made after listening to what God is telling us. How easy it is for us to forget and do it backwards.Readers will love how the older Amish life is spun into the current life of English sisters who lost their parents in an automobile crash, yet the love of God comes shinning through even in the most difficult of times.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Extremely touching storytelling

    I really enjoyed this book. I instantly connected with the characters and was actually in tears at the end of the first chapter. I felt like I had also suffered loss with Jessica and Lindsay. As a new Amish fiction reader, I highly, highly recommend this book! Beautifully written and wonderful ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Contemporary and Amish

    Each year my familhy and I pass through the Amish town of Yoder, Kansas on the way to our state fair. As an outsider, I look at the buildings and people and find myself wondering about their life. What interests me in their lives is how they reconcile themselves with the modern world. I am so glad that Amy Clipston wrote such an insightful book. It is very easy to read and I feel that I've had a chance to understand some of their lives and traditions. I no longer feel that they are "different" and appreciate their desire for simplicity in life. The main dilemma in the book is whether children raised in current society can actually appreciate and embrace the Amish life. As the mother of a 17 year old girl, I found myself relating to the dilemma that Grace's daughters found themselves in. The end is not a trite finish that leaves you empty. Ms. Clipston did a fantastic job describing their reactions and emotions. I enjoyed these characters and would like to see more of this community. What an enjoyable read this is!

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