Hopeful (Return to Sugarcreek Series #1)

Hopeful (Return to Sugarcreek Series #1)

4.5 44
by Shelley Shepard Gray, Robynn Rodriguez
     
 

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In the Amish town of Sugarcreek, love comes in many forms. But will it come at all for Miriam?

Miriam Zehr has worked at the Sugarcreek Inn longer than she cares to admit. The restaurant is a favorite of town residents as well as the many tourists who come to taste the famous Amish fare. Though she always tries to have a smile for every customer, deep down Miriam

Overview

In the Amish town of Sugarcreek, love comes in many forms. But will it come at all for Miriam?

Miriam Zehr has worked at the Sugarcreek Inn longer than she cares to admit. The restaurant is a favorite of town residents as well as the many tourists who come to taste the famous Amish fare. Though she always tries to have a smile for every customer, deep down Miriam knows something's missing: a family of her own.

Miriam has never felt particularly beautiful, especially because she's always been a bit heavier than other girls her age. When Junior, the man she's pined for all her life, suddenly seeks her out, she's thrilled to be noticed . . . until she realizes he's only asking her to help get the attention of Mary Kathryn Hershberger, her pretty friend.

If Miriam helps Junior court Mary Kathryn, she'll get to spend a lot of time with him, but she might lose him in the process. Are these few stolen moments worth a lifetime of sacrifice? Is Miriam right to even hope for the life she dreams of?

Editorial Reviews

Suzanne Woods Fisher
With her endearing and delightful characters, written in her trademark descriptive style, author Shelley Shepard Gray has once again crafted a story that will capture readers’ hearts from the first page.
Romantic Times BOOKclub
“Something for everyone...Gray writes about Amish life with charm and respect.”
Cindy Woodsmall
Once I began reading it, I couldn’t set it aside until I had read every page...a delightful story.
Vannetta Chapman
A story of love, grace, and yes—hope. I loved Miriam Zehr from page one. Shelley Shepard Gray has once again written a story that will captivate readers.
Destination Amish blog
“Yet another stark reminder that Shelley is a wonderful storyteller who creates one of kind characters. She paints a very vivid picture of real life and keeps readers fully engaged…”
Amy Clipston
A beautiful story of faith, hope, and second chances. Her characters are so real that they feel like old friends. Once you open the book, you won’t put it down until you’ve reached the last page.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781482991680
Publisher:
Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date:
02/28/2014
Series:
Return to Sugarcreek Series, #1
Edition description:
Unabridged

Meet the Author

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, 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.

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Hopeful 4.5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 44 reviews.
busymomoftwo More than 1 year ago
I love a nice straight-forward, easy to read story, filled with characters that you can't help but root for. That is exactly what I found when I read Helpful by Shelley Shepard Gray. It is fun to get to know the characters that Shelley Shepard Gray develops in Helpful. As you learn more about them and their lives, it is hard not to feel connected to them. The story moves easily between characters and their stories and progresses nicely. (As a busy mom, I love a book that I can sit down and read easily over the course of a couple of days, and that if need be, can put down and pick up several times over the course of that time.) Hopeful is set in Sugarcreek, Ohio - which I think is fun, because it is an actual community and one that I have visited. I have been there a few times - not enough to recognize any landmarks from the storyline, but I still felt connected knowing I had been there. The story could have been set almost anywhere, with it's universal theme. A classic love triangle/girl next door tale where girl loves boy and that boy loves another girl and relies on the first girl as a friend for advice and support in his pursuit. It is something that I am sure many of us have seen or experienced in our lives. It was nice to read a book about the Amish that was about the story's characters and what was going on in their lives. It wasn't about them being Amish and it wasn't full of Englisher influence or support. Sure there was an occasional non-Amish that appeared in the story, but they weren't really part of the storyline but rather mostly were there because of the reality of where the Amish live and work. This was the first book that I read by Gray, but since it is the first book in the series, and I love to find familiar characters in the story or background of future books, I look forward to reading the future books in the series. *A complimentary review copy was provided.
lorrdel More than 1 year ago
Nice storyline. I enjoy Amish novels and this one did not disappoint.
AnnKietzman More than 1 year ago
This book is filled with heartwarming characters, family and the reminder that God always works things out for our good in the end. It is the first in a new series by Shelley Shepard Gray and I believe this book is one of her best. I was sad when the book ended and I'm looking forward to the next one being published. This would make a great gift for anyone.
CindyLinth More than 1 year ago
What a great story! This book is full of hope, faith, and love. I felt like I was there in Sugarcreek with Miriam, Junior, and Mary Kate. Miriam's heart is full of love for everyone around her. Such a giving person. The way she steps up to help Kay with her reading and Mary Kate with her problems shows her big heart for others. I'm anxiously awaiting the second book in the Return to Sugarcreek series. Great writing Shelley!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
~Miststar
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Would be a great book for teenagers. Not a book lib book or for adults
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
~Purity
coramdeo540 More than 1 year ago
Hopeful: Return to Sugarcreek, Book One Shelley Shepard Gray Book Summary: In the Amish town of Sugarcreek, love comes in many forms. But will it come at all for Miriam? Miriam Zehr has worked at the Sugarcreek Inn longer than she cares to admit. The restaurant is a favorite of town residents as well as the many tourists who come to taste the famous Amish fare. Though she always tries to have a smile for every customer, deep down Miriam knows something's missing: a family of her own. Miriam has never felt particularly beautiful, especially because she's always been a bit heavier than other girls her age. When Junior, the man she's pined for all her life, suddenly seeks her out, she's thrilled to be noticed . . . until she realizes he's only asking her to help get the attention of Mary Kathryn Hershberger, her pretty friend. If Miriam helps Junior court Mary Kathryn, she'll get to spend a lot of time with him, but she might lose him in the process. Are these few stolen moments worth a lifetime of sacrifice? Is Miriam right to even hope for the life she dreams of? Review: I really loved this story line. I found Miriam and Junior to be well written and believable characters that you could be empathetic to while rooting for Miriam to have her hero at the end no matter what happened. I found the plot and the other characters to be just as enjoyable. I could not believe how quick it was to read. There were no surprised yet it was a great book. I believe that the strong characters and a well written story to be the key to this book Shelley Shepard Gray did an amazing job writing this story! Every book she writes just seems to get better and better. I would like to thank Edelweiss -Above the Treeline and Avon Inspire for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone. 
wfnren More than 1 year ago
A good story about a deep true love  --   Shelley did a good job of showing what true love really means. This isn't a long book but it is a very good one. It's nice to be drawn in to a story so quickly and you can only pray that you would be as good a person as Miriam is. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series, "thankful" is already out and "joyful" is due to come out in September.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have lived near Amish and Mennonites and have great respect for them. I especially liked this book because of the complicated plot and how the author placed the characters as real people with real problems that patience and love resolved.
nanaquilts More than 1 year ago
This was a hard to put book to put down. I can't wait to read book 2.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was not a favorite. It was good but it did not have enough detail about the way of life and the beliefs. It was hard to equate this book with the Amish people. It was an easy read and not a boring story line.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Miriam could do so much better. I'm glad things worked out in the end, but I honestly wouldn't have trusted Junior after his many insensitive comments. I know he didn't mean to be such a jerk to her. His words just popped out all the time before he gave them much thought. But Miriam was a great person throughout the book. She didn't deserve his words. And if I had been Miriam, I honestly don't think I could trust him to be sincere. But then Miriam is a better person than myself. Overall, it was a great book. This is the first book that I've read by this author and I was impressed. Can't wait to read her other books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
Hope Persists! The characterizations throughout Hopeful represent many personality types, covering a broad spectrum. Miriam is a comforter, saddened by the fact that she is still single, but finds comfort in helping others. Junior is mature beyond his years, having been the father/mother figure for his numerous siblings since both parents died. Mary Kate is a newcomer to the community of Sugarcreek, and harbors secrets from a past tainted relationship. Her past admirer is overbearing and devious. As these characters intermingle throughout this story disappointment and anguish create depression and unhappiness, but hope is what inspires them to continue moving forward.  The author has revealed a complex set of relationships throughout this book, and has created a realistic depiction of disappointment, heartbreak, compassion and an underlying hope that life will somehow become more satisfying and joyous. Family is an important element throughout, evidenced by a young couple who recently discovered they cannot have children of their own, as well as others seeking companionship and a life shared with someone they can love and honor. The Amish way of life is woven throughout this book, creating a community of people who share the same beliefs and expectations that we've come to respect through these examples. I enjoyed the interactions between the diverse characters in this story, and look forward to the sequels in this series. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book, and we are returning to Sugarcreek, with a brand new series. This story brings to light that people don't realize what they have, until it is taken away. We take things so easily for granted. Also we have a story of fear, stalking, and no one believing. Can you imagine having a secret so scary, that you cannot tell anyone. Even your parents don't really believe you? That is what the new teacher Mary Kate is dealing with. I can't even imagine, but know this goes on in all cultures, not just Amish. We have a delightful, kind, and there for you person in Miriam Zehr. She has one person on her mind, know since they were kinner, and what does Junior Beiler do?? He asks her for help getting to know another woman. Kind and loving Miriam, tries!!! Oh my! You are going to love Junior's family, especially the little one. Their parents have passed on and we see what problems, and yet a lot of love that holds this family together. Loved the banter between the siblings, and although they, kind of, get Junior in trouble, it can be funny. You won't want to leave here, and there is also a side story in this community, that affects a lot of Amish/English Woman, and we hope the Doctor is wrong. You will not regret picking this one up! Enjoy! I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Miriam Zehr is a single Amish woman in her twenties. Even though she seems happy working at the Sugarcreek Inn she longs to be married and have her own family. She has liked Junior Beiler for as long as she can remember and is excited when he asks to see her. Miriam is in for quite the disappointment when she finds Junior only wants to see her because of her best friend, Mary Katherine, whom he would like to court. Miriam is heartbroken but agrees to help Junior in his effort to court Mary Katherine. What a great book this was! It was easy to get into and from the first page I felt as if I had known the characters forever. The characters are all likable and "real" but I could especially relate to Miriam. She is the type of girl you would want to be friends with. I'm sure everyone knows someone who is like her. I liked Junior too even though I wanted to ask what he was thinking at times. The story flows smoothly from beginning to end. I found myself wanting to read faster to find out what happens but at the same time wanting to read slower so the book wouldn't end. I really enjoyed the time I spent with these characters. I am definitely recommending this book to anyone who likes Amish fiction, Christian fiction or just a good clean book to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wilani More than 1 year ago
Hopeful is a great book.  It is the first book in the Return to Sugarcreek series.  I found it difficult to put the book down.  I loved the fact that Miriam continued to be herself even though it hurt.  Characters with heartaches and problems worked through them and found hope at the end.   I cannot wait to read the next book in this series.