Daybreak (Days of Redemption Series #1)

Daybreak (Days of Redemption Series #1)

by Shelley Shepard Gray

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In this close-knit Amish family, nothing is as perfect as it seems . . .

When Viola Keim starts working at a nearby Mennonite retirement home, she strikes up an unlikely friendship with resident Atle, whose only living relative, son Edward, is living as a missionary in Nicaragua. Viola understands the importance of mission work, but she can't imagine leaving her father in the hands of strangers. Even though her family is New Order Amish, it's not the Amish way, and though she doesn't know Ed, she judges him for abandoning his father.

But when Ed surprises his father with a visit, Viola and Ed both discover an attraction they never expected. Despite her feelings, choosing Ed would mean moving to a far-off country and leaving her family behind. She can't do that. Her twin sister, Elsie, is going blind and will need someone to care for her all her life. Her family is reeling with the recent discovery that her grandmother hid her past as an Englischer. Her father seems forgetful and distracted—and to be harboring some secrets of his own.

Does Viola dare leave them all behind and forge her own life? Or will family ties mean her one chance at love slips away?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062204417
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/12/2013
Series: Days of Redemption Series , #1
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 91,521
File size: 1 MB

About 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.

What People are Saying About This

Jillian Hart

“Shelley Shepard Gray writes with honesty, tenderness and depth. Her characters are admirable, richly-layered and impossible to forget long after the story is done.”

Customer Reviews

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Daybreak 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
What if everything you ever believed about your upbringing and the life your parents had lived was nothing but a lie? What would that make you think about all the decisions you've made that were called wrong when instead they could have been right, if only the true were allowed to shine through? Now you have the premise behind the latest novel from Shelley Shepard Gray in her new series The Days of Redemption. In the first book, Daybreak we are introduced to the residents of Daybreak Retirement Home where Viola Keim has been working in Mennonite community. Even though she herself isn't a Mennonite, but a New Order Amish, she finds herself wondering just how children can abandon their parents to live out the rest of their lives in the care of strangers instead of living at home with them. She finds herself particularly drawn to an elderly man named Atle Swartz who is wheelchair bound but is ornery as they come and lately only Viola can dish it back to him in a manner that creates a wonderful relationship despite the age difference. However when Atle shares the letters from his son volunteering in mission work in Nicaragua, she isn't pleased when Edward returns home to see his father. She has a hard time coming to terms between the differences in caring for aging parents and feels obligated to share her concerns with him. However it seems there might be more sparks there than just anger but can they work through their differences before Edward has to return to Nicaragua? When Viola learns that even her own family has been hiding secrets of their own, it opens her up to the possibilities that not everything as it appears on the surface. She learns that her own mother was born English and have hidden the facts of their lives before marriage from their children. Now Viola's parents have to come to terms that what people think about them as the perfect family isn't really true and that those same standards they have placed on their children growing up has made life more difficult than they could have imagined. What implications will that have not only on their immediate family but in the Amish community as well? Will this new knowledge help Viola move towards having a softer heart towards Edward and his own father? I received Daybreak by Shelley Shepard Gray compliments of Avon Inspired, a division of Harper Collins Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. Once again Shelley does an exceptional job at writing a series that defines some valuable lessons in between, about judging a book by its cover! In this instance Viola is judgmental when it comes to how Edward deals with his father based on her own values in growing up Amish, but she doesn't understand what has motivated them to make the decision that worked for them. Much like how she has judged her own parents based on what she saw on the outside without really knowing the truth about their own pasts. I LOVED novels that offer a duality about them, incorporating an wonderful story with some valuable life lessons we can all relate to. I rate this one a wunderbaar (wonderful in Amish) 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for the next book Ray of Light in this heartwarming The Days of Redemption series. You get a teaser chapter at the end of this one!
JPropst More than 1 year ago
Once again Shelley Shepard Gray has written a wonderful story with DAYBREAK the first book in her new series THE DAYS OF REDEMPTION. I loved DAYBREAK it was spellbinding, intriguing and an engaging page turner with the hint of mystery with the Keim family secrets being revealed. In the mist of the uproar Viola Keim and Edward Swartz fall in love. Their relationship brings each one to make a big decision that will change their lives, especially for Viola. Once Lovina's (Lorene's mother) secret is revealed Lorene goes to see John Miller whom she broke up with 10 years ago because of her mother to ask forgiveness. They find they still love each other and want a life together. I can't wait to read book 2, RAY OF LIGHT especially after reading the excerpt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Daybreak is the first book in the Days of Redemption series. It focuses on Viola Kiem, a young Amish woman who works at a retirement home. One of her friends at the retirement home is resident Atle Swartz, whose son Edward is a missionary worker in Nicaragua. Viola does not agree with Atle's only child being so far away from his father. When he comes home to visit his father Viola is unsure of her feelings towards him. Viola's home life is chaotic as it is discovered her grandmother has been keeping a secret, her aunt reveals a past hurt and her father has a secret of his own. Viola's world has been turned upside down. I really enjoyed this book. The characters were likable even though flawed. They could have been from any background as the problems they faced weren't specific to the Amish faith. I liked how Shelley Shepard Gray took these "any family" problems and wove them into a story about an Amish family and how they handled them. The story moved at a good pace. There is just the right mix of romance and family turmoil to get the reader's attention and keep them interested. I am looking forward to the next book in the series to find out what happens next in the Kiem family. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes Amish fiction or is just looking for a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book! I love Amish fiction and this was an easy read. I read it in one day! I'm excited to read the rest of the books in this series!
msnbthomas More than 1 year ago
Not sure if Ms. Gray really knows much about the Amish. Many background items don't fit with Amish lifestyle. However, the storyline was interesting and I do recommend the book as light reading. It is definitely PG reading and thus something I enjoyed.
Marilyn65 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. Am anxious to see what happens next!
mickeydAR More than 1 year ago
JoyAnneTN More than 1 year ago
Daybreak is a beautifully written story about family secrets. Viola works in the Daybreak Retirement Center which is in the Mennonite community. Working with the residents makes her wonder how children can leave their parents and never look back. Though New Order Amish are not to judge others she can't help herself. When she becomes aware of powerful secrets her family has kept from her, she sees things in a different light. Viola learns a valuable lesson which would be helpful to many. Loved this book and can't wait for book 2. Shepherd has a way of writing that makes you sit back and think about what the characters are feeling. Definitely 5 out of 5 stars! I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
MADreaderMD More than 1 year ago
This was a sweet romance set in an Amish community in Ohio. It was interesting to see the daily lives of this New Order Amish family depicted. Viola has always thought her family was one of the best examples of a Godly family in the community, but as more and more secrets come out about members of the family, she is not sure of anything anymore. Her grandmother has always been so strict and pious, but when the family learns that she was raised English, everything gets turned upside down. It's not the best time to strike up a romance with someone she has just met, but Viola is certainly attracted to Edward, who has finally come to visit his father in the retirement home where Viola works. Viola always thought Ed was neglecting his father as he went off to do mission work in Nicaragua. However, Ed's father is perfectly happy at the home, and she knows how important Ed's work is. She just can't ever imagine herself moving far away from her family. As Ed and Viola get to know each other better, they both have important decisions to make. How can they best serve the Lord, honor their families, and still find love? Does it have to be either/or, or can they make it work together?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed watching family overcome several trials. I truly love this author . Must read in order.
memakf More than 1 year ago
This is book one is a series set in Holmes County Ohio and centered around an Amish community. I really like how Ms. Gray makes the characters "not perfect", but with family problems just like we all have. Sometimes the Amish genre is portrayed as an idealistic way of life, but this story helps the reader realize that the Amish are people that can have family problems just like everyone else - they just use their faith to work through those problems. Viola, one of the main characters, struggles to understand Ed's choice to be away from family and live as a missionary in another country. She reminds us that we usually end up with a wrong assessment of someone when we look at them through our own perception, instead of through God's eyes. The story has many characters that are easy to identify with and teach us how to work through life's trials with faith and family. The other books in this series focus on different characters in the same community of Amish, which always appeals to me because I hate saying goodbye to characters I have met in stories! Ms Gray's descriptive scenarios make you feel a part of the community and the lives of the characters. Her attention to detail and her accurate portrayal of the Amish is a reflection of the research she must put into every story. I look forward to many more stories from this talented author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy reading amish fiction.
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Nell13 More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed !!!!!!!
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brewskyKH More than 1 year ago
Shelley Shepard Gray does not disappoint. This is just another wonderful book. Can't wait for the next one now.
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Please join Diamondclan! We are located at 'Diamonds in the sky' all results.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sat down and wauted silently.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enters and croaks"may i join" his brown pelt mottled with blood his yellow head in the same fashion"i am shiningleaf" he sais and faints