Return to Sugarcreek, Book One

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?

Purchase a copy and learn more at Shelley’s website .


  • WordSmith says:

    What an enjoyable read! I found myself liking the two main characters–Miriam and Junior–in spite of their flaws (physical and otherwise). Miriam had a attractive personality and sweet innocence that reminded me of a few people I’ve known in real life. Though Junior had a habit of being somewhat insensitive, he was still likable.

    One interesting point was that the male lead spent most of the book chasing the wrong girl. I love that the author was able to pull this off and leave us with a satisfying ending while keeping it believable.

  • This is not just “another” Amish story. Hopeful is filled with relatable characters, unrequited love, comedy, and realistic conflicts. The whole book is enjoyable.

  • This was an interesting story. The author writes in a style that makes you feel the pain of some of the characters.Although the book centers around the Amish it does not feel so Amish centered as other books. The book touches on subjects we can relate to. Subjects such as rejection, loss, miscarriage, abuse and adoption.

  • Hopeful by Shelley Shepard Gray is a tender story written with a group of honest voices that carry its story. Many things are happening in Sugarcreek, and Gray does such a wonderful job at showcasing each trial and difficult circumstance that each person goes through. Hopeful is the first of this new series to look out for and to get lost in. Get ready to fall in love with Sugarcreek and the people who call it home.

    This book is a fast read. It only has 256 pages, so it’s a perfect weekend read or even a perfect in between book. You will be surprised how enjoyable this book is once you get into it. I couldn’t believe how much I loved this story and it’s characters.

  • The sub-plots are hard facts of life, thought provoking and handled with grace. This is the first in a new series and one that I will surely be following.

  • I jumped at the chance to read this Amish fiction book, and read it I did…in less than 24 hours. I loved it.

  • I just have to say that I love the way Shelley writes. The Words just flow so nicely together and make for an easy read.

  • Hopeful is a sweet story with imperfect people. I enjoyed reading it from beginning to end and look forward to the next book in the series.

  • The IE Mommy says:

    Hopeful was a fantastic book. I loved and found the characters very relatable! Shelley Shepard Gray wrote an enjoyable story about an Amish community which characters that could very well be my friend and I, or even you! The things I took to heart from this fictional story was that conflict is sometimes very important to solve problems (which I did already know) and keep your faith in Gods plan but do not just sit around doing nothing (which I already knew too). Hopeful was an easy read that was easy to enjoy.

  • WV Stitcher says:

    Such a delightful beginning to a promising new series. I loved these characters, and I found Miriam so easy to connect with. Who doesn’t have problems with self image, and it’s wonderful to see Amish portrayed as real people with real issues. Often writers create Amish characters that seem to perfect, but Ms. Gray always makes me feel like I could be reading about anyone, Amish or English because of the realism of her characters. I couldn’t help but be drawn in wondering whether Miriam would ever find love, if Junior would realize what was right within his grasp. Plenty of secondary characters keeps the plot zipping along, making for a quick yet satisfying read! Hopeful is perfect for Amish fans, but anyone looking for a great read that just happens to be about the Amish will find Ms. Gray’s writing easy to connect with, written with depth, but also a touching tenderness and there is a bit of mystery as well. Hopeful leaves me anxious to read the next book in the Return to Sugarcreek Series!

  • Hopeful was a lovely story, and not your traditional Amish romance. Instead, Hopeful is a story of unrequited love revolving around Miriam, who’s always had feelings for Junior. Sadly, Junior is only interested in Mary Kathryn.
    This book flowed beautifully, and was my first by Shelley Shepard Gray. After reading this, though, I certainly plan on reading more. I like a good book that takes me to a different way of living, especially one where the characters are well-developed and I loved every second of I spent with them. The book is not too long, so I finished all in one particularly cold and snowy afternoon with a cup(or three) of tea by my side. I think fans of Amish/Christian fiction will find a new favorite in Hopeful, book one of the Return to Sugarcreek series.

  • Perfect, simple and heart warming tale that is easy to relate to. I saw so much of myself in Miriam! A great read.

  • I was thrilled to see a new series by Shelley Shepard Gray and I couldn’t wait to meet the characters. I have to say once I began reading it I could not put it down until it was finished. If you love Amish fiction this is a really good read. It covers a variety of topics, literacy issues, self worth, kindness, orphans, and it would not be an Amish book without love. Shelley Gray creates such delightful characters in her books. These characters are the kind you feel you have known forever. It is a wonderful book full of Christian values, family, friends and a strong reminder for us that God is always in control. I can honestly say that Hopeful is perfect for Amish fans and I cannot wait for the second book in the series to be published.

  • I enjoyed reading this book. Shelley did a good job with keeping you from putting this book down. While reading this book you feel as if you have known these characters for a long time. There is really two stories here, the story of Miram and Mary Kathryn. Another thing I enjoyed was the little extras in the back of the book. If you are a fan of Amish fiction you will enjoy this book.

  • This is the first book in Shelley Shepard Gray’s new series Return to Sugarcreek, and it was fantastic. It is not a book to be missed. It touches on loss and adoption and the romance is great in this book.

  • I absolutely love love love the first book in the Return to Sugarcreek series! I immediately feel in love with main character, Miriam. Her personality, warm smile, and kindness makes her BFF material…she’s definitely one of my fave characters in fiction! Definitely the start of what I anticipate to be a fave new series!!!!

  • SewCalGal says:

    Hopeful is a sweet story with a number of thoughtful characters living in a quaint Amish community, called Sugarcreek. Each of the characters have their challenges which unfold as the story is told by Ms. Gray. This delightful read leaves you want to read more stories about life in Sugarcreek.

  • Going into this book, I had a lot of ideas about how I would feel about the story. I’ve been in Miriam’s shoes, and I’ve often wondered if men are capable only of looking at a woman and seeing her based on how she looks. But Gray delves so much deeper than just outlining the problem and writing a boy-gets-girl story.

  • Hopeful is the first book by Shelley Shepard Gray I have had read and I really enjoyed it. I haven’t read any of the other novels based in Sugarcreek but I didn’t feel like I was missing anything picking up this book. Shelley Shepard Gray writes with authority on the Amish, Sugarcreek Ohio, other Amish cities, and teaching. I really enjoyed all the characters but Miriam was my favorite. I could relate to her in many ways especially her feelings of inadequacy and her willingness to help anyone who needed her. She has a big heart and really put her heart and soul into everything she did. I found myself taken in with this book from the start and could not put it down. I cannot wait to read the other books in this series! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I give this book 4.5 STARS.

  • I loved the character of Miriam. She was so … normal! A little chubby, not gorgeous, just a nice girl. But, even among the Amish, the men seem to go for the beauties first! And so Miriam finds herself wondering if any man will ever appreciate her own fine qualities. I’m sure that many women can relate to Miriam’s plight, especially when the man she likes, Junior, develops a crush on beautiful Mary Kate, despite it being obvious that she is all wrong for him. The characters’ emotional development is realistically portrayed and gives “hope” to anyone who despairs of ever finding “the one”!

  • I loved this book! It is a fairly quick read that will leave your head spinning because there is so much life to the characters and tons of twists and turns. You are going to love it!

  • How often do we all take people in our lives for granted? This was a story that centered around someone being taken for granted, someone always being there as a friend for someone else. The title of the book, describes her outlook on life, she is hopeful that someday the one young man she has eyes for will notice her. I was a bit worried about this story, especially with the book description describing the heroine as “always been a bit heavier than other girls”. I was afraid it might take a wrong turn, but I think Shelley did a good job with this sensitive subject. Overall a heart warming story, with an unexpected twist you do not expect in an Amish book. 4 stars.
    This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.

  • I loved this book so much! The characters are very well-developed and realistic, you cannot help but get irritated with them, cry with them, and then cheer them on.

    Miriam is not this devastatingly beautiful woman, I suppose she would be considered “plain.” And to top things off, she’s not this super-thin model, but like most women, a little heavier on the plump side. So, many readers will be able to relate with her. She is a devoted friend and listener and everyone absolutely adores for her sweet and kind nature.

  • I really liked Miriam from the beginning, but I really got irritated at Junior to put her in such an awkward position. But being the Miriam she was, she started trying to make sure the paths crossed of Junior and Mary Kate. Mary Kate brings into the community issues of her past that pips up the tension a bit. Weaved together so beautifully, Shelly Shepard Gray gives us readers a wonderful heartwarming story full of ups and downs, tensions, and oh so romantic! If you enjoy Amish fiction, you will love this new book by one of my favorite authors!

  • Hopeful by Shelley Shepard Gray was a great book to read. I loved this book but I figured I would because I have loved the other books I have read by this author.

  • I was excited to find that with this new series, the community of Sugarcreek and some of the characters featured in Seasons of Sugarcreek stories were being brought back along with some great new characters. While I loved seeing old friends and I really enjoyed getting to know Miriam Zehr, this book fell a bit flat for me.

  • I was first attracted to this book because of the basic premise that closely resembled English courting, which is very different from what I see in the usual Amish fiction. Usually you don’t see the boy pursuing the girl as much as Junior goes after Mary Kate. This is what we usually see in much younger people in the English world. This lends a kind of divergence to this book, where the main characters are acting as adults at their jobs or in caring for their families but are very much still juveniles when it comes to courting and relationships. It was sweet to see something in adults that we usually only see in young kids anymore.

  • Ms Gray has given us another good read in this first book of the Return to Sugarcreek series. I’m looking forward to book two.

  • I found myself relating to Miriam’s character quite a bit, willing to put her true feelings on the back burner to make everyone else happy. She is undoubtedly a people pleaser. I can see her struggle with her own self image and when things don’t work out the way she likes, it seriously affects her self esteem. She finds herself second guessing herself at virtually every turn. I see so much of myself in Miriam’s character, I felt like Shelley was writing about me. For me, this was one of the closest character parallels I’ve ever come across in a novel. It was like watching myself in this novel. I love how it turned out, and I won’t give this one away, but trust me you’ll want to check this one out. I personally give this a 5 out of 5 stars.

  • I enjoy Shelley Shepard Gray’s Amish books and am particularly happy that she is returning to the charming community of Sugarcreek with this series…Gray has once again written a charming story full of hope and romance that tugs at the heart.

  • Shelley Shepard Gray has started to write a new series called “Return to Sugarcreek” and Hopeful is Book One . This is a story about love and friendship. I am anxious to read another of this author’s stories. She makes her characters come to life on paper.

  • HOPEFUL is the first book in Ms. Gray’s newest series, Return to Sugarcreek. It’s a quiet, sweet story, slow moving, but one can’t help but fall in love with Miriam and wish she’d be noticed by the man who holds her heart. Junior is a very caring man, used to giving up on himself for his family and being what they need instead of pursuing his own interests. But when a new girl comes to town, he wants to court Mary Kate—and he needs Miriam to help him.

    A new take on an old theme, HOPEFUL will have you cheering for Miriam and wanting to knock Junior upside the head for his sometimes insensitive ways around women. If you like Amish fiction then HOPEFUL will be a good book to pick up. Discussion questions, yummy sounding recipes and a preview of her next book are included in the back of the b

  • If you have ever loved someone from afar and were hopeful that someday that someone would open their eyes and see you for who you really are then this romantic story is perfect for you. I like the characters that were introduced and can’t wait to read more about Sugarcreek to get to know them better.

  • Shelly Shepard Gray is one of my favorite Amish authors, and she did not disappoint me with Hopeful. She did a great job of really making you feel Miriam’s emotions. The book kept my interest, and I read it in just a few days.

  • Once I opened the book, there was no turning back. I was hooked. The author shows us through the characters that through hope and faith there are second chances. The book was full of romance with a little suspense added in. I would recommend this book to anyone. It is a good, clean read that is well written so that the reader becomes captivated. If you can grab a copy of HOPEFUL by Shelley Shephard Gray and meet Miriam, Mary Kate , Junior and all the others from Sugarcreek. A lovely heartwarming read full of hope, faith and second chances.

  • When I first started to read Hopeful I wasn’t sure that I was going to like the story because I had a hard time connecting with the characters. But as I continued to read I found that I was truly enjoying the book, even reading it well into the night. I really enjoyed the time I spent getting to know the characters and now look forward to the next book in the Return to Sugarcreek series, Thankful.

  • I always enjoy reading a good Shelley Shepard Gray novel, and this one was no exception. This book traveled back to Sugarcreek, OH, and revisited some well loved characters. I really connected with Miriam and felt her disappointments, but she still tried to be a good friend. Shelley writes so well it makes you feel that you are right there ant that you actually know the characters. I am looking forward to the next novel in this series.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

  • This is Book 1 in the new Return to Sugarcreek series. I am already looking forward to Book 2. What I loved most about this book was the truths it told, and followed a story everyone can relate to in some way. The relationships between Miriam and Junior and Mary Kathryn were shown in a deep and creative way. I felt drawn in to the story and became a part of it myself. The characters were brought to life in unique and creative ways which allow the reader to really relate to each one.

  • All Meant To Shine says:

    I really enjoy Shelley Shepard Gray’s books and this one is also very enjoyable. I love getting in on a new series of Amish novels. I will definitely look forward to the next ones coming out. I love that in this story the main character is not perfect. She doesn’t have the most amazing body and she lacks self esteem. It is easy to relate to her and you want the best for her throughout the novel. You also want to help her along and tell her how great she is. This is a great start to a series that I’m sure will also be great.

  • My thoughts: I have long loved this author having enjoyed other series by her. This book was no different. I enjoyed learning more about Miriam and the man she has secretly loved for a long time. Oh and then there is the new school teacher and her own mysteries. And a sweet little girl who just needs some special attention to learn how to read and help her brother learn how to love. Yeap, definitely a great book and I can’t wait to read more from this series.

  • I enjoyed this book, though in some places I felt sorry for Miriam because she was heavier than her friend. She was not looked upon as pretty. But she had a much kinder heart than Mary Katherine, especially when it came to helping Junior’s little sister learn to read. While Mary Kate (her teacher) didn’t care to help her.

  • I really enjoyed reading this book. I found myself relating to Miriam’s character’s willingness to put her feelings on the back burner to make everyone else happy. She is always second guessing herself. I have always felt self concious about my body and this character really touched me. After reading this book, I certainly plan on reading more.

  • I personally know the ache of getting attention from a boy so they can get to know your friend. Shelley did a great job making Miriam a heroine we can relate to. Miriam isn’t a natural beauty. She’s had her eyes on Junior forever and his attention has her family all excited. Thing is, Junior wants to get to know her friend Mary Kathryn, not Miriam.

    This is a sweet story where true friendship and love are explored against the backdrop of Sugarcreek, Ohio. I wanted a bit more of Sugarcreek, but that’s me being selfish because I don’t live too far from the area and I love reading about it.

    Mary Kathryn has her own story as well, and the ending is full of suspense.

    Overall,reading about Miriam’s heart and how excited her parents are for her and Junior’s affections is heartbreaking to read, but impossible to put down. I hope you’ll give Hopeful a chance.

  • 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.

    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.

    *complimentary review copy

  • 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 won’t want to leave here, and there is also a side story in this community!

  • Moments says:

    Shelley Shepard Gray is back with a new series! “Hopeful” is book 1 in her Return To Sugarcreek series and I really enjoyed it and I feel as if it is a perfect start to the series! Miriam is a perfectly imperfect character and one whom is completely relatable to.

  • In Hopeful, Shelley Shepard Gray has started another enjoyable Amish series set in Sugarcreek, Ohio. Some of the characters are familiar from her earlier Sugarcreek series, while the main characters are first introduced in this story.

    Fans of light Amish fiction should enjoy this charming story. Miriam is a delightful character to get to know, and you can’t help but care about her feelings that range from discouragement to hope.

  • 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 love reading Amish stories because they are of a simple people with good upbringing but even that doesn’t stop bad things from happening to them sometimes. It’s how they deal with those bad times that sets them apart from the rest of us.

    While never giving up on God, they try to do the right thing, even if it means that the person they love is with someone else. It always amazes me how they give freely and just hope for the best. This story is about such a person who loves a man named Junior but he wants someone else.

    It takes him awhile to see what is right in front of him, but isn’t that just like a man? So, in that respect they aren’t that much different from us after all.

    It’s a lovely story that will delight you and have you cheering for Miriam.

  • This book shows life can be difficult, whether we see it or not. On the outside, both women (Miriam and Mary Kathryn) look to have it all together but inside, don’t. Sometimes I had a hard time keeping my attention on the story. I liked how Mary Kathryn was trying to stay safe but questioned some of her decisions. Also, Miriam and Junior didn’t let their hurts get in the way of helping a friend in need.

    While this book isn’t at the top of my list, it is still a pleasant read.

  • We get to know what each of the characters are thinking and I loved seeing their relationship progress. There were some interesting sub-plots about Mary Kathryn and another character who suffered a miscarriage that both brought in more serious issues, but the romance was very sweet. This is my first introduction to Sugarcreek and it’s a cozy town I’d like to visit again!

  • This is the Book One in the Return To Sugarcreek Series by Shelley Shepard Gray. In this book Miriam is the kind of girl who always seemed to be in the background. I loved this story and how the characters interacted with each other. I cannot wait until the next book in the series is released because I really love this author and the way she makes the story come alive.

  • This is another lovely story by Shelley Gray. I love her Amish stories and this one does not disappoint! I really loved Miriam and how she grew throughout the story and laid her heart on the line despite the consequences. Her willingness to help others touched me so much and I could really relate to her as a person.

  • ReneeK says:

    This was a wonderful heartwarming story. I had a hard time putting this story down.

    I really loved this story and the characters. This is the first time I have ever read any of this author’s books.

  • I’ve had the pleasure of reading Gray’s books before and the fact that she’s a fellow Ohioan and the book takes place in Sugarcreek, well I was bound to get caught up in the story. Lately, I’ve been jumping into the middle of a series and floundering, but thankfully I read, Hopeful, which is book 1 in the new series, Return to Sugarcreek, so I can read them in order. Miriam Zehr is the main character and she longs to be noticed by Junior, who she has her heart set on, but alas he only wants to get to know her friend and newcomer, Mary Kate – but she has secrets and wants nothing to do with Junior or any man. While I found myself wanting to yell at Miriam to just tell Junior and refuse to help him catch another girl ……

  • “Hopeful” is a story primarily about Miriam Zehr but it includes more than one side story that feature other members of the Sugarcreek community. A common thread through each person’s story is hope though at times it seems that their circumstances are nearly hopeless. I enjoyed the way the author tied the lives of these friends and neighbors together and brought healing, hope, and love to each of them.

  • After reading several of the author’s other books, I thought “Hopeful” would have more a mystery plot to it, but I was wrong, which isn’t a bad thing, as the book is a sweet, clean-cut romantic tale that can appeal to both teens and adults.


  • Looks like the mystery bug has rubbed off on Shelley. After writing the original Seasons of Sugarcreek series as romance, “Hopeful” is a step in a different direction. Not a complete turn, just a step.

    Don’t worry, there’s still PLENTY of romance.

    But there is also a definite air of mystery surrounding Mary Kate Hershberger – the community’s new schoolteacher.

    It’s a terrific story! And the mystery/suspense woven around Mary Kate is done extremely well.

    It has been a long time since a book kept me up half the night simply because I could not put it down. And not just because of the suspense either – I found myself desperate to find out what happened between Junior, Mary Kate and Miriam.

    And I wasn’t about to stop reading until I found out!

  • In Hopeful, book one in the Return to Sugarcreek series, Shelley Shepard Gray brings us back to the small Amish town of Sugarcreek, Ohio – home of her previous series called Seasons of Sugarcreek. I have not read the first series yet, and although we meet some of its characters, this story felt complete in itself. And as a result of reading Hopeful, I am eager to read Shelley’s earlier series. Hopeful was a very entertaining and well-written story, one which fans of Amish fiction will surely love.

  • The very best thing about Hopeful is that any of us could be in Miriam’s shoes. Sure, you’ve always got the head cheerleader or high school quarterback, but most of us aren’t them – and we all get disappointed at one time or another. Miriam doesn’t handle her disappointment well in the beginning of the story and stumbles for a bit, trying to learn how to handle her changing feelings; but her triumph and ultimate hope and assurance are well placed in the end. She learns just Who and in what she should hope and decides to make small changes in her life where she can, and this, indeed, is hopeful. To know that you’re not solely at the mercy of your circumstances but can play a part to change them is empowering.

  • Although the characters are Amish in this book their issues and struggles are universal. I just loved this read. Miriam is a hard working women who has yet to win the heart of a guy she likes. For years her and junior have lived, worked and resided into the same community and town without him noticing her until she becomes friends with Mary Kate. He calls on her several times giving her and her family the wrong impression. Only to find out he is interested in her new friend. Mary Kate could not be more distant and less interested in Junior. They all try to be friends together without hurt, jealousy and let down. Until, a twist of fear comes when Mary Kate’s past comes to stalk and harm her in her new home. They all must come together to help her and keep her safe.

  • We all have hopes and dreams, but sometimes love means putting someone else first. By not thinking of herself, Miriam was completely selfless, but her sacrifice does not go unnoticed. Many of her neighbors and friends have noticed how she is easy to talk to, always willing to lend a hand when needed and reliable, except for her habit of being tardy! Miriam prays for guidance and tries to follow knowing that there is a greater plan at work that she might not know, but needs to believe in.

  • A Book Lover says:

    This is one of my favorite Amish fiction authors. I have read all of her books. I was excited to read that more stories will be set in Sugarcreek. Miriam Zehr is the focus of this book. The characters and plot were well developed and interesting. I could identify with the place in life she was at. She is twenty five and most of her friends are married with children while she lives at home and works. Even her parents are giving up hope. She is nice but not beautiful and the only guy she has ever cared about does not see her. One day Junior asked her to help him get another girl. She agrees against her better judgment. I never liked the character of Junior. I could see glimpses of a nice man like when he interacts with his baby sister otherwise I thought he was a jerk. I did not even like him that much at the end. But I thought the story was good and I liked Miriam. I look forward to reading book two in the series. 🙂

  • have been a faithful follower of all of Shelley’s Amish fiction and have been looking forward to revisiting Sugarcreek, and perhaps catching up with some of the characters of the former series, Seasons of Sugarcreek. Book One of this series was certainly no disappointment! I have loved all of Shelley’s Amish novels, and this one was another winner!!
    Shelley describes her characters in a detailed, realistic way. You immediately, are able to identify with the main character, Miriam. Amish women have the same kinds of problems as anyone else, and you come to know Miriam as one of your dear friends. She has the desire of many wormen, she so wants to find the right husband, marry her one true love and have a big family! The delay in her hopes and plans is a worry and tends to affect everything she does and feels in her daily life. I felt such empathy as I read of her insecurities, as she suffers a definite lack of self confidence, believing herself to be unattractive, as she has always been a bit on the heavy side. Her troubles and disappointments became mine. Her fears and heartbreak weighed on my mind. I wanted to help this young lady!!! Then , I had to catch myself- Miriam is a character in a story!!!! NOT REAL!! At times, I would forget this one little fact!!

  • I missed parts of the Sugarcreek series so I bought them for my Kindle (great deal online) and can’t wait to read them. I was so intrigued by this book that I just had to know what all I have missed!

    I struggled with Junior, to be completely honest. I wanted to not like him. I disliked how he treated Miriam. However, I just couldn’t! He had given up so much and truly was not a bad or rude person. However, he should have listened to his friend! It would have saved him some heartache, but then he probably would never have learned who he truly loved.

  • I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy Amish fiction. I thoroughly enjoy reading about the simple, wholesome lifestyle of the Amish. I’m fascinated by the way they live. While the story started off a little slow, it picked up after the first few chapters, and I found that I couldn’t put it down. I enjoyed watching the three main characters work through their emotions to find their ‘right path’ at the end. I found that the ending was a little too predictable, but I enjoyed the story all the same. If you like Amish fiction, you should check out this book. I am looking forward to reading more books from this author in the future.

  • For me, this book was just simply amazing. I felt like I was watching a good Christian movie on television. This book kept me interested from page one. It has just a hint of mystery, thrill, and lots of romance — which is what I consider a great page turner!

  • pamela black says:

    Love this story and the author does a wonderful job at sending the reader into the characters world. And being an Ohio resident myself it was like I was reading my own tale;) Wonderful book!

  • Great characters and a fun plot make this book a great start to a new series! Can’t wait to see what’s in store in the future for the residents of Sugarcreek!

  • Shelley has the talent to bring her novels to the reader in such a way that we feel like we see life through the main characters, and the scenes come alive in her choice of vivid images. This novel is the first one in the Return to Sugarcreek, and I look forward to the next one continuing the saga of those I met this time.

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