Christianbook.com Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews for Avon Inspire The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1

Avon Inspire The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1

Wounded hearts find hope and healing in the Amish village of Jacob's Crossing. The Caregiver to her cancer-striken cousin, widow Lucy Troyer is struggling after suffering spousal abuse. When she meets Calvin Weaver, she wonders of God has brought him into her life for a reason. But can she ever trust a man again?
Average Customer Rating:
4.75 out of 5
4.8
 out of 
5
(16 Reviews) 16
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (16 reviews)
5 stars
12
4 stars
4
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0
16 out of 16100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1
Review 1 for The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A beautiful story!!

Date:February 18, 2014
Customer Avatar
Angela
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I read a book inscription one time that said, "A book is also a friend." This is how I feel when I read one/any of Shelly Shepard Gray's books. The Caregiver is a book of people starting a new chapter in their own lives.
Besides a new chapter of their lives, the main characters are now becoming friends of mine. I have a tendency to begin one of Shelley's books and not get up until the book is over, and this book is no exception. I become so entertained by every character. In this particular book I have fallen in love with Lucy and Calvin. A chance meeting on a train, starts off their relationship. Lucy, on the way to Jacob's Crossing to help out her cousin, Mattie, was in an abusive marriage. Calvin, on the way home to Jacob's Crossing from a vacation with is young sister, Katie, was dumped by a girl, for his close friend. Through the book you meet family and friends who help bring this story to life in this quaint lovely town. Lucy and Calvin have plenty of reasons to guard their hearts and yet it is their hearts that yearn for them to be together.
This book with make you smile with the characters, feel sympathy for the characters and make you fall in love with the characters. You will want to continue with the next book in the series. Will Lucy and Calvin end up together? Will Uncle John pick the right girl? Will Mattie and Graham finally give into being more than good friends? The only way to find out is to pick this book up and make it a friend of yours. You will not be disappointed.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 2 for The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

I LOVED IT!!!!

Date:March 12, 2012
Customer Avatar
Joyful Books
Location:Washoe Valley, NV
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Caregiver by Shelley Shepard Gray
“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.”
Psalm 23:4
Walking into the Public Library last week, I was captured by the cover of the book sitting face up in the “new book section.” I wasn’t expecting to find “Amish Christian Romance” at the Public Library. But, I am very much a girl who likes “beautiful” simple book covers and, “The Caregiver” by Shelley Shepard Gray was like the best looking cookie on the platter.
Opening the book to the Prologue it began with an explosive abusive scene between the main character Lucy and her abusive Amish husband Paul. “You are such a disappointment, Lucy,” he bit out, each word seething with venom. “Such a disappointment. In every possible way.” Her lip bled as she fought to remain still under his glaring eyes. Prepared herself for another diatribe. Then Paul simply shook his head in disgust and stormed out the kitchen door.” As I read on and finished the prologue, I just knew…this was going to be one book I just had to read!
In the book, “The Caregiver” by Shelley Shepard Gray, Lucy travels by herself on a train to help care for her cousin Mattie who has breast cancer, as well as try to help get past the sudden death of her husband Paul. While on the train, Lucy meets a handsome Amish stranger, Calvin who also has some pain in his past as well. Both must learn to trust one another.
I absolutely loved the book, “The Caregiver!”
“The Caregiver” is enjoyable and believable! I couldn’t wait to pick it up and read. I am so glad there are more books in the series! Even if you are not a fan of Amish fiction you would enjoy the believability of the struggles that each character faced through abuse in marriage, learning to trust people again, friendship and cancer; all while putting their faith in Jesus Christ.
“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.” Psalm 23:4
God Bless Your Day Today!
Kelly
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 3 for The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 23, 2012
Customer Avatar
Becky
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Very good book. I'm just finishing the third and last one in this series and I've enjoyed all three...worth the read.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 4 for The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Enjoyable read!

Date:December 26, 2011
Customer Avatar
Lesa Brassette
Location:Grand Junction, CO
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I found myself "tuning in" as often as I could to see what would happen next for Lucy, Calvin, and Mattie. I really liked this story and am so glad to see it is not the last we'll hear from these wonderful characters. (I also loved the element of the train ride in this story. It makes me want to take a trip on a train soon!)
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 5 for The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent book and story.

Date:September 7, 2011
Customer Avatar
Wendy
Location:PA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Helps one to understand spousal abuse and the need to reach out to others.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 6 for The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 29, 2011
Customer Avatar
Bammie
Location:kansas
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This was a very good book. Lots of good information about chacters Very holsome and cheery
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 7 for The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Fantastic story.

Date:July 23, 2011
Customer Avatar
Lindalou
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This book has great potential to all readers who want to get lost in the story. I couldn't put it down and as I am a fast reader, I finished it in one day. I try to pace myself because once I get through reading a good book, then I am at a loss until I find another one. I usually try to buy two at a time so when I finish one, I have another one to look forward to. I feel like I can't get enough of the Amish books because all of them are so well written and I feel as if I'm living right in the same house with the characters , kind of like a fly on the wall.
I hope that the writers will quicken their writing pace to keep up with my voracious apptetite for their books.
Thanks for some wonderful hours of reading.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The Caregiver

Date:July 1, 2011
Customer Avatar
Kimberly
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I enjoyed The Caregiver, Book 1 in the Families of Honor series, so much that I stayed up late and finished it in one reading. I found Lucy, Calvin, Mattie, and Graham each compelling in their own ways. Lucy is trying to overcome the abuse her late husband heaped on her, damaging her self-confidence as much as the physical wounds he doled out damaged her body. Calvin is recovering from the pain of a broken relationship. Mattie is fighting breast cancer and watching her faith slip away into depression. Graham is the one who best knows how to perk Mattie up, but these two don't seem to realize their feelings for each other.
This book showed me some parallels of abuse survivors and those fighting cancer that I'd never noticed before. In many ways, they have similar emotional battles. One of my favorite quotes from the book is something Lucy tells Mattie: "Living is sometimes easy, Mattie. But surviving... surviving is the difficult thing. And that is what makes you grow and become strong."
The Caregiver, like Barbara Cameron's Quilts of Lancaster County series, tackles big issues but has many light-hearted moments, too. I can't wait to read the next book in the Families of Honor series, The Protector, which just released this week.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 9 for The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A new take on the Amish story

Date:May 19, 2011
Customer Avatar
Janna Ryan
Location:North Platte, NE
Age:35-44
Gender:female
There are so many Amish books out there right now that sometimes it can be hard to sort through them and find ones that are a little unique or different. Here's a hint, find ones with Shelley Shepard Gray's name on them, pick them up and read them. "The Caregiver" is a beautiful story that deals with marital abuse, cancer, widowhood, love and trust. I'm thinking that Shelley knows someone that has gone through cancer because her descriptions as she deals with Lucy helping her cousin Mattie go through her chemotherapy I was near tears. It was moving and touching as Mattie deals with depression and Lucy struggles to keep her from losing hope. Lucy is Mattie's caregiver, but she soon finds out that maybe she needs a little more care herself than she realized. There are some wonderful plot points in this book and Shelley has a way of making you really care about the different characters. A beautiful story and I look forward to the next one in this series.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 10 for The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

The unromanticised Amish

Date:April 6, 2011
Customer Avatar
Rachel Ropper
Location:Scotland, UK
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
According to her website, Shelley Shepard Gray enjoys writing stories about “people who have a strong faith, a quieter way of life, but aren’t perfect.” Thus sets the scene for the first novel in her Families of Honor series, which includes a cast of characters that most wouldn’t expect to find in Amish novel. Lucy has escaped an abusive marriage following her husband’s sudden death, Calvin is picking up the pieces of his life after his long-term girlfriend left him for his best friend, Mattie is struggling with breast cancer and John is returning to his Amish roots after a long period in the English world. Their lives collide when Lucy travels to Jacob’s Crossing, Ohio, to care for her cousin Mattie as she undertakes chemotherapy, and ends up sitting beside Calvin and his English Uncle John on the train. Still having nightmares about her husband’s temper a year after his death, Lucy finds it difficult to be comfortable around men. And just as she starts to open up to Calvin, she witnesses him having a heated argument that causes all of her fears about men to surface again. When she arrives in Jacob’s Crossing she throws all of her energies into caring for Mattie, but can’t help but keep running into Calvin. Lucy finds herself challenged to put her past behind her and open up to the new possibilities of the future – and a life with Calvin.
The Caregiver was my second experience with Shelley Shepard Gray, and while I wouldn’t say that she’s becoming one of my favourite authors in the Amish genre, she’s definitely one you can depend upon for a great story. Shelley doesn’t shy away from writing about tough topics, and I commend her for showing the Amish in a truthful light and not falling into the trap of romanticising their lifestyle. In places I found it difficult to read about Lucy’s abusive marriage and to learn that her family hadn’t tried to rescue her, but I’m sure this is a situation that far too many women find themselves in, both Amish and “English”. Lucy was an incredibly endearing character, one that you just want to hug and keep from harm. That said, Lucy is not as vulnerable as you might think, and while she finds it difficult to trust men she is a pillar of strength when it comes to looking after her cousin, Mattie. I enjoyed reading about Lucy and Calvin’s blossoming friendship, which will be appreciated by many fans of sweet romances. Calvin wasn’t a terribly unique character as far as heroes go, but he had his own troubles in facing his ex-girlfriend and best friend’s new relationship, and it was interesting to see that not all Amish courtships end in marriage. Calvin was a solid, dependable character and the perfect match for Lucy, and I was rooting for them to overcome their troubles and admit that they cared for each other.
As I started to read this novel I was surprised to discover that the focus wasn’t purely on Lucy and Calvin, but also on Mattie and John. A fair amount of the story was fixed on Mattie’s recovery from surgery, her struggles with her faith and her fear that she’d never find a husband because her operation had warped her body. Although I didn’t expect to read Mattie’s perspective on the events that unfolded, I ended up appreciating her struggles and what they added to the story. Shelley painted Mattie’s experience with breast cancer very realistically and I could imagine that any woman would feel exactly as she did. On the other hand, I found myself becoming disinterested with John’s story, which was almost entirely unrelated to the main plot and focused mainly on his attraction to two very different women. This subplot was unresolved by the end of the novel, and while I imagine that it will be continued in the second book in the series I have to admit that I really don’t care what happens to him. His character wasn’t fleshed out enough for me to really become interested in him, but maybe he’ll become a more focal character in the second book.
Having experienced Shelley Shepard Gray’s skill in creating realistic characters with struggles that readers can all relate to, I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more of her work. If you’re wary of the Amish genre for fear that authors have a tendency to romanticise the lifestyle, The Caregiver may be more your style of novel. That said, it still contains a large splash of romance and a happy ending that will provide encouragement to all fans of the Amish genre. 8/10
Avon Inspire and NetGalley provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 11 for The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

FANTASTIC

Date:March 21, 2011
Customer Avatar
Anonymous
Location:Fond du Lac WI
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I would recommend this book to everyone who loves Amish Fiction, it is fantastic, I have read alot of Amish Fiction and this book took me where know other has taken me before, I loved this book from the first page once I started this book I could not put it down until the very last page, now I am waiting patiently for the next book in this series, Lucy is a wonderful caregiver and I truly hope that Mattie beats her fight with Cancer.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 12 for The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 20, 2011
Customer Avatar
bluebonnet
Location:Tx
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I found this book to be one very well written. In this book you are faced with alot of twist and turns butthis is an excellent book. You shed alot of tears over this book and it brings alot of emotions out; your becomes anry, sad, happy and yes love always finds way. This book traels through abuse, cancer and everyday toils. You fall in love with the characters and Shelly leaves you wanting more. can't wait for book 2. You need to get this book. You willre-read it many time,
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 13 for The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

1st in Families of Honor series is enjoyable read

Date:March 17, 2011
Customer Avatar
Anonymous
Location:Oconto Falls, WI
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The Caregiver by Shelley Shepard Gray is the first book in the Families of Honor series. Lucy Troyer is traveling alone on a train to Jacob's Crossing to help care for her cousin Mattie who is battling cancer. Lucy's still trying to get her life back after the death of her husband, Paul, a year ago. Although they were only married for two years, Lucy was permanently changed by his constant and brutal physical and verbal abuse. She's no longer the independent, strong and happy woman she once was. She meets Calvin Weaver and his little sister, Katie, on the train, and the trio lean on each other when the train has technical problems, creating a bond in the midst of adversity. Calvin and Katie just happen to be from Jacob's Crossing, which Lucy sees as a sign of God's hand. Calvin is still smarting from the betrayal of his best friend and girlfriend who fell in love with each other, leaving him humiliated in front of the community. Calvin and Lucy both tentatively connect through their enforced time together, but misunderstandings leave them both disturbed by the other's behavior. Still, neither can deny the connection between them, and their hesitant and sweet romance is the strength of the book. Mattie's battle with cancer and the ensuing depression and distance from the Lord adds depth and complexity to the plot. Without her, the story would seem almost too sweet, but Mattie makes Lucy speak her mind and face the truth, even when it's uncomfortable. The two young women come to see that they have much in common: both were placed in terrible situations where they questioned God's will and their lives were irrevocably changed by it. Gray has filled Jacob's Crossing with a variety of interesting characters who will surely make the series an enjoyable read. While Lucy and Calvin's romance is delicate and sweet, Mattie's anger is very real and gritty, and her relationship with Graham is an enigma. Plus John, Calvin's uncle who left the faith twenty years ago, has returned and is torn between an Englischer woman and an Amish widow with a son. There's a lot to love about this series. Gray is one of my favorite writers of bonnet fiction; she really makes the characters come to life.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 14 for The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The Caregiver

Date:March 10, 2011
Customer Avatar
Brenda
Location:WV
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"The Caregiver" by Shelley Shepard Gray touches on a subject that I have rarely read about in the amish stories that I read, and that is domestic violence among the Amish. In this story we have the protagonist Lucy, who married a man that the Amish community thought well of.Soon after marrying Paul, he becomes verbally and physically abusive towards her. While many of the people in her community knew what was going on they did nothing. Lucy figures that she is destined to live the rest of her life with abuse,something that she blamed herself for. The only place that she could pour out her emotions were in the pages of her journal, so when an accident claims the life of her husband, she finds herself writing that she is actually relieved that he is dead.
When her friend Mattie is diagnosed with breast cancer, Lucy decides she will head to Jacob's Crossing near Cleveland to help take care of her. Traveling alone by train she meets Calvin Miller and his precocious sister Katie, the only other Amish people on the train. When the train breaks down outside Toledo, the trio spends the day together,and while Lucy wants to believe that Calvin is nothing like Paul, she is afraid to trust.
Calvin is carrying the hurt of betrayal of his former girlfriend Gwen and his friend Will. But when he finally gets home to Jacob's Crossing he can't quit thinking about Lucy. Will Lucy's past keep her from realizing what a great guy Calvin is, or will they be able to work beyond their past hurts to claim a future together?
I really enjoyed reading this story, I felt like the author accurately portrayed the feelings that Lucy would have probably experienced as a person living with domestic violence. My heart broke for her on several occasions, especially when she longed to be the girl she was before the abuse began. I felt like Lucy's role as caregiver started long before she started helping to take care of Mattie. She was a daughter that married, so that it would ease the burden of her parents overcrowded house. When she found herself in an abusive marriage she then took the blame on herself, but always tried to anticipate the needs and wants of her husband. I was so glad when she found him dead, although had I been the author I would have probably had him ran over by a car or stomped by a bull, instead of simply falling off of a ladder.
The author introduces to several secondary characters that have interesting stories of their own, which makes me anxious to read the next book in the Families of Honor series. While this book will definitely appeal to readers of Amish fiction, I think it would hold appeal to anyone who enjoys a well written inspirational story that weaves together the elements of faith, love and learning to trust again.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 15 for The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Good Amish Fiction

Date:March 6, 2011
Customer Avatar
MaureenT
Location:Syracuse NY
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Synopsis Lucy is traveling by herself via train to Jacob's Crossing to help care for her cousin Mattie, recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Trying to overcome the sudden death of her husband, she's glad to get away and focus on someone else for a while.
The only other Amish people on the train are Calvin Weaver and his little sister, Katie. When their train breaks down outside of Cleveland, Calvin and Lucy band together to face the outside world. But Calvin also carries the weight of past hurts. When an altercation brings both their wounds to light, they question whether they can trust each other.
Once in Jacob's Crossing, Lucy is occupied with caring for Mattie, while Calvin does his best to run his family's farm. But they can't stop thinking about those special hours spent together. Will the bond they formed last? And will Lucy and Calvin be able to put away the pain in their pasts to recognize the happiness that is suddenly in their grasp?
I enjoyed reading this book and it made me realize that being Amish doesn't guarantee that there won't be abuse and heartbreak.
Lucy shows great courage as she tries to get on with her life. I can't imagine the abuse she has suffered in her young life. Now she is headed to a new challenge ...helping her cousin Mattie. Mattie has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is about to start her chemo treatments.
Calvin had what he thought was his heart broken, his girlfriend Gwen had betrayed him with his best friend Will.
I "loved" how Calvin and his brothers treated their Mom! They truly showed their love and joy with her, going out of their way to make her happy. Then there is delightful Katie and their Uncle John. John is struggling to find his way in the English world, or back to his Amish roots.
My main criticism of this book is that almost everything is left hanging. There are so many unanswered questions, but I take it they will be answered in the coming books.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from HarperCollins Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 16 for The Caregiver, Families of Honor Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Wonderful book

Date:February 27, 2011
Customer Avatar
debsredbirds
Location:Adamsville, Al
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Caregiver is a wonderful book. I fell in love with the character's in the story, their warmth and caring ways. My heart ached for Lucy. I highly recommend this book.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.