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Customer Reviews for Abingdon Press A Road Unknown, Amish Roads Series #1

Abingdon Press A Road Unknown, Amish Roads Series #1

Finally! Elizabeth Bontrager has reached the point where she can experience life on the other side of the Amish community through rumschpringe. She's dreamed of this point for years and decides to leave Goshen for the lovely sounding "Paradise," where her Englisch friend, Paula lives. It's not long before she meets Bruce, and Englischer who clearly wants to be more than friends...as does Sam Miller, her new boss, at the country store where she sells products to Englischers. She soon learns that she misses her family and is torn between deciding on a new life and possibly a new love or does she return to her roots?
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Customer Reviews for A Road Unknown, Amish Roads Series #1
Review 1 for A Road Unknown, Amish Roads Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Enjoyable start to Amish Roads series

Date:March 16, 2014
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Carole Jarvis
Location:Jonesboro, Georgia
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
In Barbara Cameron's new series, Amish Roads, we meet three young women during a coming-of-age time in their lives called rumschpringe, a time which becomes one of resistance and contemplation of staying - or leaving - the Amish community.
Book one's title, A Road Unknown, is descriptive of what Elizabeth faces as she leaves her home and community to room with her Englisch friend, Paula. While I have no idea what the responsibility of taking care of several younger siblings would feel like, a lot of us can surely identify with Elizabeth's frustration, that feeling of wanting to be independent, understand what God is calling her to, and freely use the talents and abilities He has given her. Barbara knows how to tell a sweet, entertaining story and I've always enjoyed her easily-flowing writing style.
Saul is such a likeable character, a young man who enjoyed working in the Amish craft store his father started. Saul cared about his parents, and he cared about his community - always searching for special products or crafts and helping to find a market for them. I enjoyed seeing the growing attraction, friendship and trust between Saul and Elizabeth.
The friendship between Elizabeth and the Englisch Paula is another delightful theme. "Sometimes family was made of those you were connected to through birth and sometimes, Elizabeth thought, it was made of people like Paula." Having a day off was a rarity to Elizabeth, and she hardly knew what to do with herself. Although Paula's apartment survived, the results are hilarious! Barbara did a great job at blending the Amish and Englisch worlds, and I found the honesty of Elizabeth's character refreshing - her feelings of being tired and wanting to escape responsibility of helping with younger siblings.
I loved how the symbolism of a sparrow was woven throughout the story, reminding Elizabeth about God's provision and the comfort that gave her . . . for "If He cared about little creatures like a sparrow, she felt He'd provide for her, too. Parents did it for their children and He was, after all, her Father." I couldn't help but think of the words of the beautiful hymn, His eyes are on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
Just as Elizabeth faced the struggles of growing up, her parents needed to learn to let go and allow her to find her own way - and this is something that all parents eventually have to deal with.
I would describe A Road Unknown as a cozy, comfortable read - not a lot of action or adventure - but one that I enjoyed very much. The ending felt abrupt, but I hope to see more of Saul and Elizabeth in the next book, Crossroads, which comes out in August 2014. Recommended to fans of Amish fiction.
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 2 for A Road Unknown, Amish Roads Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

TEnjoyable and though-provoking story

Date:March 14, 2014
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Trudi
Location:Bath, NY
Age:55-65
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
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Elizabeth is the oldest child in a large Amish family. She’s tired of constantly helping to care for younger children and wants to lead her own life. Even though she has a job she loves in a local fabric shop, she turns her wages over to her parents to help with the family’s finances. When Elizabeth met a young vacationing “English” woman in their Ohio town one summer, she began corresponding with her, and shared her frustrations. Paula, a nursing student, invited Elizabeth to come and share her apartment in Paradise, PA, and Elizabeth impulsively accepted the invitation and boarded the bus for this unknown road. On the bus, she met a young Amishman, Saul, who was returning home after visiting friends. The agree to meet again in Paradise for a hamburger.
In Pennsylvania, Elizabeth struggles with her decision – while she doesn’t want to return to her former life, she isn’t about living a wild rumspringa either. The new people in her life, English and Amish, help her to realize what God wants in her life.
I enjoyed this story. Elizabeth, Paula, Saul and many others were people I’d enjoy knowing. The author did a good job of making all her characters be “real people” without over-romanticizing the Amish lifestyle. I like the fact that the book wasn’t just another “Amish romance” but actually covered the topic of making decisions while at crossroads in life.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.
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Review 3 for A Road Unknown, Amish Roads Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

a great novel

Date:March 7, 2014
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Marianne
Location:Wanham, Alberta
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
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ght of how they will effect our siblings.
Together with Elizabeth, we can experience the frustration and joys of living away from a close knit family unit.
Barbara writes a delightful page turner and I learned a lot about myself, and some about others. There is no problem unique to myself!
I revieved this book free from Amy Lathrop at Litfuse Publicity Group and Abingdon Press in exchange for an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions are my own.
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Review 4 for A Road Unknown, Amish Roads Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Stepping Forward Into A New Life and Romance

Date:February 26, 2014
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VicsMediaRoom
Location:Irvine, CA
Age:55-65
Gender:male
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
Barbara Cameron in her new book, “A Road Unknown” Book One in the Amish Road series published by Abingdon Press takes us into the life of Elizabeth Bontrager.
From the back cover: Elizabeth is at a crossroads.
She’s been given the chance to experience life outside of her community, away from the responsibility to care for her eight younger siblings, but Elizabeth Bontrager can’t decide which road to take. Goshen has its charms and pressures, but Paradise, Pennsylvania, sounds . . . well, like paradise. And it’s also home to her Englisch friend, Paula. Decision made. Elizabeth is Paradise bound.
But will the small town live up to its name? When Elizabeth meets Paula’s friend, Bruce, she quickly learns he wants more than a friendship. And the same might be true of Saul Miller, her new boss at the country story that sells Amish products to the Englisch community. As the two compete for her attention, Elizabeth is surprised to realize she misses her family and becomes even more uncertain about where she belongs. She has a choice to make: return home or embrace this new life and possibly a new love?
What would you do? If you lived in the land of Goshen, or plenty, all your life then had the opportunity to go live in Paradise would you go home to Goshen where your parents were or stay in Paradise where your friends and new life are? That is the problem that Elizabeth is facing. And she is meeting all kinds of adventures in her new life especially with two men who want a romance with her. I think we have all faced a situation where we don’t know which way to go, back to the life we lived or ahead to the new life we are trying to make. Ms. Cameron, in Elizabeth, has given us a character that as she grows and comes to understand just what she is doing and why we can identify with and root for to make the right decisions. All of the characters are interesting and we come to care for all of them. You wish they really existed outside of these pages so that we could go over to their homes and visit. This book is just a lot of fun and I look forward to the next book in this series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. 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.”
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Review 5 for A Road Unknown, Amish Roads Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

DOES THIS ROAD LEAD TO PARADISE FOR ELIZABETH?

Date:February 26, 2014
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barbjan10
Location:Arlington, TX
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
The bus trip to Paradise, Pennsylvania was long and terrifying to Elizabeth Bontrager who questioned her decision to run away from her large family. She was weary of her life as the eldest of eight siblings always “needed” by her mamm to care for them. Work, work, work, with no promise of a life of her own in Goshen, Indiana. She was uncomfortable with the strangers on the bus, especially the Englischers until a young Amish man Saul Miller comes to her rescue and soothes her fears, especially when she learns he is also traveling to his home in Paradise. WOW, what a hook! Author Barbara Cameron caught my attention immediately and I kept reading in fascination.
Ms. Cameron’s story of Elizabeth is so unlike other Amish stories I have read. She presented completely different aspects to the Amish/Englischer co-existence that were thought provoking, amusing, and complicated. Elizabeth was beginning a new life, learning astounding, perplexing, and comical details about the Englisch lifestyles living with roommate Paula, who is a harmonious helpmate for Elizabeth, aiding her to understand many things about the Englischer life in Paradise. Paula is waiting the return of her soldier boyfriend from Afghanistan.
Saul Miller is on the rebound from a serious romantic relationship, and Elizabeth has not known romantic love prior to meeting Saul. Will she realize genuine love when she is confronted with the emotion? Consequently, enters Bruce, an Englischer that showers Elizabeth with compliments and attention. Is Bruce a likely candidate for romance or is he really who he seems to be? Elizabeth’s first job came too easy when Saul employed her in his family’s business. We learn that Elizabeth is gifted with a talent for sewing. She dreams of a future working with fabrics and design. Saul is patient with Elizabeth, hoping she will return his romantic feelings toward her. Ms. Cameron’s story left a new impression of Amish romance with me, and one I like immensely with respect for the challenges 20 year old Elizabeth faced and overcame. There is no question that God was nearby through His Holy Spirit – always a present help.
A Road Unknown speaks of the many pathways in life that each individual follows. Skillfully written lexes specific in particulars about the Amish culture in today’s world embellishes Barbara Cameron’s lovely story of a young woman’s prayers being blessed with answers by God. Elizabeth discovers surprising findings of unknown family, new friends, and love in Paradise. Paradise is not lost and Elizabeth’s future is full of promise in Paradise. Ms. Cameron brilliantly ended the story at the perfect time, leaving this reader wanting more. At least I hope she intends a sequel to A Road Unknown so we can learn of God’s plans for the residents of Paradise….the one here on earth that is.
A Road Unknown by Barbara Cameron was provided for me free by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 6 for A Road Unknown, Amish Roads Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

If you enjoy Amish fiction, DON'T miss this book!

Date:February 22, 2014
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JCMorrows
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
WOW! Barbara is such a wonderful author.
I haven’t actually read any of her other Amish novels but after reading this one, I will be!
I have read a story or two of hers from collaborations and they were wonderful but they could not have prepared me for what unfolded in “A Road Unknown”.
So few authors are able to capture the essence of something that is totally or even mostly foreign to them but Barbara Cameron does it beautifully.
At least, I hope so… I would hate to think that Barbara herself experienced the same things her main character in “A Road Unknown” has. But if she didn’t, you would never know it because From her masterful writing, you’re certain she has.
She brings us right into Elizabeth’s world. From the first paragraph, I was hooked. Barbara Cameron captured me and I’m certain I’m not the only one. We are immediately pulled into the story and it doesn’t let go of us until we’ve turned the last page.
It’s a great book and I am already looking forward to the next one! Of course, it doesn’t hurt that there’s an excerpt of book 2 – right there in the back of book 1.
It’s so exciting to find a wonderful new series from an author who – then becomes one of your favorites. And I have to admit, I’m excited I can go back and read more about some of the characters I’ve “met” who were already introduced in her earlier series – at least it will give me something to do while I’m waiting for book 2 in this series.
One thing I’m noticing more and more in Amish fiction is the reliance on cell-phones and characters who do not shun technology but are extremely cautious in it’s use. I used to think this was inaccurate but the more I am getting to know people in Amish communities (not fictional) and the more I read other books with this as part of the story, the more I am convinced that Amish communities are embracing cell-phone technology. And it makes sense to me when I stop and think about it too. They hold themselves apart so a cell-phone with no contract (one of those pay-by-the-month deals) would actually be better and easier than having the Englisch install phone shanties all over their community.
I love when you read a book, and get a fresh perspective on something, don’t you?
Well “A Road Unknown” is full of fresh perspectives. It gives us a look into Amish life from a perspective that most people would never even consider. It gives us a deeper feel for the difficulties that these wonderful people who live “plain” endure – and not just from their simple lives either.
And I love that it gives a whole new perspective on being a young woman in a tough situation. Amish or not, there are many girls who have been in the exact same position that Elizabeth was in and I believe this book will touch the hearts of Amish fans and non-Amish fans!
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Review 7 for A Road Unknown, Amish Roads Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Finding Ones Self

Date:February 21, 2014
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MaureenT
Location:Syracuse NY
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
What is there to do, when your growing up and life is passing you by? You cannot complain, you must honor your parents. You spend your time taking care of little ones, you are the oldest in the family of eight children.
This is the reality of the world that Elizabeth Bontrager lives in. So what does she do?? What you would expect anyone who is an adult and overwhelmed would do...she runs away!
We follower her and her experiences with freedom. She could go either way...wild, or keep her faith! You will love some of her experiences in the kitchen..need dishes washed?? Ha Ha!!
I loved her room mate, she wasn't what I was expecting. I thought she would be encouraging her to leave her faith. I also enjoyed Saul, and the community. Made me want to move there! There is sure a lot happening here, and Elizabeth does play a big part.
Will she give up and move back? Or will she leave and become English? Or is there something all together else in store for her. Enjoy being absorbed into this book, and hope you love your time here, as I did!
I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
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Review 8 for A Road Unknown, Amish Roads Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

An Enjoyable Story From the First Page to the Last

Date:February 19, 2014
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Tammi
Location:maine
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
A Road Unknown is the first book that I have read by Barbara Cameron, and one that I enjoyed very much. The author held my attention from the first page to the last. I thought she brought the characters to life beginning with the first paragraph; and I immediately felt connected to the main character, Elizabeth Bontrager.
Elizabeth, the oldest of eight children, is tired of working during the day and spending the rest of her time helping her mamm when she is home. She is concerned that she will never have the chance to date or marry, because she is never allowed to attend any of the youth gatherings.
When Elizabeth's Englisch pen pal, Paula, who lives in Pennsylvania offers to let her be her roommate, Elizabeth jumps at the chance to experience life outside of her community. Even though her parents don’t want her to leave, she boards the bus for the trip to Paradise, Pennsylvania to start her new life. Will she find what she is looking for, or will she bow to the pressure from her family to return home?
Saul Miller was attracted to Elizabeth from the moment he met her on the bus to Paradise. When he learns that she is looking for a job, he hires her for a temporary position at his family's store; thinking that it would be the perfect opportunity to get to know her better. But she is so reluctant to talk about herself that he doesn’t know if she will ever open up to him. When he finds out that she is spending time with an Englisch guy he is concerned for her. He wonders if he will be able to win her heart, or if it has already been captured by another.
A Road Unknown is the first book in author Barbara Cameron's new Amish Roads series. I am looking forward to reading the next book -- Crossroads -- when it is available.
**A Road Unknown by Barbara Cameron was provided for me free by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 9 for A Road Unknown, Amish Roads Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

LOVE this wonderful charming new Amish series!!!

Date:February 12, 2014
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Heart2Heart
Location:Victorville, CA
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
If she ever wants a future, she will have to return home to resolve the issues from her past. Elizabeth Bontrager had run away from home even though she was twenty-years-old. She needed a break from being the oldest of nine children and having all the responsibility of helping to care for her brothers and sister was simply more than could handle. It was rapidly changing her outlook on what marriage and having her own family should look like, and now it was the furthest thing from her mind. Even though she was still in her rumschpringe, a period of deciding whether she wanted to be baptized into the Amish faith or walk away, she figured out some distance is what is needed to help her decide.
Only she didn't plan on fate intervening on a bus headed for Paradise, Pennsylvania as Saul Miller took a seat beside her. She had no plans to have a conversation with him and simply wanted to be left alone with her thoughts, but Saul had other things in mind. He wanted to know what someone as beautiful as Elizabeth would leave home if she wasn't taking vacation or enjoying her rumschpringe the way most Amish do. It seemed to Saul that she was running away from something and he hoped he might convince her to let him help in any way he could. Even if it was simply sharing a Big Mac and fries on the bus to Paradise.
Elizabeth plans to stay with her English friend Paula who is attending college to become a nurse and has offered Elizabeth a place to stay. When Paula learns that Elizabeth can cook, the agree to deal where Elizabeth will do the cooking and Paula will pay for the groceries. Now all Elizabeth has to do is find a job in Paradise. But with limited skills working in a fabric store in Goshen, she isn't sure it will be that easy, until fate plays its hand again. She literally is given a job at a country store selling Amish products while Miriam goes on maternity leave for a couple months. Guess who her employer is? Yup Saul Miller. Now it seems God has more in store for Elizabeth and Saul as they realize that all roads to the future lie where God guides.
I received A Road Unknown by Barbara Cameron compliments of Abingdon Press and Litfuse Publicity. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed are strictly my own. This is the first novel in the Amish Roads Series, from Barbara Cameron and I LOVED it. I always wondered if the Amish oldest girls often got tired of the weight of helping raise children and what would they do, how would they act. I think Barbara captured this very essence in Elizabeth's character. In no way was she disrespectful to her parents but simply looked for a breather to gain the right perspective. I love how Saul enabled her to see things clearly in the end and can't wait for the next novel in this series. I think it's going to be a favorite of mine. There is a readers discussion guide at the end along with a sneak peek at Crossroads, the next novel in this series. I personally give this one a 5 out of 5 stars!
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Review 10 for A Road Unknown, Amish Roads Series #1
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Could have been much better...

Date:February 7, 2014
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
A Road Unknown by Barbara Cameron is the first book in the Amish Roads series. This story doesn't compare to the other Amish fiction I have read recently. It was poorly written and no characters really stood out to me. I had a really hard time liking the main character, Elizabeth, even though I did feel really bad for her circumstances. It was one of those books that I had to force myself to read because the depth of the characters just wasn't there.
Elizabeth Bontrager is taking advantage of her rumschpringe to escape her home in Goshen, Indiana where she has been overworked taking care of her eight younger siblings. At the age of twenty, she has never been to a singing or been courted so she is very nervous about leaving all she has ever known to start fresh in Paradise, Pennsylvania. Once there she rooms with her Englisch pen pal and starts to hang out with an Englisch man. Will Paradise hold the answers to all her questions?
Saul Miller has been attracted to Elizabeth since he met her on the bus so when his dad hires her on for their store he finds it the perfect opportunity to get to know her better. But she is so reticent about herself that he doesn't know if she will ever open up to him. Then he sees her going out with an Englisch guy and becomes concerned for her. Will he be able to get her to court him or is she too intrigued with Bruce?
I did like how the author ended the book. It really portrayed how Elizabeth had grown and matured throughout the novel. But the story itself was pretty bland and the characters weren't fleshed out enough. I felt like I knew Paula, the roommate, better than Elizabeth sometimes! Maybe because Elizabeth irritated me with her actions but her parents were at fault, too for expecting so much more out of her than they should. But more than anything what I didn't like was how poorly written it was. It was just so-so to me.
I was given this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 11 for A Road Unknown, Amish Roads Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Caught at a Crossroad - Choices and Self Discovery

Date:December 6, 2013
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richard r blake
Location:Bridgman, MI
Age:Over 65
Gender:male
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
Award winning author Barbara Cameron introduces Elizabeth Bontrager in her book “A Road Unknown,” the first in the new “Amish Road” series of novels, based on the traditions of the Amish. Elizabeth is at a crossroad. The practices of her faith allow for a “rumschpringe” an opportunity to live outside of the protection of the community for a time before embracing the Amish way of life and joining the church.
Unsettled at home and responsible for the caring of her younger siblings, Elizabeth opts to join her friend Paula in Paradise, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth’s physical attractiveness, simple innocence, curious nature, polite manners, shyness, and spiritual inner beauty are quickly noticed by Paula’s friend Bruce, and by Saul Miller, the supervisor who helped her get a job at a store selling Amish products in the local community.
As the two young competitors vie for her attention Elizabeth is faced with uncertainty, and feelings of ambivalence; she realizes Bruce is looking for more than friendship while her feelings toward Saul are deepening. She is also experiencing an overwhelming sense of homesickness. She is again at a crossroads. She now has another choice to make; to pursue making a life for herself in Paradise with the possibility of romance or to return to the love and responsibility of the family and a commitment to the church.
Cameron brilliantly uses the dialog in the development a strong character driven plot. Her characters become three dimensional as they show growth in self-awareness, work through conflict resolution, and a commitment to deeply engrained spiritual convictions.
“A Road Unknown” is written for anyone who is working through the uncertainties of relationships, life’s circumstances, and the conflicts that arise while reexamining inner convictions and matters of faith, family, and destiny. Cameron’s writing is provocative, soul-searching, and inspirational without losing the heartwarming entertainment value of well written fiction.
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