A Simple Prayer is the fourth book in the Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel series. I think it could definitely be read as a stand alone novel, because the author does a good job of explaining the characters who have recurring roles from earlier books. I have read books one, two, and four in the series. I did not get a chance to read book three, but had no trouble following along in this story, at all.
If you are a fan of Amish fiction, this is a very good series and I highly recommend it. The characters in all of the books have been complex and the relationships between family members are definitely complicated, with many issues to work through.
That is also the case with A Simple Prayer. Linda Zook and Aaron Ebersol were such great characters. I really liked them and the connection that they made with each other. Their growing friendship and attraction was sweet and had good depth to it. I appreciated the way they were honest with each other and tried to help each other navigate the difficult home situations they were both dealing with.
This is definitely a “prodigal son” type of story. The author did such a great job of capturing the true joy that most of Aaron’s family felt at his return. But, she did just as good a job at capturing the true loathing and hateful feelings that Aaron experienced from his brother.
Linda also had problems of her own to work out. She lived a sad life, never feeling loved by the relatives who took her in as a child. I thought the author did a very good job of showing us the challenges that Linda faced at her uncle’s house. The situation at his house was a good example of how envy and anger lead to very hurtful bitterness.
This was a really enjoyable story and a very good Amish series. (4 stars)
My thanks to BookLook Bloggers for the complimentary copy of this book that I received in exchange for my review.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Life has taken much from Linda Zook. Now she dares to hope for a chance at love and a new beginning.
Linda Zook, 32, works part-time at the Lancaster Grand Hotel. As the sole survivor of a buggy accident that left her orphaned at age four, she was raised by her unwilling Uncle Reuben. Linda longs to be worthy of someone, but the life-long effects of her injuries and her upbringing under the care of her embittered uncle have destroyed her self-worth.
Aaron Ebersol, 32, left the Amish community 17 years ago when he could no longer bear the restrictions or the constant tension with his father. He d written too many unanswered letters to his mother and found himself incapable of putting down any roots in his new home in Missouri. Success in work could not replace the family that denied Aaron, even after all of these years.
Aaron hastily returns to the Amish community of Paradise, PA, after receiving word of his mother s stroke. Hesitant to get too close to the family he was once a part of, he decides to stay at the Heart of Paradise Bed & Breakfast. He soon encounters Linda, working there part-time, and they begin to develop a friendship.
Aaron s return allows him to reconnect with his family as he jumps into home improvement projects, hoping to make his parents house more accessible to his handicapped mother. But before long, he is enraged to learn that his brother, Solomon, had hidden all of Aaron s letters to their mother.
Linda and Aaron must each learn to forgive the family members who have deceived and forsaken them. And Aaron must also show Linda that she is worthy of his love.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Amy Clipston holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, and two sons and four spoiled rotten cats.