SNOWFALL Shelley Shepard Gray
A Days of Redemption Christmas Novella
Avon Inspire
ISBN: 978-0-06-220454-7
November 2014
Amish Inspirational Fiction

Mid December in Ohio

Two years ago, when Christmas tree farmer Martin Rhodes lost his beloved wife, he was left with six children to raise. School is out for the holidays and his regular baby sitter is away until January six. The three girls and two boys range from four to nine and are known far and wide as being out of control. The substitute he hired lasted one day, but she did send him a replacement.

Because of budget cuts, Ruth Stutzman was let go from her job at the retirement home. She's nervous about the nanny job; orphaned at five and bounced around from relative to relative, she's not used to children. After being an unwanted burden most of her life, Ruth quickly realizes she's going to have quite a time winning over the resentful children. Martin and the youngsters were expecting another crabby old lady and don't know what to make of this young woman.

Both Martin and Ruth are likeable characters and the children likewise, though they can be a handful. They meet a few challenges as they wait for the tardy snow to fall.

At only 222 easy-to-read pages, SNOWFALL serves up multiple story lines with uplifting messages. Lovina Keim, the one-day sitter , turns out to be a matriarch of a large family of her own and one whose heart is not above benefiting from the spirit of the season. Readers of Ms. Gray's Days of Redemption trilogy (DAYBREAK, RAY OF LIGHT, and EVENTIDE) have met the Keims before and will be happy to see them again. Those who are new to the series or the author (like me) are sure to enjoy this well-written holiday tale as well.

Jane Bowers