This is a highly complex story that intertwines many of the residents of Charm, both Amish and English. Within the Amish community, there is a life changing fire at the largest employer, a lumber mill. Not only were the workers affected but the families were. The best and the worse come out in various people but also what is important comes into play. Two siblings find love. An old friend discovers that the friendship he values is actually more than that. Violence comes into play as Darla’s brother tries to deal with the anger he has inside of him, even to the point of assaulting an Amish woman in the middle of town and having a English man step in. The complexity of this story gives it depth and a life that feels as if it actually happened. The Amish of Charm are a bit more modern than many Amish communities yet the same faith comes across. This story was a quick read as it flows so smoothly that you just can’t seem to put it down. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Charm and look forward to visiting again. There are some loose story lines that need to be resolved and I can’t wait to see how they are. In the meantime, I loved how this story ended and look forward to seeing the characters in future books.
Darla’s father was blamed for a fire that killed 5 men at the lumber mill including Darla’s father. It’s been almost 100 days since the fire happened and Darla is trying to move on even though since the fire her mother left the family leaving Darla to take care of her younger siblings. It has been hard and some of the members of the Amish community are taking their grief out on Darla, especially Mary and Darla’s brother. Darla’s good friend, Lukas has been just as busy as Darla. His family owns the lumber mill and his father was also killed in the fire leaving Lukas in charge of not only the lumber mill but responsible for his younger siblings. When Lukas makes the effort to reconnect with Darla, she turns him away. Is this really her feelings or does it have something to do with her brother who blames the lumber mill for the death of their father?
Shelley Shepard Gray’s first book in her Charmed Amish Life series is set in the quaint Amish village of Charm, Ohio, and tells the stories of the Kinsinger siblings who are each struggling to find both forgiveness and love in the face of tragedy.
Three months ago, everything changed for Darla Kurtz and her family. Darla’s father was responsible for a terrible fire at Charm’s lumber mill which killed five Amish men. And though he, too, lost his life, the town of Charm hasn’t looked at her family the same since. Even Lukas Kinsinger—with whom Darla used to have a close friendship.
Now her brother’s anger at the town is spilling over onto Darla, and she has the bruises to prove it. The accident already cost five lives, but if something doesn’t change soon, Darla fears it will cost her—and her family—even more.
Lukas Kinsinger wants to mourn the loss of his father, but he can hardly find the time to breathe. Suddenly the head of his father’s lumber mill and responsible for taking care of his three siblings, he’s feeling the pressure. He has also never felt more alone—especially with the new tension between he and Darla. But when he learns of her troubles at home, Lukas knows he can’t simply stand by and watch. Someone has to help her before another tragedy occurs.
As Lukas and Darla attempt to repair their families, they discover something deeper than friendship growing between them. But will Lukas and Darla’s love be accepted after so much loss? Or will the pain of the past overcome any chance of future happiness?