Book Review: An Amish Surprise by Shelley Shepard Gray

Posted May 23, 2021 by meezcarrie in Amish, Christian, contemporary, romance, Shelley Shepard Gray / 8 Comments

Berlin Bookmobile #2

GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary / Amish Fiction
PUBLISHER: Gallery Books
RELEASE DATE: May 18, 2021
PAGES: 320

In the second installment of the “enjoyable and charming” (USA TODAY) Shelley Shepard Grays delightful Berlin Bookmobile series, librarian Sarah Anne Miller returns to Berlin to help a childless Amish couple form the family theyve always prayed for.

Miriam and Calvin Gingerich have been trying for a baby for several years, but the Lord hasn’t seen fit to bless them. Though Calvin claims he’s content with their childless state, Miriam knows he’s not, and when he starts spending more time off their farm, she worries he’s found someone else. But just as she finds herself at her lowest point, she discovers the ultimate surprise. Unable to confide in anyone who might tell Calvin—out of fear she’ll disappoint him with another miscarriage—Miriam turns to bookmobile librarian Sarah Anne Miller—and any books she may have on pregnancy and childbirth.

Calvin has been keeping a secret from his wife, but it’s not another woman. It’s a little boy. One afternoon when visiting Sarah Anne’s bookmobile, he meets Miles, a ten-year-old living with a foster family down the road. But after spending more time with the boy, Calvin learns that his foster family has no plans to adopt him. Calvin feels a connection with Miles and yearns to give the boy a home, but he’s afraid to tell Miriam, knowing she’s devastated they can’t have children of their own.

As weeks pass and Sarah Anne learns that Miles has nearly given up hope of ever finding a real home, she knows it’s time to intervene. It’s going to take some fancy footwork and a whole lot of prayer, but she knows she can help make this struggling couple into a happy family of four.


Other Books In This Series


Shelley Shepard Gray is one of my fave authors – no matter what genre she’s writing. Contemporary Romance. Women’s Fiction. Historical Mystery. Western Romance. Amish Romantic Suspense. Amish Romance. If she writes it, I’ll read it & love it. Which brings me to today’s book, An Amish Surprise. Part women’s fiction, part romance, this latest book in the Berlin Bookmobile series is wholly delightful.

One of the things I love about this series is that we follow a couple of different story threads that weave together at various points in each book. In An Amish Surprise, we continue spending time with bookmobile librarian Sarah Anne Miller as she visits the various communities around Berlin, Ohio. She’s a very engaging character right from book one, and readers will enjoy just hanging out with her in the bookmobile (on the page, of course). I also loved watching her budding romance develop more with Pete in this second book, proving it’s never too late to find true love (even for the second time around).

While we also spend time with Sarah Anne in her life outside the bookmobile, the scenes in the little traveling library are my favorite. She’s the perfect character to go to for advice, the kind of person who likes to solve problems and truly cares about the people God places in her path. Enter three key players in this story: Amish couple Miriam & Calvin Gingerich and Miles, a sweet 10-year-old boy being fostered by another Amish family in the area. Many couples will be able to relate to Miriam & Calvin’s struggles, and while I ached to sit them both down for a talk about not assuming you know what your spouse is thinking or feeling, I very much loved their characters’ growth through the story. And then there’s Miles who completely captured my heart. I can’t wait for you to meet this precious child in An Amish Surprise, and the way in which Gray wrote his story both warms and challenges the heart.

Bottom Line: An Amish Surprise is another winning read by Shelley Shepard Gray! While the story addresses topics such as infertility, foster care and adoption with authenticity, it also does so gently and with a lot of heart. Any story set in a bookmobile instantly has a reader’s attention, and the layered characters and engaging plot hold that interest through to the end – where we find more than one kind of happily ever after. I can’t wait to read about more of the people that cross Sarah Anne’s path in this sweet & entertaining series!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / love it!

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A practicing Lutheran, Shelley Shepard Gray is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than one hundred novels, translated into multiple languages. In her years of researching the Amish community, she depends on her Amish friends for gossip, advice, and cinnamon rolls. She lives in Colorado with her family and writes full time.

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Other Books by Shelley Shepard Gray

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8 responses to “Book Review: An Amish Surprise by Shelley Shepard Gray

  1. Suzanne Sellner

    I also love Shelley Shepard Gray’s books and loved the first book about the bookmobile librarian. I’m eager to read this one too.

  2. Ellie

    I haven’t read anything by Shelley Shephard Gray yet, but this series is high on my TBR list. 🙂

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