Book Review: A is for Amish by Shelley Shepard Gray

Posted July 4, 2024 by meezcarrie in Amish, Book Review, Christian, clean, contemporary, romance, Shelley Shepard Gray / 1 Comment

A is for Amish book review

A is for Amish by Shelley Shepard GrayA IS FOR AMISH by Shelley Shepard Gray
Amish ABCS #1

GENRE: Contemporary/Amish Romance (Clean)
PUBLISHER: Kensington Books
RELEASE DATE: June 25, 2024
PAGES: 280

In a heartwarming new series from New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray, four siblings take a genuine leap of faith when they move to their grandparents’ farm in rural Ohio and decide to become Amish.

Siblings Martin, Kelsey, Beth, and Jonny are as different as can be, but they have one thing in common. They’re all longing to reinvent their lives. Raised by their divorced lapsed-Amish father and English mother, they only knew real stability and a sense of family when visiting their Old Order grandparents, Josiah and Sylvia Schrock, in peaceful small-town Millersburg, Ohio. Now the four want to try living with them and joining their faith—much to the Schrocks’ surprise . . .

Martin, the eldest, is reeling from a bad breakup, so he’s especially determined to make a fresh start. When he meets his grandparents’ neighbor, Patti Coblentz, he’s immediately drawn to her outgoing, helpful nature—but is so overwhelmed that he appears blunt and rude. Is there any way he can drop his defenses enough to admit she’s captured his heart?

Always self-conscious about the birthmark on her temple, Patti is resigned to never marrying and busying herself with the responsibilities of the large home and property she has inherited. Besides, Martin’s ill-mannered behavior and disconcerting directness make him the last man she’d ever want to wed—no matter how handsome he is.

Yet given time and patience—and adhering to their grandparents’ unexpectedly challenging rules—the whole family might just find what they’re looking for, even Martin and Patti.

“You’re not afraid of giving up your life… you’re afraid that even after doing all this, you still won’t be happy.”

A is for Amish took so many different turns that I wasn’t expecting, and I love that even after years of reading Shelley Shepard Gray’s books she can still surprise me!

I find the concept of this series to be really intriguing – four siblings who long for more peace and meaning in their lives want to move in with their Amish grandparents and become Amish themselves. Of course it’s not going to be that simple, and I appreciated the approach that Gray takes – both in the wisdom their grandparents show and in (the first two to try it) Martin & Kelsey’s struggles to adjust to Plain life. Their understandably-mixed emotions (and not-cut-and-dried decisions) had me wondering if I could do it – and (because I know you’re dying to know lol) I think that as long as there were books to read I could probably give up my phone and my computer and the internet and TV… but I know I couldn’t give up air conditioning (unless there are Amish in Alaska maybe) and I know I couldn’t gather eggs from pecky chickens.

Making all of this even more complicated is that Martin and Kelsey have fallen for more than just the idea of Amish life – they’ve each fallen in love with a member of the community, too. Both romances took me by surprise, though for different reasons, and the personality of each romance is just as contrasting as Martin & Kelsey’s respective personalities. One budding relationship is sweet but very multi-layered and had me shedding a few tears, too (and I suspect it will be an ongoing arc of the series which I’m eager to follow), and one is everything swoony and breathless and made me grin big. For all the uncertainty revolving around this possible conversion for them, one thing that Martin and Kelsey definitely have in common is the sincere desire to make the right decision for the right reasons, and I so respected them for this.

Bottom Line: It didn’t take getting too far into A is for Amish for me to become completely immersed in the Schrock siblings’ determination to convert to the Amish faith, as well as the complications, emotions, and relationships they encounter in the process. Their grandparents are colorful characters who may be just as conflicted about their grandchildren’s decisions as the siblings themselves are but also pour wisdom, love, and stability into the situation. Martin and Kelsey, the sibling focus of this particular book, are easy to love – and so are their romantic counterparts – and I was invested heart-first in their struggles and triumphs, as well as their love stories. And when I say ‘heart-first’ I mean I giggled, I grinned, I swooned, and I cried, and kudos to author Shelley Shepard Gray for writing such a fresh and unique Amish fiction plot! I look forward to reading the other books in this series and will be waiting most impatiently for them to release!

(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: 4.5 stars / loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3+ / will forget to breathe on occasion

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Shelley Shepard Gray
Photo Credit: Dianne Bomar

Shelley Shepard Gray is the two-time Holt Medallion Award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over one hundred novels. Her novels have been translated into multiple languages and highlighted in the Philadelphia Enquirer, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, NPR and USA Today. An active member of her church and the mother of two young adults, Shelley lives with her husband in Ohio and writes full time. Please visit her online at

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What about you? What makes you want to read A is for Amish by Shelley Shepard Gray?

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One response to “Book Review: A is for Amish by Shelley Shepard Gray

  1. Regina

    This book sounds like a wonderful start to an awesome series I’m really looking forward to reading! And your reasons for not being able to convert to the Amish are almost identical to mine. I love air conditioning way too much! 😉💗 I’m not a fan of the heat at all.

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