Book Review: "The Survivor" by Shelley Shepard Gray

Summary from Mattie’s body has healed from the cancer that nearly took her life . . . but can she find the man who can mend her lonely heart?

Mattie has faced more in her twenty-three years than she ever imagined possible. Having successfully battled cancer, she’s ready to reenter the world with hopes for her future. But while she was in and out of hospitals, other Amish girls her age were courting and finding the men they would marry. The only man who’s ever made her heart beat faster is Graham Weaver, her best friend, who has always been there to comfort her, in good times and bad. Is it finally time for their friendship to become something more?

But cruel gossip is spreading, claiming that Graham’s the father of the baby Jenna Yoder’s carrying. Will Mattie’s dreams of a happily-ever-after be crushed before they’ve left the ground?

If you've been reading this series, then it's finally come to read about Mattie's story. We've followed her throughout the books as she has been in remission from cancer. Throughout the books, she's shown as a person who's frustrated with her situation but still hopeful and having lots of faith. The romance is light and while predictable is quite sweet. I really like how Graham and Mattie have been friends forever so a potential romance was always inevitable. At first I was rooting for Will but then his true nature came out which made me a bit sad.

Jenna's story seems a bit out of place in the context of the entire book. I was annoyed at her for what she did to Graham and then even more annoyed that she never told the real father. It got a little too perfect at the end for me though, with the other family's reaction to her news. My only qualm is that I wasn't that big of a fan of how John came to his final decision. Throughout the series we see him flip-flopping between the two women and then the Amish and the outside world lifestyle. We see him make the decision but I didn't really get a good sense of why he did it other than emotional feelings. The whole spiritual aspect never comes into play which I think is a serious issue in going back and forth between these lifestyles.

This is another nice Amish romance from Gray that I enjoyed reading. I have a feeling that this won't be the last time we see these characters. Gray has a tendency to write a Christmas novel featuring characters from past series so I wouldn't be surprised if next year we find out what Lucy, Ella and Mattie have been doing since we last left them.

The Survivor by Shelley Shepard Gray is published by Avon Inspire (2011)

This review copy was provided for a tour with the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

Other books in the Families of Honor series that I have reviewed:

The Caregiver (Book 1)
The Protector (Book 2)


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