Overcoming the impossible: Family, faith, and love triumph in 2016 Book Contest Winner

Nov 1, 2016

Winner of the 2016 Write Place Book Contest, Bestow On Us Your Grace by Jean De Vries of Pella, Iowa, is the latest novel published by the Write Place. Told through the eyes of a very unlikely couple, an 18-year-old expectant mother and her Amish neighbor, Bestow On Us Your Grace is a heartwarming story about family, faith, and love.

Heroine Kirsten Walker’s life has never been picture-perfect, and the picture seems even bleaker as she faces an unplanned pregnancy at 18. But Kirsten finds an unexpected source of hope, compassion, and friendship as she becomes close to her Amish neighbors, the Miller family. She is particularly drawn to the handsome Silas Miller, a kind and soft-spoken woodworker. As Kirsten learns more about Silas, his people, and his God, her eyes begin to open to the ways her life is being shaped into a work of beauty.

“They really help each other,” said De Vries. “They end up coming together, teaching each other about God’s plan for life, and understanding how He works—and it’s not always the way we expect.”

DeVries’s inspiration for Bestow On Us Your Grace can be traced back to a family trip along the Iowa-Missouri border. “There are a lot of Amish in the area,” said De Vries. “We happened to drive by a farm and there was a young, 12 or 13-year-old Amish boy with blond hair standing in his yard and looking up at the sky.”

That image stayed with De Vries, and she began to wonder about that young man and imagine what his life might be like. From there, Silas and Kirsten’s story began to grow.

“I’m not really clear on why this story came to me,” De Vries reflected. “I think it’s just something that came from God saying, ‘Let’s take something impossible and show you how I can make it possible.’ My real intent is to show readers that God works through good and bad. I hope that people will be able to see that in Kirsten and Silas’s story and be able to apply it to their own stories.”

De Vries is a homemaker and manager of chaos for her husband, Brian, and her three young children, Reagan, Maddie, and Hunter. When she isn’t busy helping with homework, dong laundry, or fixing meals and snacks, she enjoys volunteering at her church. Bestow On Us Your Grace is her first book and is available for purchase on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com. It is also the first in a series she plans to write about the Miller family.



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