I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Kathleen Fuller. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.An Amish Christmas by Barbara Cameron, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Long
Published by Thomas Nelson on September 12th 2011
Genres: Christian, Fiction, Romance
Source: Kathleen Fuller
Celebrate Christmas with Four Amish Romances.
A Choice to Forgive by Beth Wiseman
After Daniel disappeared that long-ago Christmas Eve, Lydia built a life with his brother. But now she's a widow and Daniel has reappeared, asking for forgiveness. Can she go back to her normal life with her long-lost love as her neighbor?
A Miracle for Miriam by Kathleen Fuller
Seth is no longer the arrogant young man who shattered Miriam's confidence and broker her heart. Will he be able to show "plain" Miriam that she is truly beautiful to him?
One Child by Barbara Cameron
The birth of one child forever changed the world two thousand years ago. On a snowy Christmas night in Lancaster County, another child changes the world for two very different couples.
Christmas Cradles by Kelly Long
When Anna Stolis takes over for her aunt, the local midwife, Christmas night heats up with multiple deliveries, three strangers' quilts, and unexpected help from the handsome and brooding Asa Lapp.
A Choice to Forgive by Beth Wiseman ****
I’m going to just say it…this novella was the perfect opener to this collection. I’ve yet to read anything by this author that I haven’t absolutely fallen in love with. And with one small caveat, this novella is no exception. An unexpected, heart rending, 18 year old blast from the past walks through Lydia’s door one night just before Thanksgiving. Her first love, the man who left it all behind and broke her heart on Christmas Eve (no less) eighteen years prior is back. Back to reclaim his life in his Amish roots. Back to tear her heart into little pieces all over again. Back. She thought she had moved on, actually marrying his brother Elam and raising their three children alone after Elam’s passing two years prior. Back to remind her that her heart is not truly healed. I loved that this story occupied it’s time in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I loved that there was no need for time hops and epilogues. However, it crushed me a bit that there was the insta-love between Lydia and Daniel. I mean I get it, they had once loved each other enough to chose to be engaged. I get it, they had a deep history. But 18 years people! Eighteen years that was wrapped up in a big, ginormous, festering lie. A lie that Elam never corrected, mind you, though he’s not here to deal with the fallout. I can understand forgiving his lying cowardly self. I can understand choosing friendship and a we’ll see approach. I just couldn’t live with declarations of love so quickly. That’s my caveat. The one thing I couldn’t get behind in this otherwise amazing novella.
A Miracle for Miriam by Kathleen Fuller *****
This story, oh gravy this story is what all novellas should hope to become. Added bonus points because it picks right back up where ‘A Choice to Forgive’ with the same family, the same community and a side-by story line. It’s rare to find novellas with overarching stories. Let’s add in that a horse in this book garnered it own paragraph to explain why it was named Gravy. Technically Biscuits ‘n’ Gravy but still. It’s like Kathleen knew me personally and Gravy was just her way to include me in this story, I mean if of course we don’t look at the analogy of me as a horse or the fact that she doesn’t know me. But still, it’s what I want to think right now! The author tackles some tough subjects in this novella that are done so gracefully and perfectly without trying to be more than what it was intended to be and without leaving me feeling like I missed something. There was a lot of baby steps toward healing old hurts, there was a lot of let’s see where this could take us, there was a lot of forgiveness. There wasn’t a lot of neat tied up endings without the need for after thoughts. We don’t know where Miriam and Seth ended up, for sure. And that is perfectly OK. The depth of character building and back story was so perfect that I could have kept right on reading about their lives through their own series.
One Child by Barbara Cameron ****
I loved that story picked right up where ‘A Miracle for Miriam’ left off. This collection is so very different than other novellas which endears me to it more. Sarah and David have featured throughout the stories as a local couple who lost their baby to miscarriage the previous Christmas Eve. They are hosting First Christmas for family and friends at their home and as their guests leave before the storm blows in they prepare to settle in for the night. Until a pounding on the door takes David out into the snow to rescue a family whose car has slid off the road in the storm. A husband and his very pregnant wife. This novella was filled with so much love and healing (for Sarah especially) and truth. Englishers with preconceived ideas about the Amish. Misunderstood ideas about gender roles within the Amish family. This story begins and ends in less than 24 hours. That 24 hours provides healing for Sarah and David, growth for Kate and Jason, and new friendships for everyone. Here’s the situation, however, it was only 24 hours but it dragged on and on and on. Jason was all over the place. Sarah was bound in her own private world that she didn’t share outside her husband. Kate, oh yeah well I won’t spoiler it but it’s kinda a given ya know… However it took her getting up and down and going here and there and drinking a LOT of tea to get there.
Christmas Cradles by Kelly Long ***
This book is partially a continuation of the previous three novellas but not as intertwined. The same community, the same Christmas storm, and three new couples that were new. If there were mentioned in the previous stories I didn’t get a feel for them like I did in the previous novellas. Anna is in town for just a day or two to cover her Aunt’s patients while she goes to visit her family. Oh yeah, the are both midwives. The flu, which apparently is stealthing through the community through all the novellas, has changed a bit of plans when the man to stay with her and drive in the event she was called out is down with the flu so he son comes in his place. Long story short it was insta-love. I enjoyed the interweaving of the cradles (as featured in ‘One Child’) and quilts that draw the story together. However I felt like the characters weren’t developed with any depth, answers were given too easily, and insta-love. I feel like this novella was destined to be something amazing but due to a shortage of available pages got cut down and it lost a lot of somethings in the translation. It was still an amazing conclusion to ‘An Amish Christmas’ in the community at Paradise on a blizzarding Christmas night.