Overview: Experience the holidays with the Plain folk of Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania, in these touching novellas centered around love, romance, heartache, and restoration from best-selling author Cindy Woodsmall.
The Sound of Sleigh Bells
Beth Hertzler is unable to let go of a past tragedy, but when she discovers a large, intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow, something deep inside Beth’s soul responds. Determined that her niece meet the gifted artist, her aunt tracks him down, but it’s not that simple – will Jonah be able to offer Beth the sleigh ride she’s always dreamed of and a second chance at real love?
The Christmas Singing
Mattie thought her childhood sweetheart adored her until he abruptly ended their engagement on Christmas Eve. Brokenhearted, Mattie moves away and pursues her longtime dream of becoming a cake decorator, and even finds a new beau. But when Mattie is forced to return home three years later, will learning the truth behind Gideon’s rejection restore her Christmas joy – or open the door to even deeper heartbreak?
The Dawn of Christmas
Sadie enjoys her freedom away from home and her mission trips to Peru, but after four years, her Old Order Amish family insists it’s time to come home and settle down. Levi, a bachelor who distrusts women after a family heartbreak, also has no desire for romance. To keep their families from meddling in their lives, Sadie and Levi devise a plan—but soon discover that the walls around their hearts are breaking down. Can they let go of their prejudices, learn to trust each other, and embrace a future together?
My Review: All I can say is this collection was such a blessing to read! I have never read an Amish book that was so captivating and enthralling from beginning to end. I wasn't sure what to expect since I don't read a lot of books in the Amish category, but I was pleasantly surprised!
The Sound of Sleigh Bells features Beth and Jonah. Beth is a very no-nonsense, business-like woman who was deeply wounded in the past and determined not to let it happen again. Jonah is a damaged soul who learned that God is good no matter what. Can he teach Beth that despite her past, she can open up to love? I loved the message of the book. If you don't let go of your past, you aren't letting in all that God has for you.
The Christmas Singing features Mattie and Gideon. Mattie was heartbroken when Gideon broke up with her on Christmas Eve and has worked hard to hide her heart from anyone who tries to take it. Gideon has lived with a secret illness and brokenness since his break-up with Mattie. Can they get along enough to figure out they still love each other? The message in this book was to trust God with everything. You can't protect everyone, only God can do that.
The Dawn of Christmas was my favorite! Sadie and Levi suffer from the same affliction - aversion to marraige and the other sex. They have both seen or been hurt by someone and are determined never to let it happen again. So, when Sadie finds Levi injured in a field, neither expects anything to happen. Reading their story was amusing. I figured out long before the characters did that they were meant for each other. Can they open their hearts to let in what God has planned for them, or will they turn away out of fear? The message in this story is to not let fear rule your lives.
Overall, this was the most enjoyable Christmas book I've ever read. I would recommend it to anyone who loves reading about the magic of Christmas and the blessings it can bring.
**I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.**
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