I finally had a chance to read An Amish Christmas, three short stories written by Kathleen Fuller, Beth Wiseman, and Barbara Cameron.
Because I had already read books by Kathleen and Beth, I almost flipped to the end to read the last story in the book by Barbara. For some reason, I changed my mind and was glad that I did. Unlike many novellas, An Amish Christmas was definitely a collaboration by Kathleen, Beth, and Barbara, intertwining the lives of previous characters.
Although you wouldnt have to read the stories in order, it certainly keeps the characters and relationships a bit clearer.
Kathleen Fuller writes A Miracle for Miriam, a story about unmarried, plain Miriam. Miriam has always struggled with her self-esteem, especially because of some painful teasing during her school days. When the tormenter apologizes years later, Miriam has a difficult time believing his sincerity.
In A Choice to Forgive, Beth Wiseman tells us about Lydia, a widow who is unprepared for the surprise appearance of her first love on her doorstep. Daniel, her dead husbands brother, left her on a Christmas Eve almost 20 years ago with nothing but a short note. When Lydia hears the truth, she feels doubly betrayed.
One Child by Barbara Cameron shares the struggle of Sarah and David to have a baby. The couple, still grieving a miscarriage that happened last Christmas, opens their home to an Englisch couple during a terrible winter storm. Jason and Kate are very clearly expecting their first childsoon. Will the pregnant guest and the coming baby add to Sarahs hurt or help heal her grieving heart?
For the most part, I enjoyed each story. Even though novellas are meant to be fairly short, each story in An Amish Christmas was well developed and interesting. A Choice to Forgive was my least favorite. I felt that the physical tension between Lydia and Daniel was a bit too edgy for my taste. Although this didnt really surprise me, since Id read a previous book by Beth.
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Three wonderful stories that were a coordinated project by the three authors. Each story stands alone but characters from each story are mentioned in the other two. These stories were very different from the typical Amish books and made reading them so much more enjoyable. I am very glad that I took the time to read the book.
A great collection of heartwarming holiday stories. Although the stories are written by three different authors, the characters overlap within the stories and you get a real sense of the Amish community. My favorite was the first story, A Miracle for Miriam. It seemed to be the most true to life.
Laura B. (aggie-98) - , reviewed An Amish Christmas: December in Lancaster County on
3 Amish Christmas stories. The 3 stories link together. The first 2 may be read in either order as their timeframes overlap. The third story is the conclusion to the book--its story is mentioned in the other 2 a number of times.
A Miracle for Miriam by Kathleen Fuller
3 1/2 stars
Miriam is plain and thinks of herself as an ugly duckling. She wants to get married and have a family, but she doesn't think anyone will ever find her attractive enough to marry.
Seth was Miriam's school crush. He broke her heart by laughing at her and making fun of her when he found out. He was arrogant and selfish in his youth. Now he is older and after spending time in the Englisch world and getting into a car accident that leaves him scarred, he wants to change.
Lesson: Inner beauty, Humility
A nice story about inner beauty. A little too overdone on the "ugly duckling" part, though. A slight bit preachy on the humility side, too.
A Choice to Forgive by Beth Wiseman
Daniel left the Amish life 18 years ago. He devastated Lydia whom he had promised to marry. She went on to marry his brother and have 3 wonderful children. She is now a widow and Daniel has chosen to return to the Amish life. He not only want forgiveness, but needs it from Lydia.
This one was okay to me. Daniel seemed a little too forgiving to me while Lydia was very unforgiving when she thought she was forgiving. This one also seemed to be a bit more preachy than I expected.
One Child by Barbara Cameron
2 1/2 stars
As Sarah and David celebrate Christmas they are also remembering her miscarriage one year earlier. They have yet to have any children and Sarah is saddened by the loss and anxious to be pregnant again.
On Christmas night and Englischer couple arrives at their home stranded in the snowstorm. Sarah and David take them in and are surprised to find the woman, Kate, very pregnant. They are both concerned for the couple, but also about each other and their own feelings about the pregnant woman.
Lessons: Acceptance, Faith
My least favorite of the book. For personal reasons (I am very familiar with miscarriage, infant loss, and infertility), I felt the story was just too overdone. Grieving a miscarriage is one thing, but Sarah and David handled it terribly. The "holier than thou" attitude they had made it seem like they should have handled it much better.
A lot of this story annoyed me. It just doesn't seem like it was written by someone who understands infertility or loss. The last paragraph was decent, but it didn't make up for the failings of the rest of the story. I admit I didn't like it for mostly personal reasons, but if you have dealt with issues like me, you probably won't like it either.
All three authors were new to me. I enjoyed all the stories and appreciated that some of the characters were in all the stories. It was nice to read and learn about some of the Christmas customs of the Amish. And there were a few recipes at the end.