Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Christmas in Apple Ridge (Three in One Collection) - Cindy Woodsmall
Headstrong with great business acumen but a heavy heart, Beth Hertzler runs the dry good store with her aunt. Still single, the community wonder when she will stop wearing black. Her fiance died nearly a year ago and for many it's about time she moves on.
Whilst Beth is lost in her somber thoughts, Lizzy (her aunt) takes things into her own matter when Beth is awakened by a wood carving. The craftsman behind the captivating scene is Jonah. A kind man who carries his own wounds. Through a series of letters Beth and Jonah open themselves up not knowing who they're actually talking to. Can Lizzy's well meaning matchmaking see two wounded people find each other, giving Beth a second chance at love?
Book 2: The Christmas Singing
When Gideon suddenly ends his engagement to Mattie, she leaves her family behind heartbroken and pursues her ambition to become a cake decorator. Three years on and and she's involved with Sol - a man that she has some affection for and knows won't hurt her. But a devastating fire causes her to return home. There she is faced with further anguish when she sees Gideon. Will she find out why he left her so dramatically all those years ago? Will Gideon find the strength to reveal his true reason for breaking up with Mattie? With so many questions swirling around their lives like a snowstorm, can they reconcile and enjoy Christmas again?
Book 3: The Dawn of Christmas
Finding her fiance in the arms of her cousin, Sadie calls off the wedding the night before. Distraught that no-one believes what she saw, but with the support of her Daed, she lives Brim behind. Four years later with mission trips behind her, Sadie's family insist she return home, settle down and marry. But how can she? Leading an independent life has been transforming, she doesn't have time for love.
A confirmed bachelor, Levi lives with his brother and nephew and after his brothers heartbreak, doesn't trust women. So when he meets Sadie and they concoct a plan to stop all the badgering of finding a partner crops up, they both jump at the chance to be left alone. Will the barriers of prejudice and resentment that they've built tumble down as their friendship solidifies?
Each story has been carefully crafted evoking the magic of Christmas entwined with finding true love. Woodsmall's characters are real, vivacious and amiable. From Beth's strong will to Sadie's fear of being hurt, their stories reveal the vulnerability of human nature. How easily it is to misunderstand, to build up mistrust and stop others from healing the wounds created. Whilst each story is a stand alone novel, read together, the lives of these three couples intertwine creating a warming continuity and underlining the strength that comes from being part of an Amish community.
Another excellent set of stories from Cindy Woodsmall. Her seemingly effortless story telling of an Amish community where its occupants come together to face adversity head on. There are moments of laughter, deep love and compassion as well tearful and heartwarming ones. The authors skill at letting the characters drive the story along comes shining through and linking these stories to the magical time of Christmas lends the tales an enchanting quality. A highly recommended read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrookMultnomah Publishing to review. The opinions expressed are my own and I am not required to give a positive critique.