Friday, December 19, 2014

An Amish Second Christmas

An Amish Second Christmas is a collection of four novellas by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Ruth Reid, and Tricia Goyer.  All the stories deal with Amish life, and the day after Christmas, which is a fun, social activity day, in the Amish world.  This day after Christmas is known as Second Christmas, hence the title. 

Since I read this book in December, I enjoyed the holiday theme even more than usual.  The four stories are light and easy to read.  I am going to recommend An Amish Second Christmas for my own book club to read for next December.  The first novella, When Christmas Comes Again by Beth Wiseman was a thriller, but not a scary thriller.  The suspense was tempered by the safety of the Amish culture.  An Englischer appears to be following Katherine.  Katherine’s husband has recently died, so this stranger stalking her made for some unwanted stress.  That is until he made himself known by giving Katherine pictures of her late husband, and a story that just couldn’t have been made up, or could it?

Her Christmas Pen Pal by Ruth Reid was very original.  I thought the story line different.  Joy was a hard worker.  She was such a hard worker that she didn’t have time to socialize.  Her fiancé dumped her because she was too involved in her work.  Her friends were her relatives, but since the family was struggling financially, everyone was working and trying to cope with the stresses of finances, family, farm, and work.  Joy confided her thoughts and feelings to her cousin in a letter.  Unfortunately, the letter was missent and Noah unknowingly read it.  Although it didn’t take him long to figure out what had happened, he felt the need to write back to Joy and express what he thought about her situation.  Well, they eventually become pen pals, and friends, but you need to read it yourself to enjoy the twists and turns, and of course the happy ending. 

A Gift for Anne Marie by Kathleen Fuller was a pleasant surprise.  The mother was getting married, and this fact was a shock to her family, especially to Anne Marie.  The father of the family had recently died.  And Anne Marie’s mother was remarrying so soon!  It’s time for Anne Marie, herself, to be married.  And Anne Marie’s mother was remarrying!  A stranger was stepping into her father’s place.  This stranger was taking the family out of state to his farm.  It’s a good thing Anne Marie’s best friend, Nathaniel, was there to support her.  She couldn’t have understood and dealt with the shock of her mother remarrying were it not for him.  Nathaniel was more than a good friend and he manages to surprise me, as well as Anne Marie.

Don’t read The Christmas Aprons by Tricia Goyer on an empty stomach.  The plot of this novella turns around a super fantastic vanilla crumb pie.  This pie is so good, its recipe is a secret—until the end.  (I bet more than one reader has made this recipe.) The pie was entered in a fund raiser.  Only bachelors could bid on the pie.  The winner of the bid, also won a date with the baker.  That’s how Ester met Ammon.  What’s funny is that neither one was looking to be married.  Ester was only visiting to help out a relative.  The same with Ammon, but his mother unfortunately had a stroke during the visit.  He didn’t know what to do: stay and care for Mom, or go back and care for his farm.  He chose his mother, which I thought very commendable.  How a young man treats his mother speaks volumes about how he will treat his wife.  Ester thinks like me; that’s why this novella was my favorite—the pie was good, too.

Every single one of these novellas was an enjoyable read.  I think they’re perfect for the busy season because they’re easy and quick.  I learned about the Amish, too.  I had never heard of a Second Christmas, before this.  I also learned that the Amish are no different than I.  This only proves that we really are all made in the image of God.

This book was given to me in exchange for my honest opinion, by

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