This month, I am reviewing “An Amish Christmas Love” which contains four novellas by some great Amish fiction authors – “Winter Kisses” by Beth Wiseman, “The Christmas Cat” by Amy Clipston, “Snow Angels” by Kelly Irvin, and “Home for Christmas” by Ruth Reid. Each novella has its own twist on Christmas and the Amish faith.
Here’s a quick synopsis on each story:
“Winter Kisses” by Beth Wiseman
Three generations of Stoltzfus women are all living under the same roof. At twenty-five, Naomi has never been married, and both her mother, Barbara, and her grandmother, Ruth, have recently been widowed. Each nursing broken or lonely hearts, they also each have potential suitors. When a storm on Christmas Eve forces the three couples to take shelter in the basement of the Stotlzfus homestead, secrets are revealed, hearts are opened, and all three potential grooms drop to their knees for very different reasons—a proposal, a prayer, and an epiphany.
“The Christmas Cat” by Amy Clipston
Emma Bontrager is spending her first Christmas alone after her husband of 45 years, Henry, passed away in July. Although the Amish don’t normally allow animals in their homes, a big, fat, orange barn cat keeps coming into Emma’s house. She shoos the cat away, but it continues to appear in her house, settling on Henry’s favorite wingchair. But the cat isn’t the only Christmas visitor: a group of young people help bring the Christmas spirit to Emma, reminding her that love and hope abide.
“Snow Angels” by Kelly Irvin
As a young man enjoying his rumspringa, David Byler gave his heart to an Englisch girl, but he eventually realized he couldn’t give up his Plain faith and family for her, so he let her go. He’s found a new love in his Bee County Plain community, Molly Shrock. Molly has been patient, waiting for the man she loves to love her back. Just as he is ready to propose, David makes a startling discovery: Bobbie McGregor, his Englisch love, is back. Will Molly’s prayers for a Christmas love be answered?
“Home for Christmas” by Ruth Reid
When a misdirected GPS sends Ellie Whetstone to the wrong address, she inadvertently finds herself breaking into the home of Amish man, Ezra Mast. Ellie hopes to fix up the house left by her aenti and sell it quickly, but a series of run-ins with Ezra and his young daughter have her questioning whether a hasty sale is the right move. Could this new place with its slower pace be the right home for Ellie?
And here is my review of each story:
In “Winter Kisses” by Beth Wiseman, you meet three generations of women from the Stoltzfus family – Naomi, Barbara, and Ruth who just kept me in stitches throughout the story. She reminded me of my own grandmother with some of her quirkiness. Beth Wiseman does a great job of portraying each character and bringing their emotions to life. You can feel the love, sorrow, and expectation from each character as the story moves along. What fun to learn about the three ladies as well as the three men brought into their lives. You’ll laugh, cry, and just enjoy the words from Beth Wiseman.
In “The Christmas Cat” by Amy Clipston, you meet Emma who has recently lost her husband of 45 years, Henry, and will be celebrating her first Christmas alone. Amy Clipston loves her cats, so it’s no wonder that her story has a cat as a main character too. Amish don’t normally have pets in their home, but this cat isn’t taking “shoo” for an answer. Hank, as Emma calls him, settles in nicely during the Christmas holiday and gives Emma some hope and love during this lonely Christmas. Pets can bring so much love and happiness to us. Also, it’s nice to see the youth getting involved in lifting Emma’s spirits. I enjoyed how Amy would have Emma talk about her past and then back to the “now” and then back to the past and then back to the “now” when reminiscing about Henry. Amy’s story makes you long for the love you have from family during Christmas and that want of hope only God provides. Another story to make you laugh and cry.
In “Snow Angels” by Kelly Irvin, you meet David Byler and Molly Schrock. And you also meet Bobbie McGregor, my least favorite character in this story. I just wanted to slap her and send her on her way. Kelly writes a nice love story with the normal bumps along the road. I found myself cheering for David and Molly and hoped that things worked out in the end. I also enjoyed reading more about Bee County, Texas too. I’m glad Kelly picked that as her setting for this story. A nice wholesome story that shows you prayers can be answered.
In “Home for Christmas” by Ruth Reid, you meet Ellie Whetsone and her show dog, Lulu as well as Ezra Mast and his daughter, Allison. Can you imagine giving up the life you know and moving back to take care of selling a relative’s home that does not have the normal comforts of home? I sure can’t. I love how Ruth melds the two lifestyles in this story between Ellie and Ezra and how Lulu becomes Allison’s protector. Her story made me laugh, cry, and occasionally just giggle when something fun happened. She brought the characters to life for me, and I enjoyed how Ellie and Ezra would “work” things out.
Pretty much in each story, you’ll need some Kleenex handy. If you are like me, you’ll wind up crying while reading bits and pieces of these four novellas. The only complaint I have about this book is that the novellas aren’t long enough. I want more of each character. I want to know what happens after the end of each novella. Maybe the authors will continue writing about these characters in upcoming books? That would be super.
So if you love Amish fiction and love Christmas stories, grab a copy of this book now. It is available now at your local retailers and on Kindle and Nook. You won’t be disappointed.