Friday, January 9, 2015

Book Review: "An Amish Second Christmas" by Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid, Kathleen Fuller, and Tricia Goyer

"An Amish Second Christmas" is a compilation of four novellas.  They are independant of each other and have different settings and characters.  The common theme between the four novellas is the Amish celebration of "Second Christmas" (the day after Christmas).

“When Christmas Comes Again” by Beth Wiseman  Katherine Zook is facing the first Christmas after the recent death of her husband.  When a mysterious Englischer leaves a package of photographs of her family, she sets out to discover who he is.  He guides her in helping her children with their grief, but how can she get to the truth when his story keeps changing?

I don't know what genre "When Christmas Comes Again" would be considered.  It isn't primarily a romance although there is a small amount of courting.  It also has a bit of a mystery in it as Katherine sorts out the truth to the Englischer's story.

I enjoyed reading "When Christmas Comes Again" and found the portrayal of the different ways people grieve to be believable.  James made me laugh and I was happy to see that the Zooks worked out the ending of the story in a positive way.

“Her Christmas Pen Pal” by Ruth Reid
It's been a year since Joy Stolzfus' parents died and ever since, Joy has thrown herself into the family bakery, the only thing she has left of them.  Her beau doesn't understand her commitment to the bakery and instead of the proposal she expects, says he wants to see other people.  Joy pours out her heart to her cousin and mails the letter along with a package of baked goods.  The package gets sent to a cabinetmaker instead and he writes back.  They soon develop a friendship through letters.  When Noah Esh starts making regular purchases at the bakery on his way to a job, he and Joy develop a friendship and Joy finds herself confused as to who she cares about; Henry, Noah, or the cabinetmaker.

I really liked "Her Christmas Pen Pal".  I think it was my favorite story in the book.  I liked Joy and her drive and love for the bakery.  She was the perfect mix of push over and determination.  I could feel her pain over Henry and her confusion over how she felt for Noah and the cabinetmaker.  I was really pulling for Joy and Noah to get together.  I stayed up WAY too late reading this story.

“A Gift for Anne Marie” by Kathleen Fuller
Anne Marie Smucker has been best friends with Nathaniel Mast since they were kids.  She hasn't ever thought of him in a romantic way even though everyone around them keeps hinting that they are more than friends.  Why is it when she is suddenly going to be moving out of the area that all she can think about is Nathaniel?

"A Gift for Anne Marie" was my 2nd favorite story in the book.  I really liked Anne Marie and Nathaniel and their easy relationship.  I figured that they were going to have their happily ever after, but there were times in the story that I cried along with Anne Marie and wanted to be there for her to talk to.

“The Christmas Aprons” by Tricia Goyer
Esther Glick has always been in the shadow of her more outgoing twin, Violet.  Now she is serving as a nanny for her cousin's newborn son and her mother sent her the secret recipe for her Vanilla Crumb Pie.  She doesn't realize the silent auction isn't just for the pie.  When Ammon Schwartz buys her pie and then seems interested in her, will she finally find the reason to stop hiding her heart?

I could relate to Esther and her shyness and not feeling "good enough".  I liked watching her find her worth comes from God and not those around her.  


There are "Reading Group Questions" at the end of each story as well as recipes from each story. The stories are all quick reads which makes it nice when you don't have a lot of time but still like to read a good Christian romance.

"An Amish Second Christmas" is available on Kindle:
  • File Size: 1460 KB
  • Print Length: 419 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 7, 2014)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Christian Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KQ2G72C

and in paperback:
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401689817
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401689810
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5 x 7 inches

I received a free eBook version of this book in exchange for my honest review through booklookbloggers.

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