Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Book Review: "An Amish Christmas Gift" by Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kelly Irvin

"Naomi's Gift" by Amy Clipston: Caleb Schmucker has been a widower for two years. His eight year old daughter Susie hopes for a Christmas miracle-for her dat to be happy and truly smile. Naomi King has had more than her share of heartbreak and is resigned that she'll never find true love. Can God work a miracle in their lives?

I enjoyed reading "Naomi's Gift" and liked Caleb and Naomi and little Susie. I wanted to tell off Sadie for trying to run Caleb's life, though! I found a few places that seemed to be errors. When Caleb and Susie first arrived in Bird-in-Hand, Susie's cousins go to take a bath before bedtime. This is what the book says:

     Caleb turned to Susie. "Let's find your gown. You can take a bath too." He placed her bag on the bed and rummaged through it. 
    He tried to suppress his smile. "Ya, but you were also cooped up on a smelly train overnight, and we have services tomorrow. Do you want the other kinner in the district to call you the stinky girl from Ohio?"

It seems to be missing some sort of remark from Susie about not wanting or needing to take a bath between the two pieces of dialog by Caleb.

In another spot, Caleb, Naomi, Susie and some other kids go shopping:

   "Are we heading home now?" Susie asked. "I think I have to help my mamm start supper."
   "Ya," Caleb said, placing his hand on Susie's shoulder. "I believe your dat may send out a search party if we don't head home soon."

Obviously, it can't be Susie who really said that as her mother is dead and her father is the one who said that her dat may send out a search party.

Other than the editing errors, I liked the story and the characters.

"An Unexpected Joy" by Ruth Reid: Abigail Kemp hasn't had a problem getting rides home from singings, its getting asked a second time that's the problem. She scares them off with her "gift of gab".  She's resigned herself to the fact that she'll never marry and is saving to buy herself a horse.  When Micah Zook is in need of a caregiver for his grandmother, she is eager to take the job.  She wouldn't have been his first choice, but he doesn't have any other options.  The more time he spends with her, the more he finds himself caring for her.  Can they find an unexpected joy this Christmas?

I enjoyed reading this story and liked how Ruth Reid did the dialogue so you got the feel of Abigail's talkativeness.  I liked watching Abby and Micah's relationship grow.  One thing that jumped out at me was the fact that on the first page of the story, Abigail was 22.  Eight pages later, it says she is 23.

"A Christmas Visitor" by Kelly Irvin: Frannie Mast's parents think she was getting to close to the Englisch man, Rocky Sanders, so she has been sent from Missouri to stay with her aunt and uncle in Bee County, Texas. When he shows up at her uncle's front door, Frannie is conflicted. She has feelings for him, but knows that she could never leave the faith. Can God turn her Christmas visitor into the best gift ever?

This story is best read after reading the novels in the "The Amish of Bee County Novels" series as it has the same characters and a lot of how they act is influenced by the events from the novels. It does give a bit of the story from those novels, so it isn't impossible to read alone, but you'd get more out of it reading it in order. I liked Rocky and his growth through the story. For as much as happens in this novella, I didn't feel like it felt rushed which was nice.

"An Amish Christmas Gift" is available in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 2097 KB
  • Print Length: 401 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 6, 2015)
  • Publication Date: October 6, 2015
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Christian Publishing
  • Language: English

and in paperback:
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 6, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718039653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718039653
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in order for me to review it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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