An Amish Christmas: December in Lancaster County

Book Review

An Amish Christmas

December in Lancaster County

Four Amish Christmas Novellas

Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Barbara Cameron, and Kelly Long

December beckons me with its Christmas lights and cold nights to read a good Christmas story. I have my favorites, and An Amish Christmas has become one of them. A collection of Christmas novellas are typically unconnected stories by different authors of the same genre. In this case, these four novellas tell the story of one December in Lancaster County.

In A Miracle For Miriam by Kathleen Fuller, you learn about the deep hurt that causes Miriam to disappear into herself. Seth caused the hurt when they were both fourteen years old. Most of us remember our hurts and some of us have allowed those hurts to influence us as adults. It’s a beautiful love story in which other characters from the other three novellas are introduced.

A Choice to Forgive by Beth Wiseman opens with Lydia answering a knock at her door and discovering her first love, Daniel Smucker, standing confidently on her doorstep. He promised to marry her when they were young and mysteriously disappeared on Christmas. Lydia marries his brother, Elam, who happens to comfort her during her difficult heart break. She becomes a widow when he dies of a heart attack. Those feelings of love for Daniel rise again and she struggles to forgive him for running away. He tries to explain the difficult and complicated situation that sent him away, and the secret that he and his brother kept from her causes an enormous emotional struggle.

One Child by Barbara Cameron addresses Sarah and David’s struggle over their miscarriage. Sarah prays to Derr Herr for a child. It’s the only gift she wants on Christmas. Mysterious visitors bring unexpected joy during a particularly bad blizzard. It’s a story of healing, love, and friendship.

Christmas Cradles by Kelly Long tells the story of Anna Stolis and Asa Mast. Anna has never been married. She has become a midwife. Asa Mast also never married. A tragedy occurred during his rumschpringe years that brought him to this point. His father is very ill, refusing to go to the hospital on Christmas. Anna has three deliveries during the night. Normally, his father, Samuel, accompanies Anna’s Aunt Ruth (also a midwife), but with Aunt Ruth taking the evening off and Samuel sick, Asa joins Anna in her delivery runs. It is a love story of two insecure people who never thought they could fall in love.

My favorite books let me learn about the characters even after their stories have been told. It’s sad to say goodbye to characters you’ve come to cherish. In this book you read about a whole community. As I turned the last page of Christmas Cradles I realized I would not hear about Miriam, Seth, Lydia, or the other characters again. My book is a hard bound edition. Apparently, this is one book in a collection of books of a similar nature—An Amish Gathering, and coming in January, 2011, An Amish Love. I can’t wait to read those two books. Maybe I’ll learn more about these characters or fall in love with new ones.

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