While at a MOPs conference last year, I signed up with Revell Publishers to be on a review list. They email me about books they think I might enjoy, and if I respond affirmatively, the book arrives in the mail a short time later. Awesome, right?!
I just finished A Simple Christmas Wish by Melody Carlson… very quickly (which is also awesome). I appreciated this author’s easy-to-read style and ability to convey a complete, rich storyline without flowery language or repetition. The back of the book says:
Rachel Milligan is caring for her seven-year-old niece, Holly, at her home in Chicago when she receives devastating news: Holly’s parents have been killed in a plane crash. Because Rachel is Holly’s only known relative, she assumes that she will be her beloved niece’s guardian. However, custody is awarded to Lydia, a distant aunt who happens to be Amish. Just a week before Christmas, Rachel takes Holly to the Amish community in the hopes of persuading Aunt Lydia to relinquish custody. Instead, Lydia sets out to teach Holly to live according to the Amish way. As family secrets emerge and old wounds are healed, Rachel realizes that she will do whatever it takes to ensure that Holly has the loving family she needs.
Combining an Amish family saga with the anticipation of Christmas cheer and the promise of a budding romance, this newest Christmas story from beloved author Melody Carlson is sure to please.
Although I know that many books by Christian authors revolve around the Amish, this was the first time I’d read one. The above description is totally accurate… what you read is what you get in this story – in the most delightful way. The author manages to tug at your heartstrings riiiiiiiiiiight up until you think you might not be able to continue reading, and then presents a twist that redeems your faith in humanity once again.
I was originally drawn in by the characters’ visits to familiar Chicagoland places we used to visit (and miss very much) – the Brookfield Zoo, Navy Pier, etc. But their bond, and their snowy adventures with long-lost Amish family kept me engaged till the very last word. The characters were relatable, and the romance was sweet. I hope there’s a sequel so I can see where Benjamin and Aunt Rachel end up!
Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.