Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Review: Christmas at Apple Ridge by Cindy Woodsmall

Book Description:

Three-in-One Collection: The Sound of Sleigh Bells, The Christmas Singing, NEW! The Dawn of Christmas

Experience the holidays with the Plain folk of Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania, in these touching novellas centered around love, romance, heartache, and restoration from best-selling author Cindy Woodsmall.

The Sound of Sleigh Bells
Beth Hertzler is unable to let go of a past tragedy, but when she discovers a large, intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow, something deep inside Beth’s soul responds. Determined that her niece meet the gifted artist, her aunt tracks him down, but it’s not that simple – will Jonah be able to offer Beth the sleigh ride she’s always dreamed of and a second chance at real love?
The Christmas Singing
Mattie thought her childhood sweetheart adored her until he abruptly ended their engagement on Christmas Eve. Brokenhearted, Mattie moves away and pursues her longtime dream of becoming a cake decorator, and even finds a new beau. But when Mattie is forced to return home three years later, will learning the truth behind Gideon’s rejection restore her Christmas joy – or open the door to even deeper heartbreak?
The Dawn of Christmas
Sadie enjoys her freedom away from home and her mission trips to Peru, but after four years, her Old Order Amish family insists it’s time to come home and settle down. Levi, a bachelor who distrusts women after a family heartbreak, also has no desire for romance. To keep their families from meddling in their lives, Sadie and Levi devise a plan—but soon discover that the walls around their hearts are breaking down. Can they let go of their prejudices, learn to trust each other, and embrace a future together? 


View Book Trailer

My Review:

I enjoyed this collection of Amish Christmas stories.

The Sound of Sleigh Bells was probably my favorite of the three. The characters, especially Beth and Jonah, really touched my heart. While both struggle to overcome tragedies of their past, they form an unlikely though deep bond. I thought the author really brought this story to life with her colorful descriptions and also showed a deep understanding of the heart of an artist. The themes of hope and forgiveness come through clearly.

I previously reviewed The Christmas Singing and will share my thoughts again here:

This short, easy to read story is OK, but not something I would highly recommend.
Though Mattie is funny, quirky, and a bit scatterbrained, the rest of the characters are quite dull and lack depth. 
The storyline is very predictable – you basically know what is going to happen right at the beginning of the book. 
I was also disappointed that there really wasn’t much of a Christmas theme to the story at all. 
Overall, it’s a quick and easy short novella with a bit of romance and humor, but anything spectacular.
 The Dawn of Christmas is the new story in this series. I found it to be entertaining and enjoyable to read, though a bit predictable. Sadie and Levi are very likable characters and the author does a good job of making the reader feel what they are feeling. The story moves along swiftly and draws the reader with it. 
What I most liked about this third story was the way the author ties in the other two and gives you a peak into their continuing stories.
Taken as a whole, I like the collection. None of them are very heavy on the Christmas theme, which makes it nice reading for any time of year. Some of the themes from the first story follow all the way through the other two, making them very cohesive and best read together rather than as separate stories.
If you enjoy Amish fiction, I think you will enjoy this collection.
*I must mention that I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment