Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kelly Irvin, and Ruth Reid. An Amish Christmas Love: Four Novellas. Thomas Nelson, 2017. See here to buy the book.
I will not post this review on Amazon, so it will be more informal than the reviews that I usually post there.
I saw this book on BookLook Blogger’s web site. I wanted to read it, but I saw other books there that I also wanted to read. I read two of those books, one after the other, then came back to BookLook Blogger’s and found that An Amish Christmas Love was no longer there. Fortunately, I found it for a good price on Amazon Kindle, which is not the same price that is there now. I read the stories during the Christmas season.
Here are my reactions to each story.
“Winter Kisses,” by Beth Wiseman.
This story was all right. I don’t remember a lot of it, to tell you the truth. There was a lot of romance, and, in some cases, almost-romance. The grandmother liked to tell people “You are not the boss of me,” and she had an interesting romantic story in her own background. Naomi, her daughter, was very straitlaced.
“The Christmas Cat,” by Amy Clipston.
This was my favorite story in the book. I am a cat lover. Many of the Amy Clipston books and stories that I have read say on the “About the Author” page that she has four spoiled-rotten cats. Now, she only has three, and she dedicates this story to the cat who passed on. This would move me ordinarily, since, as I said, I love cats. But it especially moved me this year because we lost one of our cats in September, Figaro, and we miss him.
The story is about Emma Bontrager, who was recently widowed. A fluffy orange cat keeps showing up at her house, and she finally lets him inside. The cat reminds me of our cat Dante, who is a fluffy black cat with a big bushy tale that twitches when he is especially happy. Throughout the story, Emma is thinking back to the challenges that she and her husband had when they were younger. Also, some young friends visit her and provide her with company during the holiday season. That was nice of them.
I like some of Amy Clipston’s stories, and others I do not like as much. She can be repetitious, and some of her stories are not very eventful. The stories of hers that I like are not repetitious. Perhaps my favorite one that she wrote was “Home Sweet Home,” which was in the book An Amish Home (which you can get for a low price now). It was a gripping story about a couple that was struggling, and it received no help from the gruff lawyer father (I forget whose father he was—-the wife’s or the husband’s). Fortunately, a doctor from a church reached out to help them. “The Christmas Cat” is my second favorite short story that Amy Clipston wrote. I cannot say that it is eventful, but I loved the cat and the friends, and the flashbacks of Emma’s early struggles made Emma a character with whom one could sympathize and perhaps even empathize.
“Snow Angels,” by Kelly Irvin.
David Byler had a romance with Bonnie, a non-Amish girl, while he was on his rumspringa, but he did not want to leave Amish life. Bonnie then went off to college and dated there. David met an Amish woman named Molly, a shy, quiet, and diligent woman. But Bonnie comes back into David’s life, and what is David to do then? This was not my favorite story in the book, but I could identify with Molly, who struggled socially. I also found interesting the concept that Molly actually liked Bonnie, even though Molly felt threatened by her.
“Home for Christmas,” by Ruth Reid.
This story was pretty good, though it took a while until I started to follow it. Cat lovers will enjoy Amy Clipston’s “The Christmas Cat.” Dog lovers will enjoy Ruth Reid’s “Home for Christmas.” Ellie Whetstone has a dog whom she takes to dog shows, and this dog reaches out to a man’s daughter, who has seizures. There are sweet dogs out there! This one was not only sweet but had a profound sensitivity towards the daughter’s condition.
Ellie is not Amish, since (if I recall correctly) her mother left the faith. But her late aunt was Amish, and Ellie is going to the aunt’s house so she can clean and sell it. She ends up going into the wrong house, that of Ezra, whose daughter has the seizures. Ezra is rather gruff. He doesn’t care for the dog! But he helps Ellie with the house repairs, as he knows a lot about that sort of thing.
Ellie finds her late aunt’s diary, and her aunt’s faith and concern for the well-being of others really moves her. That was an interesting element of the plot, though the plot was wrapped up too quickly and neatly.