Tricia Goyer in her new book, "A Christmas Gift For Rose" published by Zondervan takes us into the life of Rose Yoder.
From the back cover: Rose turned her back on the man she loves after he assisted the Englisch during World War IIâ€”only to discover she's an Englischer herself.
Born in the midst of the hardships of The Great Depression, Rose grew up in Berlin, Ohio, in the arms of a loving Amish family. But she is overwhelmed by self-doubt when she learns that she was born Englisch and abandoned when her family moved West in search of work.
Was she meant to be Amish or would she have been better off growing up with her own kindâ€”Englischers? When the man she loves leaves her behind, Rose is certain he left for good. Yet Rose discovers sometimes our greatest gifts are the ones we fear.
Tricia Goyer has an attention to details that help draw you into the story as well, of course, as her marvelous characters. World War II and the repercussions of being in the war and being a pacifist and against it. This is the climate that Rose finds herself in when the war is over and Jonathan comes home. This is a story of the real meaning of Christmas and finding yourself and accepting others. Both Rose and Jonathan are presented in such a real manner that you feel as though they are friends of yours and when the book eventually ends you are sorry to see them go. "A Christmas Gift For Rose" is an exciting book with the romance taking top priority as each of them deals with their individual issues. Ms. Goyer has done it again. I liked this book a lot.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Inspired by a true story, A Christmas Gift for Rose is a heartwarming novella of sacrifice and deep love. This is Tricia Goyer's very first Christmas novella - and while novellas tend to be light, easy reads, this goes a lot deeper than normal with its characterization and plot. This is a very enjoyable and moving read.
I was expecting a light, heartwarming Christmas read, but found so much more. Tricia writes in an easily flowing style as she explores themes of Amish pacifism and a family's struggle during the Depression years.
The story opens in November of 1945, with Rose having broken off her relationship with Jonathan over his decision to serve as an Army medic. For in Rose's mind, as well as many in their community, "to join the military was to turn one's back on being Amish." And to further complicate matters, Rose discovers she had not been born into the Amish family that she grew up in and loved.
According to Amish teaching, Jonathan should have had no part in supporting the war, yet he could not wait at home and do nothing. Reflecting on the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jonathan asks, "Should we place our religion above the care of others?"
I can understand how parents who had lost a son in the war would resent an Amish man sitting in jail or growing crops rather than serving his country. But on the other hand, some Amish men, like Jonathan, found a way to serve without having to fire a weapon. For the Amish to criticize Jonathan seems awfully legalistic. I was also frustrated with Rose at first because she let people's negative opinions influence her attitudes and actions, but then I realized how difficult it is for any of us to withstand negativity.
Rose's neighbor, Harold, was a sympathetic character who I loved. Harold returned from the war with what would be diagnosed as post-traumatic stress syndrome today, and both Jonathan and Rose reached out to him with sensitivity. I wish we could follow Harold's story beyond the pages of this story.
Tricia brought in an Amish Thanksgiving ritual that I thought was very meaningful - the morning being a time of fasting and reflection before the family celebration begins. I would like to personally draw from this in some way.
With spiritual themes beautifully woven throughout, A Christmas Gift for Rose comes to a heartwarming and emotional conclusion on Christmas Day. This story would make great reading during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season, or at any time of the year.
This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group and Zondervan in exchange for my honest review.
A Christmas Gift for Rose is a quick, sweet read from Tricia Goyer. Rose's story -- the secret she learns about her past and her uncertainty as she comes to grip with the truth -- gives a beautiful picture of what love and family are all about.
Set near the end of World War II, the book offers a look at the struggle faced by many Amish in deciding how to deal with war. There are also glimpses into the trials faced by servicemen who bring home with them the horrors of war, and the impact those events have on their families.
One of the most interesting things about this story is the inspiration from which Tricia wrote it. During a trip to Amish country, she had the opportunity to meet and visit with some Amish couples. While there, she was told the story of the grandmother of one of the Amish men who was left in the care of an Amish family when her family moved away. That story grew into A Christmas Gift for Rose.
Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
This is a great little novel for the Christmas season. I usually stay away from the saturated genre of Amish fiction but I'm glad I read this one.
The time period is just after World War II. Since the Amish are pacifist, most of the men drafted ended up spending their time incarcerated. In this novel, two from the community went to actively serve and have returned. We read of the ramifications of them being outside the peaceful Amish community.
Another aspect of the novel is the importance of being born into the community. I had no idea it was next to impossible, at least at this time, to come into the community from the outside and "become" Amish. This comes to the forefront when a teen finds out she was not born into her Amish family but was, in fact, taken in when her Englisch family abandoned her and moved away. She struggles with who she is. "The Amish heritage was one you were born into. That was that."
This is a fine novella about finding one's own identity within the Amish community. It is also a novel about trust when circumstances are not what they had appeared. It is also a good exploration of the Amish community and the concept of war. One of the men returning from war had enlisted - had not been drafted. Even though he had been a medic and not fired any shots at the enemy, the Amish community frowned on his actions. On the other side of the issue were the Englisch and their resentment toward the Amish. The Englisch sons were dying at war while the Amish sons were safe.
This novel was inspired by a real story of sacrificial love and is a perfect one to read for the Christmas holiday season.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Holiday times evoke some of the deepest emotions of the heart and soul in human beings, both of pleasure and of pain. For some it is a time for gathering with family members, traveling, each heart longing to be connected. Others find it hard because for a variety of reasons. The longing in the heart is loud and not fulfilled in the way many hope.
In this story, a young woman discovers her past that has been kept quiet until she was older, then it seems it was almost too late. While being raised Amish, Rose never quite felt as if she were complete. Her heart had a void and facing the future with Jonathan wasn't something easily done without the healing her heart desired. Jonathan loved Rose, but his decision to serve in the military as a medic made life at home very hard on Rose. Now, he is back and wanting to move ahead by getting married, working with his hands to build many things with lumber.
In a story filled with intrigue, adventure, courage and romance, Tricia Goyer has shared a tale of hope by the merging of two families and two pasts. I sat and read this in a couple of hours, enjoying the well described history of the times, emotions the characters felt and the healing of hearts. Above all, in the story, is the theme of sacrificial love and God bringing hope through a gift the young couple doesn't expect. I hope you enjoy novel and consider sharing it with friends and family alike.