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4 Stars Out Of 5
A Kauffman Amish Christmas Collection
October 15, 2013
A Kauffman Amish Christmas Collection contains two previously released novellas, A Plain and Simple Christmas and Naomi's Gift. You'll enjoy reading about the Kauffman family and seeing Kathryn (A Plain and Simple Christmas) and Susie (Naomi's Gift) get more than just the Christmas miracle that they were praying for.
A Plain and Simple Christmas
Anna Mae was longing for an Amish Christmas like the ones she had when she was growing up. She left her Amish family and community to marry Englisher Kellan McDonough. Because of this decision, she was shunned and hadn't seen her family or Lancaster for three years. With Christmas soon approaching, plus the birth of her first child in January, Anna Mae was lonely for her family. Her husband encouraged her to get in contact with them to set up a Christmas visit. Not sure if she'd be welcomed, especially by her father, she wrote her sister-in-law, Kathryn Beiler. After several letters and calls, Anna Mae and Kellan were on their way to Lancaster. Upon arriving, they experienced several ups and downs, some they expected and others they didn't. One event, in particular, occurs that changed their lives forever.
I really enjoyed this story. The letters and calls between Anna Mae and Kathryn, which were about one third of the book, had me rooting for a Christmas visit. I found it very surprising that Kathryn was going behind her husband's back to set up the visit, but as the story went on, it became clear why she did.
There was conflict and hope created by the letters and calls between Anna Mae and Kathryn. I felt sad for Anna Mae when her father acted like she wasn't even there with his unwelcoming attitude.
A Plain and Simple Christmas is about following God's will. Kathryn was sure she was doing what God wanted even though David, her husband, didn't think so. Henry Beiler, Anna Mae's father, believed that he was following God's will by enforcing the shunning to the extreme. In the end, everything worked out because people heard God speaking to them and through other's so that His perfect will was done.
Caleb Schmucker and his young daughter, Susie, were spending Christmas with his sister, Sadie Kauffman, and her family in Lancaster. Before they arrived at Sadie's house they stopped at a farmer's market. Susie got separated from Caleb. He found her at a stand where Amish were selling quilts. He was taken aback by one of the women at the stand. To his surprise, the young woman, Naomi King, lived in the same community as his sister.
Naomi believed that she had a chance at love but lost it, not once but twice. She felt there was no chance for her to find love. Naomi planned to stay at home and help care for her younger siblings. Caleb wasn't looking for love, his heart was still broken from losing his wife, Barbara. The first time Caleb and Naomi met though, something began to stir in their hearts and they were not quite sure what to do about it.
Caleb and Naomi developed a friendship as they attended community events together. Susie really liked Naomi, and vice-versa. This story showed the friendship of Naomi and Susie growing. It also showed Naomi and Caleb's friendship growing and turning into love. At least that's what Naomi thought, until it she saw Caleb sitting with Irene Wagler and her father and heard Sadie discussing Caleb working for Mr. Wagler.
I really liked Naomi. She had a love for children. She liked Susie the moment she met her at the quilt stand. And her heart broke for her not having a mother. Naomi's character is one that you can fall in love with, just like Susie and Caleb did. She was not perfect but she was very sweet. Every story needs a troublemaker and Sadie filled those shoes. She was a gossip and tried to keep Caleb away from Naomi. She is someone I would never have as a friend. Caleb was a loving and kind father. He was a gentleman and I liked him immediately. God is a God of second chances and that's exactly what the characters in this book received. I would recommend Naomi's Gift to anyone that believes someone can find true love again.
A Plain and Simple Christmas and Naomi's Gift are short holiday reads that will fill your heart with the warmth of Christmas time.
I received a free copy of this book from The Christian Manifesto and Zondervan in exchange for my honest review.
A Kauffman Amish Christmas Collection is a compilation of two novellas, A Plain and Simple Christmas and Naomi's Gift.
A Plain and Simple Christmas: Anna Mae McDonough is homesick. When she and her husband Kellan married and Anna Mae moved to her husband's home in Baltimore, her Amish family shunned her. She could not go home, but she missed her mother, her brother and sisters, and even her father almost unbearably.
Anna Mae begs Kellan to take her for a visit at Christmas, even though she will be eight months pregnant with their first child. He suggests she write to her sister-in-law, Kathryn.
Kathryn is enthused; Anna Mae's brother and Kathryn's husband, David, is not. He fears an explosion from their father. Kathryn prays about it, and when David's mother comes to her sharing the ache in her heart to see Anna Mae again, Kathryn believes it is a sign from God. She goes behind David's back to bring Anna Mae to Lancaster County.
One angry father, one heartsick mother, and one accident later... Well, read it yourself. You'll love it, I promise!
Naomi's Gift: Naomi has a reputation as a man-chaser in the Amish community, Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania. Two men have come into and gone from her life. When Caleb shows up with his delightful eight-year-old daughter, Susie, she fights to keep her rising interest in him under control.
Caleb's sister has someone else in mind for Caleb, a young woman who has no use for Susie.
Caleb is a widower. His beloved wife died because he hadn't taken proper care of her. There is no room for another woman in his life. He worries that he won't be able to keep Susie safe; finding a mother for her and a wife for himself would only complicate things.
Christmas miracles still happen, but given the stubborn hearts involved, this could be a tough one to pull off.