When Anna Mae McDonough left her Amish community four years ago to marry David, an Englisher, her family shunned her. Now eight months pregnant with their first child, she longs to return home for Christmas. But when she arrives, she doesn't receive the welcome she expects. Will it cause her to question her faith in God?
Take a trip to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, where you'll meet the women of the Kauffman Amish Bakery in Lancaster County. As each woman's story unfolds, you will share in her heartaches, trials, joys, dreams ... and secrets. You'll discover how the simplicity of the Amish lifestyle can clash with the 'English' way of life---and the decisions and consequences that follow. Most importantly, you will be encouraged by the hope and faith of these women, and the importance they place on their families. In the tradition of her widely popular Kauffman Amish Bakery series, author Amy Clipston tells the tale of Anna Mae McDonough who was shunned by her family four years ago when she left her Amish community in Lancaster County, PA, to marry an 'Englisher' (non Amish) man and move with him to Baltimore. Now, eight months pregnant when her first child, she longs to return home for Christmas to reconcile with her family, especially her stern father, who is the religious leader for her former Amish church district. So Anne Mae writes a letter to Kathryn Beiler, her brother's wife, to enlist her help. Kathryn asks her husband, David, if she should arrange Anna Mae's visit. David cautions her that a visit would cause too much stress in the family and instead suggests they visit Anna Mae and her husband in the spring. However, Kathryn arranges the visit anyway, believing in her heart that it's God's will for the family to heal. When Anna Mae arrives in Lancaster for Christmas, the welcome she receives is nothing like what she had hoped for. A book filled with love, the pain of being separated from one's family, and the determination to follow God's will regardless of the outcome, A Plain and Simple Christmas is an inspiring page-turner that will keep you guessing what happens next ... right to the very last page.
Amy Clipston holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, and two sons and four spoiled rotten cats.
One of the most distinctive Christmas stories Ive ever read is A Plain and Simple Christmas by Amy Clapton. It deals with the struggles of a young woman named Anna Mae, who left her Amish traditions and family to marry the man she loved. Three years later, she is expecting a baby and finds herself longing to be with her family again. But revisiting the community after being shunned is not an easy task.
Just as its title would suggest, the story is written in a plain and simple style. Yet, it does not in any way lack appeal. In her simple way, the author describes the intensity between a disappointed father and a well-meaning daughter in a way that one can feel their true emotions. The anxiety builds inside Anna Mae until the moment she sees her father again. Silent desires are clearly felt by both characters and readers, as readers wonder if this family conflict can ever be resolved.
In spite of how she is feeling about her father, Anna Mae is determined to have her little one know her family. With the help of her husband Kellan, she contacts her sister-in-law, Katheryn, to see if a Christmas visit would ever be possible. Both Katheryn and Anna Mae are determined to get the family together again, and after receiving signs from God that this visit must happen, they go against all that they have ever been taught to ensure that it does. But as the day of the reunion draws near, these women of faith must suffer the wrath of the men in their lives.
Through every unpleasantness that the human beings of the story hurl at her, Anna Maes faith remains firm. Her only support is her husband and her sister-in-law, but still she will not be discouraged. It is the story of a shy but strong woman who will not let mans bitterness stand in the way of what God has called her to do.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but one of power, love, and discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). In the end, one commends these women for resisting prejudice and holding firm to what they know is Gods calling. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who believes in everyday miracles, the importance of family, and how God can speak even to the least of us. This plain and simple story turns out be extraordinary in rekindling faith in everyone. Lexie Owen, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com