This was a pleasant Christmas read even if I had to grab a few tissues!
From the very beginning I really liked Holly! A sweet little girl with such a big heart that shines through in her love for Rachael and others! It absolutely crushed my heart to see her go through the pain that she endured! However it paved the way for her to meet other family members that she probably never even dreamed of such as Benjamin who was another favorite character for me! He was such an interesting Amish character that brought a uniqueness to this story! I also liked Rachael as well and could easily relate to her!
I really appreciated that Melody explained some of the beliefs of the Amish in a nutshell! It was extremely interesting to hear Benjamen's story! I could tell their was a good amount of research put into this novel with a focus on family. However not just at Christmas time, but year round!
Overall, I liked this novel! A good short Christmas read to remind the importance of family, but I wish Melody would have included more of a Biblical message!
I give "A Simple Christmas Wish" a 3.5 out of 5 stars!
Each year I look forward to reading Melody Carlson's Christmas novella. This year's offering is A Simple Christmas Wish. It is a beautifully moving love story. It is about the love of an aunt for her niece, the love of a man for a woman and most importantly the love of a Father for His children.
As I said before it is a novella so it is easily finished in an afternoon. Just grab your favorite warm beverage and curl up for a delightful couple of hours. The nice thing about this story is that it felt complete. I want to know what happened next, as in I'd love to see a sequel, but all the particular threads of this tale were neatly tied up. The story didn't feel rushed especially at the end but flowed to a natural conclusion.
I found that Melody's introduction to the Amish lifestyle was honest in its portrayal of the strictness but not derogatory. While the story-line does deal with death it also celebrates life. I liked the characters and felt that they came across as genuine.
I highly recommend this book as a great getaway in the midst of all the holiday craziness!
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
It might be a simple wish, but the rest of the mess is definitely complicated.
Rachel was babysitting her niece while Holly's parents were on a cruise. In the middle of the Christmas holiday season, their world begins to crumble.
In the middle of grief and despair, they ended up on an Amish farm. But Rachel isn't finding peace and comfort. Her sister-in-law's family makes her feel very unwelcome. But one of Miri's brothers is friendly and tries to help her figure out what is going on and how to handle the inevitable separation from her niece.
Will she be able to find God's peace in the midst of all the turmoil in her heart?
Once again Melody Carlson brings us a Christmas story to touch our hearts. I'm really hoping she plans a sequel to this book. My heart is just calling out for a continuation of this story line.
***A special thank you to Lanette Haskins for providing a review copy.***
Melody Carlson's A Simple Christmas Wish is a quick Amish Christmas read with a twist. The story begins in a very modern English setting with characters who have no clue of any connection with the Amish world. Unexpected circumstances beyond their control send Rachel Milligan and her young niece to Holmes County, Ohio, and falling head-long into a world totally foreign to the life they knew in Chicago. Rachel struggles to accept the fact that she may lose the only family she has left -- and then some hidden truth comes out and love begins a process of healing in several hearts.
This story contains elements that appear a little unlikely and some that have unrealistically quick resolutions. But that is to be expected in a short Christmas story. All in all, this is a very enjoyable read. Anyone who enjoys good Amish fiction or a heartwarming Christmas story should enjoy A Simple Christmas Wish.
Thanks to Revell Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Rachel has agreed to look after her 6-year-old niece for her brother and his wife while they take a trip to the Caribbean to celebrate their 10-year wedding anniversary. Shortly thereafter, Rachel receives a phone call that will change their lives.
Unbeknownst to Rachel, Holly's mom was raised Amish. Reluctantly, Rachel takes Holly to meet the Amish side of her family who live in Ohio. Holly is very excited to learn she has cousins and that they live on a farm with animals and ride around in a horse and buggy. Rachel stays longer than she intends due to bad weather and the holidays. Lydia, Holly's aunt, is not happy with Rachel having such a close relationship with Holly and urges her to leave. Holly thinks living like the Amish is fun at first, but when Rachel tells Holly that she will be leaving soon and not taking Holly with her, she doesn't really understand.
Rachel is torn apart, having to leave Holly with her Amish relatives, but she has no choice. Benjamin Schrock, Holly's uncle, is a tremendous help to Rachel and a good listener. He grew up Amish, but left the community for several years. He has returned only to help his widowed mother out and will soon be returning to the outside world. Benjamin seems to understand the difficulties Holly will have adapting to the Amish way of life. He also wants to begin a relationship with Rachel, but can she feel for him true feelings or is she just feeling close to him because he is close to Holly?
One of the things that I wish was different about this story is the length. It would be nice if the story were a little longer to give Rachel and Benjamin's story more of a chance to develop and deepen. Their relationship just seemed too rushed. Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful look at Christmas from a different viewpoint. There were some scenes that will tug at your heart pretty hard and Holly is just a treasure of a little girl. Readers won't soon forget this author's take on what one of the important aspects of being obedient to God's command to love one another, putting what is best for another before what we want. I'm already looking forward to next year's holiday season to see what charming book Melody will write.