The Christmas Quilt: Quilts of Love Series - eBook
Wonderfully enjoyable and inspiring
Each stand-alone novel in the Quilts of Love series features a quilt with a meaningful story behind it. This delightful series has a cozy, down-home feel to it, but with a surprising amount of emotion and depth. While I have enjoyed several Quilts of Love stories, The Christmas Quilt is one of my favorites.
This novel captures a lot of what I look for in a Christian fiction novel: a well-written story with characters who are real and that I care about, who face struggles and doubts honestly, and who grow spiritually as they live out a faith that is genuine. Vannetta takes us on a return visit to Annie and Samuel from 2010's A Simple Amish Christmas, but this story easily stands alone.
I loved how this story involves two married couples who are both expecting their first child. At first, Leah and Adam struggle with foolish misconceptions as Leah feels unloved, while Adam fears that he won't measure up as a father. But Annie and Samuel's deep love is beautifully expressed by Samuel in a conversation about the bond of a long marriage: "I think each year that passes, two hearts become more entwined, like two vines growing side by side. Eventually it must become difficult to know where the beat of one stops and the beat of the other begins."
I am unashamedly a fan of Amish fiction for three simple reasons: faith, family and community - and Vannetta has done a masterful job focusing on these elements in The Christmas Quilt.
The nine-patch crib quilt that Annie is making for Leah - featuring Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam - becomes a major character. Readers will be moved by the touching way that Annie and Leah, inspired by the fruit of the Spirit qualities from Galatians 5, tell stories as they quilt of people in their lives who reflect each of these nine qualities. I also applaud the way prayer was shown to be of such primary importance in the characters' lives, as easy and natural as God intended it to be.
The Amish believe in taking care of their own when needs arise, and they are amazingly successful at it. To support Leah and Adam when they are faced with high medical costs, the community puts together a benefit auction, for "It is biblical for all of the community to minister to our children - and to us - in our time of need" (Adam). And the essential role of family is beautifully summed up in Jacob's words: "Each of you are responsible for praying for these precious kinner, and also for helping raise them, for children need an entire family, not merely a mamm and dat."
The Christmas Quilt is a feel-good read that both entertains and inspires, perfect for Christmas or any time. Highly recommended to those who enjoy inspirational fiction.
This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review.
May 30, 2014
Another glimpse of Amish love
I was SO happy to find this book in the "Quilts of Love" series carries on with the love story of Samuel and Annie Yoder. I first met them in "A Simple Amish Christmas," and you should read that book first to fully enjoy this volume. Confession: I reread my copy before opening this book when it arrived in the mail. Yes, it's THAT good!)
Annie and Samuel once again put their medical talents and compassion together to serve her brother and sister-in-law, Adam and Leah. All is not perfect in the outwardly placid Amish community, as the marital struggles of this young couple show us. Faced with a difficult pregnancy and a growing emotional chasm, The Yoders help the Weavers to make the best of an enforced physical separation when Leah is hospitalized. Both couples mature and, though the ending is happy, it is not without its surprises.
I found this a heart-warming story, well worth reading over again ANY time of year. I love these families, and can only hope there will be a third (and fourth?) book in this series. Like a good quilt, Chapman brings together many different "pieces" and sews together a great read.
May 30, 2014
The Christmas Quilt
I just finished reading The Christmas Quilt and really enjoyed this. I would gladly say that the author wove together a beautiful story of peace, forgiveness and family ties.
The story begins as two young Amish women are preparing for their marriages on the same day. Annie and Leah share their feelings of joy and happiness at the coming of this happy event. The story progresses as both women, now married, are both expecting a child, or in the case of Leah, twins. Leah is married to Annie's brother and as her pregnancy advances she is no longer feeling the closeness to her husband and their marriage does not appear to be as happy as she had hoped or expected it to be at the time of their wedding.
Leah's pregnancy starts to have complications and some serious problems associated with it. As time progresses, her husband, Adam, finds her curled up on the floor in the middle of the night. Realizing that she needs more help than he himself can provide for her, he contacts Annie and her husband, Samuel, for help. Samuel having some medical knowledge, himself, realizes that he too must call for help and an ambulance is summoned. Leah is brought to the hospital and after a time, it is realized she must go to yet another hospital for the care her two unborn children are so in need of. This will take her farther from her family but it seems there is no option.
Annie realizing that Adam needs to care for their home and continue to work to help pay for the hospital expenses, finds a place near the hospital where she can stay and take care of Leah's needs.
Each day she works on a quilt for Leah. The quilt takes on significant meaning as the two share scripture time together and special stories together. The two become close as the time progresses and Leah realizes how much Adam still means to her and Adam finds he too, greatly misses his wife. As the two await their child, their Amish community comes together to find ways to help them with their expenses due to the extended hospital stay.
The stories and scriptural references begin to bind the two women together and help to calm Leah's fears and apprehension of the expected earlier birth of their children. With each day the tender feelings between Adam and Leah seem to be returning. This story gives wonderful hope that we can all find ways to heal wounds that have torn us apart from those that are the most important to us in our lives. It is a sweet book that helps us mend our souls.
May 21, 2014
Annie's life is deliciously full as the Christmas season approaches. She helps her husband, Samuel, attend to the community's minor medical needs. She occasionally assists Belinda, the local midwife, and most days, she finds herself delivering the buggy to her brother Adam. AnnieÃ¢ÂÂs sister-in-law Leah is due to deliver their first child before Christmas morning, and Annie is determined to finish a crib quilt before the boppli arrives. With six weeks to go, she should have no problem . . . but God may have a different plan. Leah is rushed to the English hospital when the infant arrives early, and Annie discovers the Christmas quilt may hold a far greater significance than she ever imagined.
I know it's probably wrong to find enjoyment from Adam and Leah's marital problems, but it made the story so much more interesting. It wasn't the typical Amish story, and I enjoyed the well-written description of the quilt that was in the making by Annie. The nine squares represent the nine gifts of the spirit, and I thought it was beautifully detailed.
Between all the drama of one couple's relationship issues, the dramatic baby story, and the way nothing seems to go right; the author clearly states that God is a vital part of these stories. This novel is all about learning to love, even though I wouldn't say it is a romance.
This book was provided by the publisher through Litfuse Nest for free in exchange for an honest review.
December 17, 2013