This story was sad to me. I really do not like conflict, however the ending was very good. Worth a read for fans of this Author. The hardback book is nice to collect, seems a better value. I did like that this story was a short read.Enjoy!
Confession: I don't always like novellas, because they lack the depth I enjoy in a regular book. Characters are often two dimensional and plots are, well, just too obvious.
Neither of these faults can be found in Melody Carlson's "A Simple Christmas Wish." I thought I could see where things were headed, but instead enjoyed a delightful short story. I only wish the deeper meaning of Christmas had been more evident in the final chapters.
Rachel is suddenly faced with the loss of her only brother and sister-in-law while sitting with her young niece, Holly. Their affectionate relationship is further tightened now that they are each other's only relatives...or are they? A provision in her brother's will puts Holly in the care of an Amish aunt, Lydia,who wants nothing to do with Rachel and her "Englisch" ways. Rachel's heart is breaking, especially when she sees Holly's reluctance to part with her. Is there any way to bridge this painful separation? Enter Benjamin, the sometimes-wayward brother of both Holly's Amish aunt and deceased mother. He knows something that just may be the key to unlock Lydia's heart and answer Rachel and Holly's prayers.
I really didn't see this ending coming, and closed the book with a smile. If you have a little spare time, this Christmas or ANYtime, and you enjoy light Christian fiction, you'll be glad you picked up this novella.
When Englishers Michael and Miri Mulligan died, their will stated that Holly, their 6 year old daughter, was to live with Miri's Amish relatives in Ohio. This came as a surprise to Rachel, Michael's sister, who didn't even know about these relatives. She was even more taken aback because she thought she would be Holly's guardian. This part was unbelievable to me. Michael was a lawyer. I think that he of all people would have his will up to date.
The Mulligan's will read that Lydia Schrock, Miri's estranged sister, was to have custody of Holly. Lydia really struggled with Holly and her English ways invading her house. If I were Rachel it would have been hard for me to hold my tongue with Lydia. She expected Holly to instantly become Amish.
Rachel struggled with leaving Holly in Ohio without her and Holly not getting the Christmas she was used to having. Rachel did find an ally in Benjamin, Miri and Lydia's brother. She was also surprised to be attracted to him since he was Amish. In the end, Lydia and Rachel both realized they needed to demonstrate unselfish love to ensure that Holly got the happy life her parents would have wanted for her.
I always enjoy Amish Christmas stories. I did like this novella but I think it would have been better as a full length novel. Everything just happened too easily, which is because of it being a novella. For example, Rachel and Holly got through the grieving process too quickly to be realistic. But situations can't be drawn out, there aren't enough pages in a novella. Rachel didn't really fight enough to keep Holly when she had to leave her with the new found relatives. Overall, I did enjoy it and would recommend it as a good story to read around the Christmas holiday.
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Rachel's brother, Michael and his wife, Miri are in the Caribbean, so Rachel is babysitting her six-year-old niece, Holly. It is almost Christmas, and Holly wants to get a tree and decorate it before her parents return home. Also, Holly will turn seven on Christmas Eve, so she is very excited about both events.
After Holly is in bed for the night, Rachel receives a phone call with the news that her brother and sister-in-law have died in a plane crash.
With no other relatives, Rachel assumes she will be Holly's guardian. It is quite a surprise when the attorney advises her that a sister of Miri has been named guardian. Rachel and Holly travel from Chicago to Ohio to meet Lydia. They discover Lydia is Amish. They also discover Miri's siblings and mother live in the Amish community.
Lydia is ready to raise Holly and send Rachel on her way. Holly fits in well with Lydia's family, but has some difficulty with all the rules, the plain clothing, and lack of electricity. Also, she expects Rachel to live there as well.
Rachel realizes Lydia wants her to leave, but she can't bring herself to walk away from the only family she has left. She loves Holly and is disappointed she won't be the one to raise her.
We learn that Lydia's harsh attitude toward Rachel is a result of her own poor choices. As much as Lydia wants her raise her sister's child, is that the best choice for Holly? This is a very sweet story, which I enjoyed reading.
Due to an unforeseen event, Aunt Rachel Milligan and her niece, Holly, are about to spend their birthdays and Christmas in a very unexpected manner. Finding themselves in an Amish Ohio homestead, Rachel must deal with her own selfishness as well as the stirrings of her own heart. Through family secrets, regret, heart-break and jealousy, Rachel and Holly learn the true meaning of Christmas.
A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Another short Christmas story from Melody Carlson_true to the style and deeper meanings I have come to anticipate at Christmas time from her. Short and sweet yet moving at the same time, it has become almost a tradition for me to read a Christmas story from this author. I enjoyed the Amish customs, a family's forgiveness and even a brief romance all in one read. I am already looking forward to next year's new Christmas novel.