1. A Christmas Haven: An Amish Christmas Romance
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    A Christmas Haven: An Amish Christmas Romance
    Cindy Woodsmall
    WaterBrook / 2019 / Hardcover
    $10.99 Retail: $14.99 Save 27% ($4.00)
    5 Stars Out Of 5 29 Reviews
    Availability: In Stock
    Stock No: WW653292
4.8 Stars Out Of 5
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  1. British Columbia, Canada
    Age: Over 65
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Christmas Haven
    November 24, 2019
    Faith S M
    British Columbia, Canada
    Age: Over 65
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is a book written with two families of different Amish beliefs. One family is of the Old Order Amish, the other is of Swartzentruber Amish, an ultra conservative sect of Amish.

    Ivy dreams are of establishing a party planning business which would not be sanctioned by the Old Order Amish. Her mother is refusing to consider such a plan saying to do so will cause problems for her sister studying and working at a pharmacy where she advises Amish on medical concerns. Her sister also plans to continue working there after her marriage a few months from now. Amish women do not work outside the home once they marry so this requires the Bishops approval. Thus, Ivy's actions could affect the decision of the Bishop to allow her sister to work after marriage.

    Arlan has a sister who is ill with stomach issues. He soon discovers she is malnourished not able to eat or drink and his parents not concerned saying it could be God punishing her. On his own he decides to take her to the pharmacy for help. This all back fires, the sister gets treatment, however, and the two are in hiding from their parents.

    What unfolds is a story of one who is willing to leave her Order to be herself and one who is willing to give up his Order for a sister who he loves dearly. He in turn works hard to reestablish himself to be able to return to his Order in good standing while she learns how to stand up for herself, be strong and continue within her Order.

    It is a story of extreme faith with biblical passages, prayer, determination, compassion, willingness or need to help others and above all yielding to God and His will for them. I felt myself get upset at Ivy for her unkind thoughts/judgements; after all she had not walked in Arlan's shoes so could not see why he made the choices he did.

    Another aspect of her nature is her determination to have what she wants but no mention is made of her praying for guidance as to what Her Father is asking of her. Does He want her to open this party planning business or does he want her to consider the alternative plan her mother suggested or even something not yet known to anyone?

    The best part of this story is when Ivy realizes she can bloom right where she is, within her Old Order Amish, that she does not need to abandon all she has known in order to be herself. And is this not true for us as well, that we too can be who we are without abandoning anyone or anything as long as who we are is formed from love, with love and in love.

    This is a beautiful story, one that can be read again and again for there is much hidden within the words that when reread in a month, year or ten years will make it all new with something else leaping out of its context to bring joy to our hearts.

    It was a honor to read this story, and I know I will be rereading it again and again.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own
  2. Battle Creek, MI
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ...
    November 7, 2019
    Cheri S
    Battle Creek, MI
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    A Christmas Haven is a wonderful book! I love Cindy Woodsmall and when she joins Erin Woodsmall and writes together, it's nothing short of beautiful. They develop their characters so much I feel as though I'm living in the community with them. I can feel their pain, excitement, happiness and joy. This was a wonderful book especially around the holidays and I highly recommend it as a great read!

    I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by the author. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Christmas Haven
    November 7, 2019
    sgreene01
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is a delightful Amish Christmas book, giving the reader a look into two different Amish sects. Swartzentruber (ultra-conservative sect) raised, Arlan, runs from his strict home when his parents devise a plan to punish his very ill, pregnant, unmarried sister, Madga. During this "escape", he meets Old Order Amish (conservative sect) raised, Ivy Zook.

    The Zook family lets Arlan and Madga stay in their home. Arlan works on their farm in exchange for their food and board, as well as pay other debts incurred.

    During this time, Arlan comes to feel that his ultra-conservative lifestyle may not be what he really feels is how God meant for him to live, but still wants to have a relationship with his family.

    Ivy is also questioning her conservative lifestyle, wanting to leave and live as the English live.

    As Arlan and Ivy become friends, they come to understand much more about themselves, their families, their faith, and each other.

    This Christmas season leads them to new answers. This is a great holiday read for all.

    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.com and was not required to leave a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
  4. Vermont
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Christmas Haven
    November 4, 2019
    SC2424
    Vermont
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    These days I don't really have much time to read...and I miss that! :) I was given the opportunity to read/review a copy of a book with a Christmas-y name, A Christmas Haven,

    A year ago I was reading a book by the same authors (Cindy and Erin Woodsmall) and enjoying it as well...it was The Christmas Remedy and it was quite enjoyable :) When given the opportunity to read this next installment in the series about this Amish family, I was happy to carve some time out.

    In A Christmas Haven a couple of Amish families are in crisis. One family has a member who want to leave the church/community rules and restrictions; a different family in a different degree of Amish beliefs has a family crisis which seems like it cannot be overcome, short of grievous decisions.

    Ivy, who lives and works on the family dairy farm, wants a more "English" career and lifestyle, focusing on party and event planning. She feels too restricted by the Amish ways in which she was brought up and decides that the ony path to her happiness is through breaking those bonds. Adam and Magda have a big secret of their own and feel the only option for them is to run away from their very conservative Amish community.

    These two families intersect in another sort of crisis way...and though it seems like their differences are just too big...amazing things happen!

    It is hard to give a review without spoilers! Suffice it say that I really enjoyed reading this book and I would definitely recommend it! My 15 year old daughter is reading it as well, and is enjoying it too! Even though it has a Christmas-y title, it's actually not super Christmas-themed, so don't feel bad reading it at any time of the year!

    Enjoy! :)

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
  5. Davenport,Iowa
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    wonderful
    October 30, 2019
    Thereadmaster
    Davenport,Iowa
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I have never been disappointed by a book by Cindy Woodsmall and again I am not. I love her stories and especially her Christmas stories. I loved Arlan and Ivy. These are two people who both need to find out who they truly are. This is told in a wonderful way I love the blending of Amish and English traditions that are used here in this community. I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
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