Amish Celebrations – A Book Review

Amish Celebrations: Four Novellas
Beth Wiseman

Synopsis

Amish Celebrations is a collection of 4 stories highlighting different life celebrations.

The Gift of Sisters
Hannah and Rachel are fraternal twins approaching their sixteenth birthday—a time when they will be allowed to spread their wings and enjoy their rumschpringe. The sisters couldn’t be more different: Hannah is outgoing and beautiful, while Rachel is shy and withdrawn. And when newcomer Abraham Stoltzfus arrives in Lancaster County, both women fall head over heels for him, each fighting for his affections in their own ways and driving the sisters to turn on each other. Who will Abraham choose? And will Hannah and Rachel reunite after a devastating heartbreak?

A New Beginning
Rebecca and Noah are in love and about to be baptized. But when Noah decides to enjoy one last night of his rumschpringe a few weeks before the ceremony, he does something that causes Rebecca to reconsider his proposal. As Rebecca and Noah navigate the turn in their relationship, Rebecca must learn to forgive Noah or abandon her dreams of marrying him. If Noah won’t forgive himself in time for the baptism, his guilt could cause him to run from his love for Rebecca and leave his community behind.

A Perfect Plan
Priscilla King has been planning to marry Chester Lapp since she was sixteen years old, and when Chester pops the question on Priscilla’s nineteenth birthday, wedding plans begin immediately. But everything begins to fall apart as Chester works to build a house for his new bride, only to have one disaster after another occur. Can true love take this couple through the challenges that threaten their union, or will they begin to doubt that they are on the right path, the one God has chosen for them?

A Christmas Miracle
Mary is twenty-seven years old and already has five young children. Married to her husband at age eighteen, she wasn’t quite prepared for motherhood, and exhaustion and frustration are sending her into a downhill spiral as the holidays approach. Too proud and ashamed to ask for help, Mary’s situation begins to take a toll on her marriage. But when an elderly man in a red suit and his sidekick elf befriend Mary, showering her with wisdom and advice, she must choose to accept help, learn to cope with her situation, and ultimately find the true meaning of Christmas.

My Thoughts

These short stories are not your typical short stories. They aren’t the type of short stories that feel rushed at the end. They are well timed and full stories just in short form. The author does such a good concise job of writing a story plot, developing characters, and tying up the ending that they don’t feel like a typical short story. These stories are great for a quick read when you don’t have time to read an entire book. Each story stands alone and can be easily read in a single sitting, maybe an hour if you’re a faster reader. I loved A Christmas Miracle best. I felt like I could relate to it in my stage of life. Wiseman accurately captured life for a young mom. She writes about the struggles and feelings of inadequacy moms feel when they can’t get a handle on all of the aspects of being a mom, especially one without much help from family. I feel like this story was the most well developed of the 4. The characters are deep and real. There are multiple story lines going on with the different characters in the book. They come together to make a wonderful story. My 2nd favorite was A Perfect Plan. It highlights all the challenges God presents us with in order to help us learn to trust him more. I feel like this is something everyone struggles with so it is easy to relate to this story as well. I love when themes and lessons learned within books can be applied to our own lives. The Gift of Sisters was a cute story but I felt like it was a little overly dramatic for my lifestage personally. I struggled with the petty jealousy between the sisters. But I still liked the story it just wasn’t as relatable for me as the others were. Finally, A Perfect Plan, was a nice addition because it didn’t just focus on how happy Amish people are to be Amish. The character questioned his desire to be Amish and wondered what it would be like to be in the world. I loved how the ending wasn’t what I expected. I was pleasantly surprised.

Overall this book was great. I love that it didn’t leave me feeling frustrated that the author spent so much time developing a story and then had to write a quick ending. It wasn’t like that at all.

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Blogger program. This has in no way influenced my review. I was not obligated to write a review. All thoughts are my own.

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