This time I am reviewing for Waterbrook THE SOUND OF SLEIGH BELLS by Cindy Woodsmall, a Christmas novella.
This is the story of Beth Hertzler, an Amish woman who runs a craft store, has suffered a tragedy–her fiance was killed and she has worn black ever since. Her aunt, who never married, is sure that Beth is missing out by not going on with her life and falling in love with someone else. But Beth hides secret guilt regarding the death of her fiance, and feels unworthy to love again. So her aunt engineers a meeting between her and Amish carver Jonah, who has been crippled in an accident. Mistaken identities and the resulting offense caused when the maneuvering is discovered almost prevents love from triumphing, but it is Christmas time and miracles can happen then.
I am not one who reads a lot of Amish fiction. The market seems crowded with them–in some places that only carry a little Christian fiction, such as my local Giant Eagle supermarket, “bonnet romances” are the only Christian fiction represented. This story is not as “purely Amish” as some because the heroine does a lot of car traveling using a non-Amish driver (who seems to be just a walk-on character, probably because of the length limitations of a novella) and that takes away some of the Amish atmosphere, but this reflects the realities of life for some Amish living today. But reading THE SOUND OF SLEIGH BELLS was very rewarding, perfectly evoking the atmosphere of Christmas miracles and the joy and pain of healing.
For those who are interested in ordering the book, here’s the link: http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307446534
Blessings, Laurie Kingery
New FTC regulations require that I post that I received this book for review free from Waterbrook