Saturday, October 26, 2013

Christmas In Apple Ridge

Christmas in Apple Ridge:

Three-in-One Collection

By Cindy Woodsmall

Published by Waterbrook Press, December 2012

This is a 3 in 1 collection of The Sound of Sleigh Bells, The Christmas Singing and The Dawn of Christmas.

The Sound of Sleigh Bells introduces us to  Lizzie and Beth 
an aunt and niece team who run a business. Lizzie has never married and Beth is a young woman who seems unable to shake off either her mourning for her dead fiance or her stark black mourning clothes. When Beth returns from a buying trip where she has discovered the work of a talented Amish sculptor, she enthuses about it to Lizzie; Lizzie does not want Beth to remain lonely for the rest of her life and takes matters into her own hands. She tells a few white lies which means that Beth starts to correspond with Jonah the sculptor, believing him to be an older man and he believes he is corresponding with the older Lizzie...... can deceptions made with good intentions ever bring healing or happiness?

The Christmas Singing tells us about Mattie, a talented baker who runs a cake store - and nurses immense sadness about the breakup with Gideon several years ago. Gideon let her believe that he had found an Englisch girlfriend, and Mattie is slowly building her life back up, having a comfortable yet unexciting relationship with Sol, who is trustworthy, reliable and will never, ever break her heart.  When Mattie's business burns down, she returns to her parents' home for a while to recuperate and she has to deal with Gideon's presence in the community once and for all. Was Gideon lying? Who was the Englisch girl and how did he meet her? Can she trust him ever again? And just who does she love, Sol or Gideon?

The Dawn Of Christmas - This was an unusual story. Sadie calls off her wedding to Daniel when she finds him behaving inappropriately with her cousin, and throws herself into work with an Ohio Mennonite community, telling her family and Church elders that she cannot stay in the same locality as Daniel when her heart is broken. Daniel denies any inappropriate behaviour and many folk do not know who to believe. 

Eventually,Sadie's Daed tells her well, orders her) that she must return home to her Amish community and try to rebuild her life. Sadie is loving her relative independence working for her Mennonite friends in their store as a way to save for her mission trip expenses but as fate would have it, she is catapulted into meeting an eligible young bachelor after a horse-riding accident.  Levi is a cousin of Beth and Mattie from the first two stories, and gradually they build a solid friendship which they think might be manipulated to buy them both time and freedom from constant family pressures to settle down..... and then Daniel starts his sweet-talking lies again and causes chaos once more...

This was a great trilogy and one I will enjoy re-reading.

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