Sunday, December 22, 2019

An Amish Christmas Bakery

 An Amish Christmas Bakery:

Four Stories by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman,

Kathleen Fuller & Kelly Irvin

Published by Zondervan, October 2019

Hand on heart, I absolutely loved this collection of novellas all based on Amish bakeries and have read them all several times....

Alyssa works part-time, but her artistic talents and design flair make her employer's bakery such a roaring success that Alyssa's newly found boyfriend Kyle and her own family  are taking second place. Alyssa's own health is suffering and her family warn her that she is focussing on the wrong priorities at Christmas.  Can she fulfill everyone's needs and wishes, including her own, whilst remaining true to her Amish beliefs? Amy Clipston pulls no punches in this story about what really matters.

A particular favourite was Beth Wiseman's story about a very much stricter Swartzentruber Amish  family whose daughter Katie has a more lenient-background Amish boyfriend. Can she keep her family bakery operating during her mother's recovery from serious illness or will she end up accepting more modern baking appliances from her boyfriend? And what about Henry, a childhood friend who is desperate to become something more serious in Katie's life?

Kathleen Fuller tells us all about Mattie, who has moved to help her aunt and uncle at their bakery during the run-up to Christmas, and finds to her horror that her best friend's ex-boyfriend has also been hired to help her uncle and they will have to live and work in close proximity for an extended period, when they are not even on speaking terms.  It seems a recipe for disaster until  Peter realises that Mattie's anger is based on misunderstandings and her own insecurities, and that life has not been kind to her.

Kelly Irvin gives us a tender story about Martha who is falling in love with an old schoolmate who is being treated unkindly by others in the community due to his own special needs. Ambrose is one of God's Special Children, a loving and gentle man, lacking 'book smarts' but filled with love, compassion and honesty.  Can he and Martha fulfil each other's hearts' desires when neither of them is confident or sure about making the first steps to begin courting?

A lovely Christmas selection to warm the heart of the reader, and joining the list of titles I make a point of re-reading each Christmas-tide.

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