- Reading level: Ages 18 and up
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Zondervan; Reprint edition (October 9, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0310318769
- ISBN-13: 978-0310318767
This book is also available as an e-book.
Publication Date: October 9, 2012 | Series: Kauffman Amish Bakery Series
In A Plain and Simple Christmas, from the author of the widely popular Kauffman Amish Bakery Series, shunned Anna Mae doesn't receive the welcome she expects when she pays a visit for Christmas and her world begins to fall apart, leaving her to question her place in her family---and her faith in God. Set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Naomi's Gift reintroduces twenty-four-year-old Naomi King, who has given up her dreams of finding true love. But when a young widower stirs surprising feelings in her, Naomi cautiously opens her heart to him and receives an unexpected response that once again turns her world upside-down. Author Amy Clipston artfully paints a panorama of simple lives full of complex relationships, and she carefully explores cultural differences and human similarities, with inspirational results.
My take on this book:
I had read both of these novellas as stand alone works when they first came out but was excited to see the two novellas combined into one book.
"A Plain and Simple Christmas" is the story of Anna Mae McDonough who left her community to marry her husband Kennan. While she doesn't regret her decision the impending birth of her baby has her wanting to reconnect with her family. Thing is she was put under the Bann when she left. Will her Amish family allow her to visit, and will she be welcomed?
"Naomi's Gift" is the story of Naomi King. At the age of twenty-four and two recent heartbreaks Naomi has really given up on the hopes of ever finding love. While visiting Bird-In-Hand Caleb Schmucker and his daughter Susie stop at the farmers market. Susie becomes enamored with the quilts that Naomi is selling and strikes up a conversation with her revealing that her mother had died. Naomi can't quit thinking about Susie and they soon connect and become friends. When she meets Susie's father Caleb, Naomi feels a pull, but does he feel the same way?
I really enjoyed both of these stories but I would easily say that "Naomi's Gift' was my favorite. Ms. Clipston easily pulled me into the story of Naomi, the rumor mill wasn't very kind to her, causing me to easily feel empathy for her. Fans of Amish fiction will enjoy both stories, but anyone looking for a nice Christmasy feel will also enjoy this book. If you have never read anything by Amy Clipston then these short stories will allow you to sample her work, and even though the stories are a continuation of the Kauffman Family Bakery series each novella reads well as a stand alone story. The author includes a family tree at the beginning of the book making it easy to figure out who's who. The Amish recipes included are an added bonus!
A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.