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Ever since her step-mom brought her a snow globe of the New York City skyline, Annie has wanted to visit the beautiful, big city. Since it’s nearing the time of Annie’s rumschpringe—the time when Amish youth experience English life to make a decision whether to live in that world or become baptized into the Amish faith—the family decides a visit is a good idea. They watch the Macy’s Christmas parade, admire the decorated store windows, skate at the Rockefeller Center rink and— Annie’s favorite—get a glimpse of a writer’s life while visiting the New York Times building. But others aren’t as thrilled with Annie’s lure to the Big Apple. Aaron has long been attracted to Annie and is sure he’s in love. As he watches her engage in big city life, he grows concerned that she won’t want to return to their quieter life. Will Annie follow Aaron back home? Or stay and pursue her dreams? Competing for her attention, Aaron sets out to show Annie that Christmas isn’t about the glitz and glamour, but about family, love, and the birth of Jesus.
My take on this book:
Barbara Cameron is a wonderful storyteller that knows how to step outside the typical "Amish" box and provide a story with unique characters that certainly capture my attention from the beginning. With the fourth book in the Quilts of Lancaster series we get the story of Annie Botranger,who at the age of twenty-one is about to realize one of her dreams,seeing New York City. She isn't really in any hurry to get married like so many other Amish girls her age, instead she wants to become a writer and even plans on visiting the New York Times while she is in New York. Aaron Beiler is a friend of Annie's who knows that she is the perfect one for him, but he also knows that Annie doesn't feel the same way that he does. He is afraid that once she goes to New York that she might be lost to him forever. Will Annie find what she longs for in New York or will she realise what she wants is back home in Paradise, PA?
The descriptive writing with this story easily allowed me to imagine the setting of this story. I felt like I was seeing New York thru the eyes of the characters. Annie is different than most Amish female leads, she wants to become a writer like her stepmother Jenny, but also feels the strong pull of family. That's something that really stood out for me, the warmth and love that was easy to see with the Bontranger family. It was nice to see how Annie's parents got along, it was obvious that they truly loved each other. I thought the romance between Annie and Aaron was slow going, not one of the best that I have read. There are several messages that tie into the season with this one, such as faith, love and family. Overall, I enjoyed this book, and the author provides enough background information to make it easy to read this one as a stand alone, even though it's actually the fourth book in the Quilts of Lancaster Series. While I found the romance just ok, the characters, setting and positive messages made this story a winner for me!
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.