December 14, 2018

Amish Celebrations: Four Stories by Beth Wiseman {Book Review}

Amish Celebrations by Beth Wiseman {Book Review}
Amish Celebrations is a collection of four novellas by bestselling author Beth Wiseman. Each of the novellas are geared around a celebration of some sort, and explore life within the Amish community. While Amish fiction isn’t my favorite to read, I have found a few authors that I do enjoy with their “not-so-cookie-cutter” presentation of the unique culture. Beth Wiseman is one of those authors, and I am happy to bring my review to you today.

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About the Book

Amish Celebrations consists of four novellas: The Gift of Sisters, A New Beginning, A Perfect Plan (also published in An Amish Wedding), and A Christmas Miracle.

The Gift of Sisters explores a story of twin girls Hannah and
Rachel who are approaching their 16th birthday—a time when they will be allowed to break free a little and enjoy their rumschpringe. As opposite as you could imagine, they end up falling in love with the same boy, Abraham Stoltzfus, a newcomer to their area. Each girl fights for his affections in their own way, which drives them apart further than ever. But who will Abraham choose, and after a dreadful heartbreak, is there any hope for reconciliation?

A New Beginning brings us Rebecca and Noah, a couple in love and about to be baptized. A few weeks before the ceremony, Noah decides to spend one last night enjoying his rumschpringe—which leads to him doing something which causes Rebecca to reconsider his proposal. Rebecca has to decide whether to forgive him or abandon her dreams of marriage to him, while Noah has to decide whether his guilt is going to send him running from Rebecca and the community he loves.

A Perfect Plan follows the story of Priscilla and Chester. Priscilla has been in love with Chester since she was sixteen years old. When Chester pops the question on her 19th birthday, the wedding plans can begin! But after one misfortune after another happens, they begin to doubt that they are on the path God has chosen for them.

A Christmas Miracle brings a story of one little Amish girl’s Christmas wish. Mary’s daughter broke the rules to ask Santa to bring her mama help for Christmas. Mary is an exhausted mother of five at the ripe old age of just twenty-seven. Married since eighteen, she wasn’t quite prepared for motherhood—and her exhaustion and frustration are sending her in a downward spiral. Because she’s too ashamed and proud to ask for help, the situation leads to trouble in her marriage. She never imagined that her daughter’s simple wish would bring an elderly man and his female assistant to her rescue, showering her with wisdom and advice. She must choose to accept help, learn to cope with her situation, and receive the blessing of the season.

My Thoughts on the Book

I found that all of these novellas were very well flushed out. It was easy to understand the characters and their situations. The plots were a bit more unusual for Amish fiction, and I enjoyed that. The characters in these novellas had real life “baggage” which affected their day-to-day lives and decisions they had to make. Of the four stories, I think I enjoyed A New Beginning and A Christmas Miracle the best, although all of them were well written.
 Amish Celebrations
by Beth Wiseman


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