Saturday, November 13, 2010

Book Review: An Amish Christmas by Cynthia Keller

✰✰✰ On the surface, suburban homemaker Meg Hobart has it all: a successful husband, three kids, and a beautiful house. Although Meg doesn't realize it at the time, there are cracks showing through the family's idyllic life. Thus, Meg is completely taken by surprise during the midst of Thanksgiving holiday preparations, when her husband suddenly confesses that he's led the family to financial ruin.

Finding themselves homeless, the Hobarts pack up a few belongings and leave everything else behind. On their way to Meg's family home in upstate New York, Meg tries to cheer the family up with little side trips. However, fate takes over and the Hobarts find themselves stranded in a Pennsylvania Amish town after a car accident.

In true Amish tradition, the Lutz family takes in the Hobarts for as long as needed. The family must make the transition from a life of modern conveniences to a life without electricity, computers, cell phones, and fashion. Meg is stunned to observe how incredibly selfish and rude her two teens are behaving when faced with this challenge. Though discouraged she somehow motivates her uncooperative family into participating in the Lutz family activities. Meanwhile, the realization that she's been living a lie has a devastating effect on Meg. Will she ever learn to trust her husband again or would they be better off if she leaves him behind? Only time will tell.

The Bottom Line: This easy read is a tale for the times. The self-absorbed Hobart family learns the true meaning of Christmas through the examples set by the Amish people. The lessons of forgiveness and love shine through in this uplifting holiday story. Recommended for everyone who enjoys holiday stories that celebrate the family.

Details: An Amish Christmas: A Novel by Cynthia Keller. Published by Ballantine Books in 2010. 256 p. ISBN: 978-0-345-52378-5 Note: I received a complimentary Advance Reader's Edition from Ballantine Books in exchange for a review. This was made possible by the Early Reviewer program at LibraryThing.

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