Author: Melody Carlson
Rachel has agreed to look after her 6-year-old niece for her brother and his wife while they take a trip to the Caribbean to celebrate their 10-year wedding anniversary. Shortly thereafter, Rachel receives a phone call that will change their lives.
Unbeknownst to Rachel, Holly’s mom was raised Amish. Reluctantly, Rachel takes Holly to meet the Amish side of her family who live in Ohio. Holly is very excited to learn she has cousins and that they live on a farm with animals and ride around in a horse and buggy. Rachel stays longer than she intends due to bad weather and the holidays. Lydia, Holly’s aunt, is not happy with Rachel having such a close relationship with Holly and urges her to leave. Holly thinks living like the Amish is fun at first, but when Rachel tells Holly that she will be leaving soon and not taking Holly with her, she doesn’t really understand.
Rachel is torn apart, having to leave Holly with her Amish relatives, but she has no choice. Benjamin Schrock, Holly’s uncle, is a tremendous help to Rachel and a good listener. He grew up Amish, but left the community for several years. He has returned only to help his widowed mother out and will soon be returning to the outside world. Benjamin seems to understand the difficulties Holly will have adapting to the Amish way of life. He also wants to begin a relationship with Rachel, but can she feel for him true feelings or is she just feeling close to him because he is close to Holly?
One of the things that I wish was different about this story is the length. It would be nice if the story were a little longer to give Rachel and Benjamin’s story more of a chance to develop and deepen. Their relationship just seemed too rushed. Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful look at Christmas from a different viewpoint. There were some scenes that will tug at your heart pretty hard and Holly is just a treasure of a little girl. Readers won’t soon forget this author’s take on what one of the important aspects of being obedient to God’s command to love one another, putting what is best for another before what we want. I’m already looking forward to next year’s holiday season to see what charming book Melody will write.
My rating is 4.5 stars.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457