Overview: After her time living with her English family (as part of her rumschpringe) comes to an abrupt end, Annie Weaver returns home. Now 20 years old and a RN, Annie feels lonely, somewhat out of place, and afraid to reveal what and who she really is. As she finds herself facing a budding romance with an Amish farmer, she has to make important decisions and come to terms with the life she may have to leave behind.
Review: A beautiful, excellent, very well written story. Annie is strong but also full of self-doubt and fears. Samuel, the Amish farmer and "doctor" who stirs very strong emotions in her (good and bad) has been suffering for years a terrible tragedy that has left him lonely and a recluse. He too feels strongly attracted to Annie but denies it to himself, at first. The interactions between these two characters are great; strong, with humor and affection. The novel as a whole is wonderful. Amish life is presented with precision and accuracy; with beautiful descriptions and details.
However, what made a great, and I mean GREAT, impact in my life, personally and spiritually, were Rebekah (Annie's mom) and what the Amish call the Second Christmas. Rebekah's insights and advices were extremely touching, wise and given so gently that it made me want to be like her, want to emulate her character. And the Second Christmas... I think that this is a very inspired Amish tradition. The fact that they don't exchange presents on the First Christmas (December 25th), but do so on the Second Christmas (December 26th) made me take a second look at the traditions in my home and think twice about what we do. The reason behind it is that in December 25th nothing takes away from what we're really celebrating: the birth of Jesus and what that means to us. So there's a second day to show our love and appreciation to one another by exchanging meaningful gifts. First, we appreciate what God did for us through Jesus, and then we appreciate those that God has put in our life. I thought it was a wonderful way to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas.
So, as you can see, this lovely novel is not only a fictional story; it also gives us a great view into Amish life and traditions. Not many novels can be entertaining, educational and inspiring. This is one of them. I loved it and recommend it to everyone.
5 out of 5 stars