Book Description: In the tradition of her widely popular Kauffman Amish Bakery series, author Amy Clipston tells the tale of Anna Mae McDonough who was shunned by her family four years ago when she left her Amish community in Lancaster County, PA, to marry an 'Englisher' (non Amish) man and move with him to Baltimore. Now, eight months pregnant when her first child, she longs to return home for Christmas to reconcile with her family, especially her stern father, who is the religious leader for her former Amish church district. So Anna Mae writes a letter to Kathryn Beiler, her brother's wife, to enlist her help. Kathryn asks her husband, David, if she should arrange Anna Mae's visit. David cautions her that a visit would cause too much stress in the family and instead suggests they visit Anna Mae and her husband in the spring. However, Kathryn arranges the visit anyway, believing in her heart that it's God's will for the family to heal. When Anna Mae arrives in Lancaster for Christmas, she doesn't receive the welcome she expects and her world begins to fall apart, leaving her to question her place in her family -- and her faith in God. A book filled with love, the pain of being separated from one's family, and the determination to follow God's will regardless of the outcome, A Plain and Simple Christmas is an inspiring page-turner that will keep you guessing what happens next...right to the very last page.
My Review: A Plain & Simple Christmas by Amy Clipston. Anna Mae who was shunned from the Amish community because she married a Christian man and not an Amish man thus not joining the Amish church is now expecting a child and wants to reconcile with her family. Christmas has a way of bringing out the child in all of us and that child wants to be home for Christmas!
Kellan, Anna Mae's husband, cautions her that going back may not be what she wants or that her family may not be ready to accept her back. The interaction between Kellan and Anna Mae is sweet and so much like a "true" married couple. Kellan truly cares for and loves Anna Mae. However, Ann Mae writes a letter to her sister-in-law asking her to help her come home in a quiet way. This is seems to be a mistake since her family doesn't receive her in the way that Anna Mae had hoped. He daad simply leaves when Anna Mae and Kellan enter. Anna Mae begins to question why was she placed in "this family" and where is God? Her world is tupsy-turvy and being with her family but yet not being accepted back into their lives.
As all families have some struggles and inner conflict it seems that Anna Mae's family will need something to bring them all together in love again. As the First Child came into the world can another child come into the world to bring peace and love to a broken family?
Delicious smells and sweet tasting goodies drop off of the page as you read about love, forgiveness and grace that are right in keeping with Amy's Kaufman Amish Bakery series. I didn't get to read the other books in the Kaufman Amish Bakery Series so after reading this book I would say that you could easily read this novella as a stand alone read.
This wonderful 5 star read should be on your must read for the holidays or it would make a great gift for that avid reader on your gift list!
*I reviewed this book for Zondervan*
Meet the Author:
Amy Clipston is a first-time author and member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). She holds a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time as a public information specialist for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband and two sons.