A time of anticipation. A season of miracles.
Because of Joel’s impossible situation, twenty-one-year-old Rose must sacrifice everything. As days pass into years in the midst of the beautiful hills, the laughter of children, and God’s providence–is it too much for Rose to hope for love in return?
An amazing journey toward love and belonging, filled with the wonder of the season of Christ’s birth.
When Old Order Amish Rose Kurtz is asked to leave her family, travel deep into West Virginia, and help Joel Dienner with his children in the wake of tragedy, the quiet young woman recognizes a home where she might find kindness instead of criticism and hope replacing harsh words. She agrees to stay in Forest Hill and become Joel’s wife for the sake of his family needs, but their marriage is to be a partnership, one built from need, not love and affection.
As the years pass, Rose continues to beckon Joel to join life again, to take joy in his growing children, and to awaken his heart to the possibility of new love. Joel hopes that Rose can move beyond deep-rooted hurts to see the beautiful Christmas ahead, their season. But will the arrival of a beautiful widow and a series of misunderstandings reverse how far Rose and Joel have come?
- Hardcover: 208 pages
- Publisher: Waterbrook Press (4 Oct. 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1601427050
- ISBN-13: 978-1601427052
Cindy Woodsmall is my favourite author of Amish Fiction and I have to say I was not let down.
This is, overall, a beautiful story. Starts with a dreadful loss. A mother dies after childbirth and Rose is sent to help the family with the children and the newborn baby, Grace. Even though she isn’t a mother she instinctively knows what to do for the children.
After she has returned to her own community the father of the widower, Joel, comes to him and advises him, that for the sake of the children, it might be a good idea to marry Rose. They come to arrangements and agree for both their sakes that getting married is the way to go. Rose wants away from her mother as she doesn’t have any respect for her and Joel needs a mother and housekeeper for the children.
Naturally, this is a difficult situation for the family of the wife who passed away and for Joel as they are watching another woman doing what is customary for the mother of the children to be doing. Rose loves the kids as if they are her own and this is very evident through the book. She also learns to grow while living in Forest Hill, something her mother never let her do.
What we are watching unfold in this story is how an arranged marriage works except it is within the Amish Community and in a very unconventional manner. Traditionally a man should wait an appropriate amount of time before even courting a woman, however, this was a situation where a mother was needed for a newborn and, in turn, an arrangement was reached. The beauty of this tale is seeing the characters grow over the for year period of the story. We see how the family learn to function, even though the husband and wife are not living as husband and wife. How their relationship grows from mutual respect to friendship and after that…who knows!
A very easy read which is beautifully written and exactly what I would expect from the wonderful Cindy Woodsmall!
Of course, this book gets 5*s!! Go buy it!!
I received this book from Blogging for Books for review.
About the author
She is also a veteran homeschool mom who no longer holds that position. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.
She’s won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings’ Best Books of the Year. She’s been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.
Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. Though she didn’t realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and cape dresses. Her parents didn’t allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy’s house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them—afraid that if they didn’t, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann’s because her family didn’t own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults’ disapproval and the obstacles in each other’s lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy’s family moved to another region of the US.
As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children. Over the years Cindy has continued to make wonderful friendships with those inside the Amish and Mennonite communities—from the most conservative ones to the most liberal.
Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in their now empty nest.