Series: Kauffman Amish Bakery Series Christmas Stories #1
Published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing on 2010
Genres: Fiction, Christian, General
Take a trip to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, where you’ll meet the women of the Kauffman Amish Bakery in Lancaster County. As each woman’s story unfolds, you will share in her heartaches, trials, joys, dreams … and secrets. You’ll discover how the simplicity of the Amish lifestyle can clash with the “English” way of life—and the decisions and consequences that follow. Most importantly, you will be encouraged by the hope and faith of these women, and the importance they place on their families.
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 Anne 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, the welcome she receives is nothing like what she had hoped for.
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.
I know you’re probably wondering why the world I’d be reviewing a Christmas story in April but I’d received for Christmas and decided to pick it up! Besides, anyone that knows me knows that I love Christmas any time of year.
I really loved Anna Mae but I connected more with Kathryn. I have a tendency to lean towards fairness even when it makes some people upset. It’s a character trait that I’ve often lamented as it puts me on the outs with others around me. So, I really connected with Kathryn on a personal level.
Anna Mae has sought out Kathryn’s help in reuniting with her family after being shunned for leaving the community to marry outside of the Amish faith. Kathryn doesn’t want to defy her husband but she feels like the family needs peace and healing and she agrees to help plan Anna’s visit during the Christmas season.
Anna Mae’s mother welcomes her back with open arms but her father is bitter and not quick to forgive–even though he’s a bishop and should be an example of godly behavior. Even so, I think even the most godly of people can be so heartbroken that they let bitterness creep into their lives and that has a way of alienating us from the people we love.
If you’re looking for a quick read and enjoy themes of forgiveness and acceptance–this is definitely an enjoyable novella.
This novella is also included in the A Kauffman Amish Christmas Collection along with Naomi’s Gift.