Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Not your usual Amish romance

Having previously read and enjoyed the first three books in Barbara Cameron's series Quilts of Lancaster County, I was excited to have the opportunity to read the most recent addition to this series Annie's Christmas Wish. This book picks up with Annie the daughter of Matthew and Jenny the main characters in the previous novels. We are also introduced to Aaron a young man from their community.

The title of this book originates from Annie's wish to see New York City at Christmas time. This dream has been field by a snow globe of the city given to her by Jenny as a child. Her wish comes true as her family has the opportunity to visit New York City. The book focuses on situations that put the anticipated trip in jeopardy and the adventures they have while in the city. As one would suspect, a definite culture clash occurs between Annie's Amish family and the experiences they have in New York City. These clashes open their eyes to benefits from living in their community and also provide unexpected opportunities for Annie.

While definitely Amish "bonnet fiction" the issues with which Annie struggles in this book are similar to those faced by many you adult Christian women but amplified due to her Amish heritage. Specifically, Annie desires to write and to have a "career" like her Mamm Jenny. Yet, she also wants to follow the traditions of her community by being married and having a family. This struggle causes relational difficulties with several other main characters. In particular, Annie's opportunity and the assumptions Aaron makes about what those opportunities will require creates quite a sore spot. Fortunately by the end of the book, the situation has been resolved quite satisfactorily.

I have greatly enjoyed Barbara Cameron's Amish fiction as her characters interact with Englischers frequently and struggle with the same issues as modern readers. The interaction between these different worlds sets these books apart and makes them less predictable than other Amish fiction. Although part of a series, Cameron includes sufficient background on the characters that reading the previous books is not necessary to enjoy Annie's Christmas Wish. Find a copy, a cup of your favorite hot beverage, and a cozy chair by the Christmas tree and enjoy!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Abingdon Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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