Amish Christmas Blessings by Marta Perry, Jo Ann Brown
The Midwife’s Christmas Surprise by Marta Perry
Three years ago, the man Anna Zook hoped to marry left her and their Amish community for the English world. Now devoted to proving her abilities as a midwife, Anna has given up on marriage and children for herself. But when Benjamin Miller returns, now a changed man, can delivering a Christmas baby reunite these two hurting hearts?
Forgiveness is at the heart of this novella as Anna Zook has been living in the past thinking about her love for Benjamin Miller and wondering why he suddenly left without a word. Thinking they were going to become an item and happy she never quite got over his disappearing. Not leaving word as to where he went, why or telling his family anything Benjamin was like a ghost that would vanish. But, something happened and things changed and while when he comes back home. Cool greetings, skeptical parents as Anna’s heart races trying to keep her emotions locked away but can she. Josh his brother is glad more than glad to have him home hoping that a decision made by their father will be reversed or changed. Anna has been living with his family and has become partners with his mother Elizabeth in the birthing clinic. She is becoming a well-received midwife in the clinic run at the Miller farm. But, the family still has some sore spots to get over as the pain of Benjamin leaving puts the family on high alert and their emotions even higher wondering why he came back, will he embrace the Amish ways again or leave. As the story progresses and we get to know Anna better we realize that not everyone accepts her as a midwife and not everyone readily wants her to take their case. But, sometimes things spiral out of control and they have no choice. With Christmas coming Elizabeth, Ben’s mother and her partner wants Anna to take on more cases so that she can prepare and cook for the holidays. Can she step up to the challenge? Added in we learn that his father is going to leave the farm to Josh who has no desire to become a farmer like Ben wants to be or Daniel his brother. Yet his other brother was given the chance to own and operate his own business but Ben left to see the English world and needed to see what was out there before deciding the life he wanted. Getting reacquainted with Anna and finding themselves attracted to each other and yet Anna a little leery, things change during a snowstorm when Anna is called to help young Dora deliver her first child and Ben comes to the rescue when he realizes she is alone and the storm is raging.
When Ben shows up at the birthing center what he does will endear you to him even more and allow readers to know why Anna wants him for her own. But, will his father forgive him and what will happen when he reveals where he really was and what happened because of a friendship with someone named Mickey. Misunderstandings, overhearing conversations and things take on a different tone for Anna and Ben until he finally confesses and tells her the truth about his past and she begins to understand but will that be enough to keep them as one?
With Christmas around the corner, a family wanting to all celebrate will his father relent and allow Josh to work as a machine operator and fulfill his dream or will he once again alienate Ben, send him away and cause a rift in the family that might not be able to be repaired. Author Marta Perry brings out the issues of forgiveness, understanding, hope, family loyalty, love and hope within this heartwarming novella.
Will it be a Merry Christmas for the Miller family? Read this novella to find out.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine
A Christmas to Remember by Jo Ann Brown : SUMMARY
When a little girl leads shop owner Amos Stoltzfus to an Amish woman in distress, he rushes them to his family’s farm. “Linda” has no memory and doesn’t know if the sweet child is her daughter or even her kin. As Christmas arrives and Linda’s identity is revealed, will Amos be able to claim his holiday guests as his own?
A young child named Polly enters a store and appears to be stealing a loaf of bread. Although most people would yell and chastise the child Amos Stolzfus wonders why she would do such a thing and instead allows her to keep the bread and offers some peanut butter too. The little girl is with someone that calls herself Linda and whose memory has vanished and has no idea where she came from, what caused her memory loss or why. What happens when you have no idea where you belong and where you are going next? As Amos realizes that they have nowhere to go he invites these two strangers into his own and they are welcomed by his entire family but in different ways. Just who is Linda and what is her story will haunt both of them throughout this heartfelt novella.
Linda does not realize how she winds up on the couch in his house with his mother, Leah tending to her. Her head hurts and as a result a doctor is called in and he says she had a concussion and has to be monitored, watched and she cannot hit her head for fear of worse injuries. As the story moves on we get to know more about Amos, his store and you can tell that he really likes Polly and is falling for Linda even in such a short time. Frustrated and not wanting to burden anyone she agrees to go a retrace her movements hoping that something will jog her memory. Going to the school to see the Christmas performance a memory of a school that she might have attended comes into her mind but nothing more. As time goes on they all begin to move in a solid rhythm as Polly makes friends with Mandy another granddaughter and several other children as she loves being there and she adores Linda. Hoping that she will find her memory and her way she decides to go shopping with Polly never stating that the money she had given to Polly from wherever they came from she did not misplace. No wallet, no ID, no phone no way of telling anyone who she is until two people show up at their door and things will change. As Amos questions Linda as to where she went and although it might sound accusatory since she lacked any documents to identify her will she realize it was only out of concern? Just who are they and what information do they have that the Bishop could not get at first when asking if anyone was missing their children or grandchildren? What happens when they reveal her true identity? Is she married? Is she spoken for? Will it change anything or will Amos have the best Christmas of his life? Author Jo Ann Brown brings to light trust, honesty, hope, faith, believing in God, miracles, and the miracle of Christmas in this heartfelt story of two people who just might find their way through a maze of fog and haze. Will she remain? What will happen if she remembers? What if she does not? Does he know the two people that came to the door? Is this love at first sight? Read the novella to find out and see if Amos’s Christmas present is right in front of him.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine