Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas in Apple Ridge {Review}

Christmas in Apple Ridge is a set of three Amish love stories.  The Sound of Sleigh Bells was released in 2009 and The Christmas Singing was released in 2011.  The third story, The Dawn of Christmas, is Woodsmall's newest story set in Apple Ridge.

All three books center around this community of Apple Ridge and the characters intermingle.  The Sound of Sleigh Bells introduces us to Jonah and Beth, an unlikely couple whose story is weaved throughout the triology.  Then the Christmas Singing focuses on Maddie and Gideon who've missed out on love once before, but are suddenly thrown back into each other's pathes.  And finally The Dawn of Christmas centers around Sadie and Levi who share the most modern and complicated history.  

Woodsmall's characters are real.  They deal with real life hurts and difficulties.  There's nothing flimsy about these relationships.  They're complicated, deep, and truthful.  And hard.  That's what I love about her work.  Her characters are relatable and rich.  The Dawn of Christmas, in particular, deals with the difficulty of sometimes hearing God's voice.  As the characters struggle to differentiate between their own desires and God's guiding, there's no belittling what a difficult journey that can be.

Christmas in Apple Ridge is a delightful read, full of unexpected twists and turns.  The stories follow a common theme, but are all rich in their own right.  Cindy Woodsmall is to be commended on a such an excellent compilation.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy for review.  All opinions are my own.

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