Monday, December 14, 2015

Amish Christmas at North Star {Review}

This collection of four short stories follows the lives of four Amish babies all born on the same night, keeping one Amish midwife incredibly busy and making them a legend in the small town of North Star.  "Rebekah's babies" go on to make their own choices and build their own lives for 25 years and that's where our stories pick up.

In Guiding Star by Katie Granshert, Ellie McAllister is contacted by a mysterious Englisher who claims to have information about her birth family.  But is she really the lost baby?

Mourning Star by Amanda Flower follows the story of Eden Hochstetler investigating the mysterious death of her friend, Isaac.  But as she's drawn to Isaac's nephew Jesse, she wonders if he could be the killer.

In the Stars by Cindy Woodsmall tells the tale Savilla Beiler as she tries desperately to hide the secret that tore her away from her beau, Kore.  But when confronted with her past, will she run again?  Or finally reveal the truth?

In Star of Grace by Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark, Andy Danner leaves North Star when spurned by his love.  As his little brother hatches a scheme to bring him home, it could have farther reaching consequences than any of them realize.

What will become of these four young adults all connected by one snowy night in North Star?

The positives: All four of these books were quick, easy reads set in the magic of the Christmas season.  The stories lightly collide as characters from one or another overlap briefly.  Major characters from each story are easy to identify and track and the storylines are engaging.  I did find that reading a collection like this gave me exposure to several authors that I've never heard of.

The negatives: I personally didn't enjoy the short stories as much as I would a longer version.  Sometimes the story felt rushed simply do to the constraints of the short story format and at times I wanted to see the characters further developed.  The one I struggled with most was Mourning Star, but this was also the shortest of the four stories.

Overall, although I realized I personally don't like the short story format, I did enjoy what I was able to read from these authors.  The idea that all four major characters were tied together from the start was interesting and it was neat to see how each of their lives took such different paths.  I'm excited to explore these author's works further in the future.

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.

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