The Sound of Sleigh Bells
by Cindy Woodsmall
Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
Beth Hertzler works alongside her beloved Aunt Lizzy in their dry goods store, and serving as contact of sorts between Amish craftsmen and Englischers who want to sell the Plain people’s wares. But remorse and loneliness still echo in her heart everyday as she still wears the dark garb, indicating mourning of her fiancé. When she discovers a large, intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow, something deep inside Beth’s soul responds and she wants to help the unknown artist find homes for his work–including Lizzy’s dry goods store. But she doesn’t know if her bishop will approve of the gorgeous carving or deem it idolatry.
Lizzy sees the changes in her niece when Beth shows her the woodworking, and after Lizzy hunts down Jonah, the artist, she is all the more determined that Beth meets this man with the hands that create healing art. But it’s not that simple–will Lizzy’s elaborate plan to reintroduce her niece to love work? Will Jonah be able to offer Beth the sleigh ride she’s always dreamed of and a second chance at real love–or just more heartbreak?
Cindy Woodsmall has done it again! This is the 2nd book I've read of hers in the last couple of months and this author does NOT disappoint! I love her Amish novels. She gives such a refreshing look at their way of life in a fictional setting.
So often the Amish community seems oppressive and oftentimes cruel if you're not the Bishop. Not in Cindy's novels. The Sound of Sleigh Bells once again reflects what the rest of the world struggles with: feeling like we've done something so bad we can't be forgiven, past hurts, anger, etc. But with Cindy, she has a wonderful balance with her characters knowing what's right, but still struggling with their sin nature.
We meet Lizzy who has never married and has carried around the weight of that since her 20's. Now she sees her niece Beth heading in the same direction, although Beth had expected to get married. Lizzy and Beth work closely together and allows for Lizzy to see things the rest of the family & community doesn't.
Lizzy so desperately wants Beth to move on with her life she begins concocting ways to help. Yes, an Amish woman sneaking around! That's one of the elements I enjoyed in this novel. I also liked the humor that's portrayed along with some sarcasm, two things you rarely find in Amish novels.
Jonah is a flawed man, but has a sweet love for the Lord. His life hasn't been easy, but he's making the best of what he has, especially after Lizzy and Beth enter his life. The "old man" finds himself working with his hands again, and it seems to have breathed new life into him, along with the women who have recently entered his life.
I'd like to thank Liz at Multnomah Books, a division of Random House, for my copy and giveaway copy of The Sound of Sleigh Bells. Visit their site to learn more about this book and any others.
Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and The New York Times Best-Seller When the Soul Mends. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families. A mother of three sons and two daughters-in-law, Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of thirty-one years.
For a chance to enter this giveaway, let me know what one of your favorite winter activities is. Since I'm not a wintery kind of girl, especially here in Minne'snow'ta, I'll have to say curling up with a book and reading. I know, no big surprise there! I suppose if I had a snowmobile ("sled" in MN terms) I'd be doing that!
Leave your email address along with your comment. Open to US residents 18 and older. Void where prohibited. Giveaway ends Oct 20, 10pm CST. Winner drawn randomly by Top Hat software.