cover image A Christmas Haven

A Christmas Haven

Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall. WaterBrook, $14.99 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-0-5256-5329-5

The Woodsmalls (The Gift of Christmas Past), a mother- and daughter-in-law, offer an enjoyable romance that examines the differences in conservative sects of the Amish faith. In rural Pennsylvania, Ivy Zook is eager to leave the old order Amish life behind. She and her Englisher friend Tegan run a party planning business and have plans to share an apartment, but Ivy’s heartbroken mother convinces her to stay for six months, until after her older sister Holly’s wedding and their Christmas celebration. In a concurrent storyline, Arlan Keim is a devout member of the ultra-conservative Swartzentruber Amish. When his parents refuse to get medical care for his ill, pregnant, and unmarried sister, Magda, Arlan disobeys the rules of his family and buys a car to escape with her. However, his plan goes awry when he crashes his car into the pharmacy where Holly works. After getting care for Magda, Holly takes Arlan and Magda home with her and offers to let Magda, who is a couple months pregnant, stay with her until the baby is born. Magda is thrilled, but Arlan fears she will be tempted by Holly’s comfortable way of life. Arlan soon finds himself tempted, as well, as he develops a close relationship with Ivy and longs for the close family relationship the Zooks share. The Woodsmalls’ lovely Christmas tale, concerned with universal themes of home and family, is a fit for any season. [em](Sept.) [/em]