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 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.
Having lost all hope for the future, Beth is mourning the lose of her beau. She finds it hard to embrace any part of life. Images fade in and out of her memory leaving her confused. She suppresses everything and everyone behind her work and black. She puts up a wall to keep people out and her secret guarded. Beth allows her past as well as her future to be affected by her secret. Oh how she aches to be free from her past. Will she ever be free from the guilt of her secret? Will she ever be able to forgive herself? Will Christmas ever come to her life again?
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For Beth and Jonah the sight and sound of the sleigh triggered different responses. For one it brought memories of happiness, sounds of hope and love, and for the other it was a nightmare, with bad memories and haunting voices.
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