About the Book
Book: A Christmas Haven
Series: An Amish Christmas Romance #2
Author: Cindy Woodsmall & Erin Woodsmall
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
Old Order Amish Ivy Zook is wrestling with her need to shed her community’s ways so she can grow the business of her dreams: planning parties. As long as she’s stuck living without modernization, she can barely get her business on its feet. But if she leaves too soon, she’d cause trouble for her sister, Holly, who is planning her wedding to Joshua Smucker. All of their plans become twice as complicated when an old car crashes into the storefront of Greene’s Pharmacy, carrying a Swartzentruber (ultra-conservative sect) Amish man, Arlan, and his very ill sister.
The Zooks take in Arlan and Madga, tending to the woman’s illness and Arlan begins helping around the family farm. Ivy and Arlan are on different tracks, one wanting to leave her community and the other to return to his. But both young people are trying to discover what God has in store for their futures and what miracles might lie around the corner this Christmas season.
I believe wholeheartedly that God puts us exactly where He wants us to be, and God NEVER makes mistakes. So, if God puts us where we are supposed to be and He never makes mistakes, why do those places sometimes feel like a prison? In A Christmas Haven by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall, Ivy Zook and Arlen Keim deal with this notion of being trapped in the wrong place. In Ivy’s case, she feels trapped by her stifling Amish community. She has a plan and believes God made her to fulfill this plan, but she cannot see how her God-ordained future can be fulfilled in a community with so many rules. Arlen comes from a very, very strict order of Amish called the Swartzentrubers. When he meets Ivy under very scary circumstances, Arlen is immediately disturbed by how free and worldly Ivy and her Old Order Amish community is. He knows God put him in this community for a time in order to help his sister, but Arlen can’t help but feel stuck in the wrong place.
Both Ivy and Arlen believe God is in charge of their steps but they really struggle with where God’s physically planted them. Over time, though, both Ivy and Arlen come to realize that following God’s purpose for their lives means letting God lead. God is the master planter for a reason. We need to be patient and we need to listen. God will always eventually show us why He’s planted us where we are at — even in those places that leave us feeling a bit trapped for a time. This was definitely a message I needed to hear again. I’ve felt a little stuck for a while now, but I know God’s got me where I’m at for a purpose. My job right now in the stuck time is to simply listen. God will explain things to me in His time just as He did for Ivy and Arlen.
A Christmas Haven is a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas novella. The characters are sweet, endearing, and very relatable. The plot is highly engaging. And the themes and issues that Ivy and Arlen wrestle with are things I felt I needed to tackle too. I really love this story and find I cannot recommend it enough. I hope you will purchase a copy today. You will not be disappointed you did!
I received a copy of this novella in paperback form from the publisher, Waterbrook Multnomah, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
I am giving away ONE (1) paperback copy of A Christmas Haven by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall. The giveaway begins today, 9-24-19 at 5:00 am (PST) and ends on Friday, 9-27-19 at 12:00 pm (PST). To enter, click on the Rafflecopter link below. Good luck!
Congrats to Kay G.!
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