Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Amish Christmas at North Star Book Review

Four Stories of Love & Family

REVIEW:  One night four lives entered the world by the hands of an Amish midwife on the edge of North Star, Pennsylvania.  Rebekah's Babies, as they were called, are now adults, and in four heartwarming novellas each person experiences a journey of discovery, the possibility of love, and the wonder of Christmas.
Guiding Star by Katie Ganshert
     Curiosity gets the best of Englischer Chase Wellington when he investigates the twenty-five-year-old disappearance of an Amish baby.  When he finds adventurous Elle McAllister in Iowa, will his revelations upend her world?

Mourning Star by Amanda Flower
     Eden Hochstetler slips from her parents' shop to investigate the death of her friend Isaac.  Who is guilty?  Isaac's handsome great-nephew Jesse, an angry Englischer, or someone else?

In the Stars by Cindy Woodsmall
     Heartbroken Kore Detweiler avoids North Star after Savilla Beiler rejects his love.  But when he is unexpectedly called home, he and Savilla must join forces to keep a family together.

Star of Grace by Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark
     Andy Danner left North Star to join a new Amish settlement in Mississippi.  His little brother devises a scheme to bring Andy home for Christmas and unwittingly unleashes the power of forgiveness in a reclusive widower's life.

REVIEW:  These stories were so enjoyable to read.  I love how they all fit together very well and especially loved the Epilogue at the end.  My favorite is probably Guiding Star.  Elle knew she was adopted but was surprised to find out about her birth family.  Chase's investigation and gentle assurance helped her when she met them and learned more about herself and them.  I love the forgiveness she had for her birth father and how her Amish family accepted her and loved her right from the start.
     Eden from Mourning Star was a sweet friend.  As she mourned for Isaac, when she found out about the questionable circumstances surrounding his death, she wanted to honor him and his memory and find out the truth.  My favorite part is how the identity of the true culprit was finally revealed.
     My heart went out to Savilla and all she had to endure.  Her part of the story was totally unexpected and surprising but I wished she would have told Kore and not hid what had happened.  I loved how she and Kore worked together to keep the Adler children safe and protected while their parents were away, even though it was very difficult for them.  Kore's taking his brothers to task for their treatment of Savilla was very admirable and welcome.
     The story of Star of Grace seemed more about Andy's brother Sam and Vincent and the grace and forgiveness that was found.  Andy and Nellie's story seemed secondary but I enjoyed it.  The changes in both Sam and Vincent shows just how far a little kindness, determination, and forgiveness can go.
     This book was very pleasurable and entertaining.

This book was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah and Blogging for Books 
for review without compensation.
Katie Ganshert worked as a fifth-grade teacher for several years before staying home to write full-time.  She lives with her family in the Midwest.  Visit her website at
Amanda Flower, a three-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, also writes as national best-selling author Isabella Alan.  In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.  Visit her website at

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author who has written seventeen works of fiction and one work of non-fiction.  Visit her website at

Mindy Starns Clark is the best-selling author of more than twenty-five books, both fiction and non-fiction.  She has received numerous honors, including two Christy Awards, an Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and RT Book Reviews Magazine's Career Achievement Award.  Visit her website at

Emily Clark is currently an MFA Creative Writing candidate at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, where she was awarded a merit-bases writing fellowship. She was also the recipient of Eastern University's Thyra Ferre Bjorn Creative Writing Award, which is given to the graduating senior "with the greatest writing potential."  She is the daughter of Mindy Starns Clark. 

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