About the book:
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?
I had no idea that I would ever like an author's books this much. Ever since I read her first series (Sisters of the Quilt) earlier this year, I literally cannot wait to get my hands on her newest offering. Cindy's books have a way of touching me like few authors can. The characters she creates are so real and believable that I feel like I know them, and the circumstances those characters face provide lessons for everyone, even if you're not Amish.
While this was a much shorter story than her normal books, it was fascinating to read more about the business lifestyle of the Amish. Quite honestly, I was very surprised that two women were allowed to run a dry goods store in their local community, as well as Beth traveling to other small towns to do business. I also enjoyed that most of the storyline played out in the letters that were sent back and forth between Beth and Jonah. Even though this book could have just been a "sweet" story because it is so short, Cindy found a way to add depth to the story and give the reader something to think about.
Trust me, if you haven't hopped on the Amish bandwagon yet, you cannot go wrong if you start reading Cindy's books first. I've read several Amish stories by other authors, and Cindy Woodsmall is by far the best. Her books will keep you turning the pages well into the night, and you won't be able to stop reading until the book ends. For me now, it's just a matter of waiting for her next book....I am just not a patient person!
Many thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah for sending me a copy of The Sound of Sleigh Bells to review!