Friday, September 23, 2011

‘A Lancaster County Christmas’ by Suzanne Woods Fisher – Book Review

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What a joy it is to read another book by Suzanne Woods Fisher! The latest to add to my list is ‘A Lancaster County Christmas.’

Here is the synopsis of this book:

Mattie Riehl was hoping to give her husband, Sol, the Christmas gift they had both longed for – news that a baby was on the way. But as usual, she is disappointed. The holidays bring an acute awareness to Mattie that her dream of a big Amish family isn’t likely to become a reality. Will those empty chairs at the table ever be filled?
Then a winter storm raging outside blows an impatient young woman and her husband into the Riehl home on Christmas Eve – and into a much slower pace of life.
Both couples are about to find out if they can weather the storm – and if miracles still happen at Christmastime.

Here is the biography of this author:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Choice, The Waiting, and The Search - the bestselling Lancaster County Secrets series. Her grandfather, W.D. Benedict, was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. He eventually became publisher of Christianity Today magazine. Her interest in living a simple, faith-filled life began with her Dunkard cousins.
Suzanne is also the author of Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World, and Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life, both finalists for the ECPA Book of the Year award. She is the host of Amish Wisdom, a weekly radio program on She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay area. When Suzanne isn’t writing or bragging to her friends about her new first grandbaby, she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne’s way of thinking…you just can’t take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone’s underwear in its mouth.

I love the fact that this book featured a character from one of Suzanne’s previous novels from the ‘Lancaster County Secrets’ series, ‘The Choice,’ Solomon Riehl! I often am felt wanting to know ‘the rest of the story’ – and this time, I was able to visit Solomon again. It was wonderful!

Another thing that I love about this book is the fact that I was so envious of the English woman, Jaime Fitzpatrick, being able to spend time with an Amish family. I have had a fascination with the Plain People since I was a child. I always have admired their faith and their dedication to family and friends. It would be a dream to spend time with them! So it was amazing to get an inside glimpse into their lives through the eyes of an outsider.

As usual, Suzanne’s story is full of interesting side plots. One of the most interesting to me was that involving Mattie’s cousin, Zach, who was contemplating leaving the Amish church in search of the intrigue of the outside world. It was fascinating to get inside his mind to see the reasoning behind his thought process on that major life change.

Suzanne shares the Gospel in all of her work, and this book is no exception. Here she glorifies God through an exchange between Mattie and Jaime. Here is Mattie’s perspective:

“I believe God reveals his loving nature in all kinds of wondrous ways. Every single day. From sunrises and sunsets, to the families he’s given to us to share this life, to---”…. “to birds and animals. To the greatest miracle of all – the birth of the Christ child, a holy God entering into his creation to redeem it. God’s perfect love is all around us, Jaime. But if you shut your eyes to all the light he has given to you, you can’t see the evidence of his love.” (p. 155)

Ultimately, both couples were enriched by meeting the other. They learned important truths from each other. Their meeting was definitely a divine appointment. Those are always wonderful when they happen!

I have had the joy and pleasure of reading several books by Suzanne - Book One in the Lancaster County Secrets’ series, ‘The Choice’ (you can read my review here), Book Two, ‘The Waiting’ (you can read my review here), Book Three, ‘The Search’ (you can read my review here), ‘Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life’ (you can read that review here) and ‘Amish Values for Your Family: What We Can Learn From the Simple Life' (you can read my blog post here). Not surprising, I loved this book! Suzanne is such a talented writer, and so creative! I believe Suzanne’s writing is a gift from God, and it is awesome that she uses that gift for His glory.

As has been the case in the past, I look forward to her next book, ‘The Keeper,' the first book in her Stoney Ridge Seasons series; it will be released in January, 2012. Thank you, Revell, for bringing more SWF books to us!

You can order this book here.

This book was published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. I am happy to be participating in the blog tour for this book through the LitFuse Group along with these other bloggers.


Suzanne said...

Oh Andrea--You are such a gem. We have to meet sometime! I need to take you out for a giant cup of coffee so we can talk and talk and talk. Thank you for your lovely write-up of ALCC, for the points you brought out, and for sharing YOUR talented writing ability with readers. So glad you were part of the blog tour! Hope you always will be on board! Warmly, Suzanne

Andrea Schultz said...

Hi Suzanne -
It is always a joy when a SWF title comes my way! And I would LOVE to meet you, too! Please keep me posted when you visit Revell's office or Amish country in Ohio; I will HAVE to make the trek!
Thanks for the extremely kind words - & I will ALWAYS be on board the SWF bandwagon!
Blessings -

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