Young Amish woman, Annie Yoder became a nurse during her time of *rumspringa. Upon returning from her time with the *Englishers , she married herbalist, Samuel Yoder. As the book opens, we find them tending to the medical needs of the Amish community and awaiting the birth of their first child. Annie's close friend and sister-in-law, Leah, is also expecting her first child. Leah's pregnancy is more uncomfortable as she is carrying twins. Before long she runs into trouble - the twins are threatening pre-mature birth. She must go miles away to the hospital where doctors can delay to birth until the *bopplin are able to survive. Leah would be far away from family so Annie travels with her to stay until the birth.
As Annie and Leah sat in the hospital, they filled the time with prayer and conversation while they worked on a quilt Annie had begun for the twins. As the women hand-stitched each block, either a Sunbonnet Sue or an Overall Sam, one of them told a story of someone who had touched their heart. Each story related to a fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5 - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. What a treasure this quilt must have been. Stitched into it was not only the sentiment of a caring friend but the memories each heart-warming story.
The Christmas Quilt, by Vannetta Chapman, is an intimate look into Amish culture and into the lives of Annie and Leah's extended families. We see the mature love of Samuel and Annie as they provided wisdom. We see the young love of Adam and Leah being stretched by the stress brought on by a difficult pregnancy. As I became involved in their stories, I found that it was a peaceful and safe place to be. The families faced stressful situations, as any family does. Each problem was faced with the strength of friendship and faith in *Gotte.
When I began the book, I was not aware that it is the second in a series called Quilts of Love. It is an excellent stand-alone novel. Back-story was artfully woven throughout so that I never felt left in the dark. It did, however, leave me longing to look for the first of the series, A Simple Amish Christmas.
*Rumspringa- running around; the time before a young person has officially joined the church. A bridge between childhood and adulthood.
*Englisher - non-Amish person
*Bopplin - babies
*Gotte - God
For more Amish words and translations, check out the back of The Christmas Quilt.
Vannetta Chapman discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather's birthplace in Albion, Pennsylvania. She is the author of five books about the Amish community. She has published more than one hundred articles in Christian family magazines.
I received a copy of this book from Vannetta Chapman in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
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Christmas Memories by Lynne Waite Chapman