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?
What I thought:
Cindy Woodsmall’s most recent offering of ‘The Sound of Sleigh Bells’ further secures her place as a favoured Amish Fiction author with the gentle tenderness of this beautiful story. This seemingly ‘easy read’ and mere 194 pages belies the depth of the message contained within.
Cindy delicately unfurls the inner turmoil Beth suffers after withstanding deep personal tragedy. I was deeply touched by Beth’s story and was eager to discover the secret that holds her in a state of mourning and inability to move beyond her deep wounds. None of us travel through life unscathed by its difficulties, but throughout ‘The Sound of Sleigh Bells’, Cindy demonstrates the value of people who are willing to be open with us when we’re stuck in those dark places. Lizzy was willing to go to any length, even suffering Beth’s wrath, to see that her niece would experience healing. Beth’s driver, Gloria, was lovingly honest with Beth when dispensing advice. Finally, Jonah was prepared to pursue a relationship with Beth in a manner that went beyond his own desires and provided evidence of his deeper desire also for Beth’s healing and wellbeing.
Throughout ‘The Sound of Sleigh Bells’ I was reminded that God cares even more deeply for our wellbeing and goes far beyond what we are able to imagine for ourselves. Indeed He pours out His abundant mercy, grace and love in ways that we could never dream possible and we experience immeasurably enriched lives.
With thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah for the Tracy’s review copy
Guest reviewer:~ My friend Tracy from Beyond My Picket Fence
Relz Reviewz Extras
Enter Cindy’s Amish quilt contest for continental US & Canadian residents
I have a copy of The Sound of Sleigh Bells to giveaway to one of my Aussie readers ~ my final giveaway for 2009! To enter, please leave a comment by Thursday 31st December, 2009 and be sure you have an Aussie postal address