Kindle Price: $7.99

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Flip to back Flip to front
Audible Narration Playing... Paused   You are listening to a sample of the Audible narration for this Kindle book.
Learn more

An Amish Christmas: A Novel Kindle Edition

70 customer reviews

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
$7.99
Paperback
"Please retry"
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$45.00

Length: 258 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Audible Narration
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration with Whispersync for Voice. Add narration for a reduced price of $6.99 when you buy the Kindle book.
Audible Narration: Ready

The Battle Plan for Prayer
The Battle Plan for Prayer
Inspired by the Kendrick Brothers’ new movie, War Room, in theaters August 28.Learn more

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Cynthia Keller lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

“You’re looking a little pathetic there, Mom.”

As her daughter, Lizzie, entered the kitchen, the words startled Meg from her reverie. Leaning on both elbows at the kitchen’s butcher-block island, she’d been staring, unseeing, at the large tray of untouched cookies before her. She reached up to remove the tall witch’s hat she’d been wearing for the past two hours, and set it down beside the tray.

“They’re such cute cookies, aren’t they?” Meg asked her daughter in a wistful voice. “Not one trick-or-treater this year. I can’t believe it.”

Lizzie, her laptop computer tucked under one arm, paused to stare at her mother’s handiwork. “Dude, how long did it take you to make all these? They’re insane.”

“Don’t call me ‘dude,’” Meg responded automatically. “I thought it would be fun to try something different. It wasn’t a big deal.”

She had no intention of confessing to her fifteen-year-old how long the process had taken. After finally locating the correct chocolate cookies—the ones with the hollow centers—she had used icing to “glue” chocolate Kisses, points up, into the middles, then she’d painstakingly drawn hatbands and bows with a tiny tube of red icing. The result was rows and rows of miniature witch hats. Adorable. They would end up being tossed into the bottomless pits that were the stomachs of her thirteen-year-old son, Will, and his friends.

“Honestly, why do you bother?” Lizzie’s muffled voice came from inside their walk-in pantry closet. Meg knew her daughter was grabbing her favorite evening snack, two Pop-Tarts that she would eat right out of the foil package. “No one cares. It’s stupid.”

Meg quietly sighed. Maybe it was stupid to hang the tissue ghosts from the trees in their front yard. To carve the jack-o’-lantern that was the centerpiece of the arrangement on the front steps, with hay, gourds, stuffed scarecrow, and all. Okay, so Lizzie and Will were too old for the giant figures of witches and goblins that she’d taped on the windows. Lizzie was at some in-between stage, too cool to trick-or-treat but probably looking forward to next year, when some of the kids would have driver’s licenses. Meg anticipated there would be parties at different houses, no doubt with alcohol involved; She wasn’t looking forward to that phase. Will had also declined going from house to house this year, preferring to goof around with his buddies on someone’s driveway basketball court. But she’d thought Sam, her nine-year-old, might still have gotten a kick out of her decorations. Wrong. He never appeared to notice them, and he’d barely made it through a half hour of ringing doorbells before declaring he’d had enough of this holiday. What on earth had happened to Halloween being so much crazy fun, the way it was when she was a child? Didn’t kids know how to enjoy a holiday anymore? Besides, she was cutting back on the fuss; in the past, she would have spent hours baking cookies for trick-or-treaters. This year she had simply combined premade ingredients.

Lizzie, armed with her snack, left the room as the jarring noise of the garage door opening announced that Meg’s husband was home. She watched James enter and set down his briefcase in the mudroom before coming toward her. He looked exhausted. As the top in-house legal counsel to a large software corporation, he more than earned his salary. Somehow he managed to withstand endless pressure, maintain constant accessibility, and coolly handle one crisis after another. And those were only a few of his job requirements, it seemed to her.

Pulling off his suit jacket, he gave Meg a perfunctory kiss on the cheek.

“Happy Halloween,” Meg said brightly.

“Ummm.” His attention was already on the day’s mail, which he retrieved from its customary spot on one of the counters. He was frowning as he flipped through the envelopes.

“Something wrong?”

“Too many bills, Meg.” He sounded angry. “Too many bills. It’s got to stop.”

She didn’t reply. In eighteen years of marriage, James had rarely complained about their bills. Sure, he wasn’t thrilled with paying private school tuition for three children, but it was something he and Meg both wanted to do. Beyond that, it was understood between them and even among their friends that his wife was the saver and he was the spender.

Meg had always understood that things were important to her husband. It was he who purchased the designer suits, their fancy watches, her expensive jewelry. It was he who booked the first-class vacations. He was the one, in fact, who chose this enormous house. Even with three children, Meg had no idea why they needed five thousand square feet in one of the most expensive sections of Charlotte.

It was clear that growing up with very little had left a psychological scar on James that he tried to cover up with material trappings. She didn’t like it, but she understood. That was what he needed to feel comfortable. He didn’t brag or rub his success in anyone’s face. Still, it was as if he had to have more of everything just to feel he was level with everyone else.

Recently, though, he seemed to have undergone a change in thinking. He had started complaining regularly about everything she and the children spent.

“Are you hungry?” Meg moved to open the refrigerator door.

He slapped the mail back down on the counter. “I mean it! The spending has to stop. We need to batten down the hatches.”

She turned back to him. “You’re right,” she said soothingly. “We will—the hatches, I mean, and the battening. Now, can I get you something to eat?”

“I don’t want anything,” he snapped. “I’ll be in my study.”

Meg stared after him. Aside from his sudden financial prudence, he had been uncharacteristically irritable for a while now. And it had been getting worse, she realized, not better. She heard the door to his study slam shut. James was typically calm, even in a crisis. Especially in a crisis, she amended. That was one of the things she loved about him.

They met as sophomores at the University of Illinois in a nineteenth-century American history class. Meg happened to sit next to him one day early in the semester. When he began to juggle a pen, an assignment pad, and an empty soda can, it made her laugh. She grew more interested in him when he was the only one in class who was able to discuss all the major battles of the Civil War before the reading had even been assigned.

Their relationship had started out as more of a friendship. A little teasing back and forth led to some shared coffees, then pizza while studying for the final exam. Slowly, their connection grew and deepened. James proved to be a stabilizing influence on the flighty, directionless girl Meg had been. She had admired his strength, his solidness—not the physical kind but the kind that made her feel cared for and safe. Of course, she reflected with a smile, she hadn’t minded that he was tall and broad-chested, with thick sandy-colored hair and large dark eyes whose intent gaze made her feel she was the most important person in the room.

By the end of junior year, it was clear to both of them that marriage would follow on the heels of graduation. While he went to law school, she set up their first apartment and helped support them by working in a boring but well-paying job as an administrative assistant. The plan had always been for Meg to go to law school once James had a job, but then she got pregnant with Lizzie, and that was that. Which was perfectly fine with Meg. She wouldn’t trade one minute of time with her three children for anything in the world. Working would have been impractical for her, anyway, since they had moved to three different states over the years because of on the series of job offers that came James’s way. His drive and early success meant their lives were far more than comfortable. She and the children had everything they could ever need and more.

Maybe too much more.

She heard her older son coming downstairs—his feet, as usual, clomping rapidly rather than just walking. He was talking, his voice growing louder as he approached. “That is so sick, man!”

Meg rolled her eyes, understanding this to be high praise for whatever it was Will was discussing. She called out to him.

He stuck his head in the kitchen. He was slender and noticeably tall for an eighth-grader, with a face remarkably like his father’s. Will wore a dark-gray sweatshirt, his face nearly hidden in its hood. “Hang on,” he said to the room in general. “My mom, yeah.”

Meg understood that he was using a hands-free phone. No doubt it was the newest, tiniest, most advanced gadget available. She swore that half the time she didn’t know if her children were talking—or listening, for that matter—to her, to one another, or to someone else entirely on a cell phone or computer. Much to her chagrin, her husband aided and abetted the children’s desire to be up on the latest electronic everything. It seemed as if he came home every other week with an updated version of some gizmo or other. The stuff just kept changing, rendering the previous purchases obsolete, but no one besides her seemed to mind. Though lately, she reflected, she hadn’t seen the usual parade of new electronic toys, so perhaps James had heeded her protests.


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3154 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (October 26, 2010)
  • Publication Date: October 26, 2010
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003F3PK7M
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #565,515 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Amy Leemon VINE VOICE on October 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The beginning of this book is chaotic with images of a family totally consumed with pursuing the American dream. James is always at work and 2 of the children, Lizzie and Will, are totally obnoxious. Sam who is 9 is nervous and fearful. Meg tries to hold it all together but that proves impossible when she finds that James actually was fired months ago and was only pretending to go to work. He then invested all of their money in a scheme which fell through. They have lost everything, including their house. They are out of options and will have to go to live with Meg's very difficult parents.

But the rest of the book is a peaceful, gentle read. On the way to Homer, New York with all their belongings in the car with them, they have an accident and an Amish family takes them in. The differences between this unhappy crazed family and the gentle Amish is dramatic. It will take at least a week for their car to be fixed and somehow they will have to adjust to a life where even electricity is a luxury they don't have.

I felt a sense of peace reading this book. The gentleness and warmth and inner happiness of the Amish shone through. It all seemed very real to me.

This book is a keeper.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
What seems like centuries ago, but was really decades, ladies' magazines routinely published holiday stories much in the vein of An Amish Christmas, albeit with fewer words. Though it can be read in a couple of sittings, this is a cautionary tale of Americans living beyond their means and losing the souls of their children in the bargain. Meg Hobart is a full-time mother who makes color-coded lists of her children's schedules and buries her head in the sand when faced with family finances. Her husband, James, is a powerhouse, handsome, driven, proving for his family far beyond what is necessary- until it's all gone. Through a series of bad decisions, the family's entire financial foundation drops away, yielding bickering teenagers, a furious wife and an intractable future with scornful, I-told-you-so in-laws.

An accident in Pennsylvania propels the tribe into the bosom of an Amish family, whose old world values are a sharp contrast to the Hobart's method of conflict resolution. Although Lizzie, 15, and Will, 13, react predictably to their "confinement" in another century, Nine-year-old Sam easily adapts as Meg and James face one another without the material cushion to deflect her rage or his obtuse denial. Like a warm blanket, the troubles of modern life are folded into the simple lifestyle and easy camaraderie of the Lutz family, a chance for renewal and reinvention for the ailing Hobarts.

Ignoring Meg's complicity in the disaster and the horrendous behavior of the spoiled teens, An Amish Christmas is about second chances, transcending the chains of materialism in favor of a more substantial future.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dianne E. Socci-Tetro TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
An Amish Christmas by Cynthia Keller

If you think that this book is going to be like the numerous other Amish themed books with a bent towards a Godly message, you would be wrong. I was expecting that when I read this that some preaching would find its way into this book. It never did, and I must say that the message I did get from this book was not just to trust one's God, but to trust and put faith in your fellow man.

"An Amish Christmas" starts simply enough with a story that is all too common these days, with a family not only on the brink of losing it all, but who HAS lost it all. With a husband that lies, two selfish, spoiled children, and a mother who just has to keep up appearances no matter what the clues leading up to this loss is telling her. Once they have hit rock bottom they will be forced to find refuge with Meg's parents. While driving their classic Mustang to upstate New York they take a side trip to Pennsylvania, have a car accident and are forced to take refuge with an Amish family while their car is being repaired.

Of course because this is a Christmas story we can expect and do get the "happily ever after" that the Hobart`s so desperately need, but the fun in this novel is the way they got there. There was no miraculous epiphany for anyone. Meg still cannot forgive her husband for getting them in this mess, the children do not fall over themselves adapting to the Amish lifestyle, and James cannot let go of his guilt.

"An Amish Christmas" was one of the most interesting Christmas books I have read in a long time. The characters were written with a lot of realism, I felt the angst and pain of Meg's coming to terms with her husband, her frustration over her children's self-centeredness and I rejoiced with her when this book came to a most unusual conclusion.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth G. Melillo on October 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'll admit that just reading the first chapter gave me the (incorrect) impression that these characters would wind one into a knot. Wealthy, materialistic, spoilt, and shallow, the family irritated me immensely. Today, with so many people in financial straits, the tragedy they face is all too common - yet I had (again incorrectly) expected a tale of miraculous transformation, where they would not want any but the simplest life. We are all so busy playing at that we want nothing now that I doubt that would be appealing. :)

I have read other books on Amish themes recently, and this one stands out in that, though the gentle and generous Amish characters indeed are of help to the main characters, there is no magical transformation. The characters are believable, their progress (and setbacks) understandable and realistic.

Though it is not a great literary work, and the style of writing seems more 'young adult' than classic, the combination of depth and simplicity make this a fine work to place in a book lover's stocking this Christmas.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in