A lovely 24-year-old Amish gal meets handsome widower with an adorable child; also Amish. Amish avoidance of electricity doesn't foil the spark of this love-at-first-sight affair. `Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house there is romance to bridle. All Amish--All Christmas--a novella that is all Amy Clipston writing style--which means home-spun visions of sugarplums.
It's a fast read (one day if you are retired like me) but about plain, slower ways of an Amish Christmas holiday. A Christmas in the Lancaster Co., PA community is slow-paced and family-friendly. Ya, perhaps that's the lesson to be "learnt" from this "wounderbaar" book. Christmas miracles come in new, second beginnings. A feel-good book for a feel-good holiday.
This cozy, snowy story, takes the reader at a horse's trot pace, total story time-line is but a single week including Christmas. First it offers you a glossary page of Amish terms/words (wounderbaar), and then a couple of pages of the large Amish family genealogy charts that represent the characters of the story. What a nice gift to begin with. Saves much confusion. The book ends with a Raspberry Dream Torte recipe, group discussion questions, acknowledgements including contact info for an Inn to visit in Lancaster Co. (hopefully on the Christ Child's Birthday there WILL be room in the inn.)
The book is not indicated to be one of the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series, but the Kauffman's, Shumucker's, King's, and Lapp's are all there in Bird-In-Hand just like the series. Promos in the book's endpages refer to the 4th series book coming in Feb. 2012; "A Life of Joy". In the meantime, find joy in this shorter Amish novella.
Another reviewer referred to errors found in the e-book variation. I found no errors in the HC I purchased. Cyberspace is not all it's cracked up to be? And isn't there something just morally wrong with reading an AMISH tale on an ELECTRONIC device? (Asked with tongue-in-whiskered-cheek. :)
Frehlicher Grischtdaag! - Merry Christmas!
on September 18, 2011
As fall is beginning to peak around the corner, some of the best books are just beginning to hit the bookshelves in time to get us in the Christmas spirit, and one of the best I've read belongs to Amy Clipston, who wrote, Naomi's Gift, An Amish Christmas Story. I've yet to read an Amish book, I didn't like and this one was such a true pleasure to read.
I could imagine life at Bird-In-Hand Pennsylvania, the crisp cold chill of snow in the air, settling under thick, gray clouds. Just in time to make it for Christmas, widower Caleb Schmucker and his young daughter, Susie come to visit his sister Sadie and her family. Just before arriving at their house, Susie reminds Caleb that it isn't proper to show up for a visit, without bringing something, and insists on visiting a local Farmer's Market to pick up a homemade pie.
Once they arrive inside the busy indoor market they both head for a small bakery and try to decide if they should buy apple or pumpkin pie. Just when Caleb looks down to ask Susie for her opinion, she is gone. Lost in the hustle and bustle of a busy market place, Susie is drawn to a quilt stand operated by Naomi King. She tells her that the quilts remind her of her own mother who died. Feeling a connection beyond sympathy with Susie, a friendly conversation begins between the two, as Caleb suddenly rushes up, grabbing Susie. He reminds her that she can't leave like that because he was so worried. Susie introduces him to Naomi and a warm connection flows between the two.
Now struggling to face his own personal feelings of getting over his grief for his wife Barbara, he is pulled in two directions. One by his sister Sadie's interference in finding him a "suitable" wife and the connection he feels whenever Susie and Naomi get together at their family home. This love story will warm your heart as you find yourself hoping that Caleb and Naomi will find true love, but will Caleb be able to leave the memories of his first love behind in Ohio to make a fresh start in Pennsylvania?
You'll have to read, Naomi's Gift to find out how this holiday story will end. One thing is certain is their faith in God has helped them weather their storms up to this point and they both know with God anything is possible, even the potential of a widower finding love again. I received this book compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. If you are an Amish fan or a lover of great Christmas stories, than this one will need to be placed at the top of your wish list. I personally rate it a 5 out of 5 stars and will be reading this each year during Christmas!
on September 13, 2011
I'm still working my way through this but just had to comment on the editing errors. I have the Kindle version and I'm not sure if this was double checked before being released but... . Someone desparetely needs to go in and recheck this for errors. I stayed up to midnight just so I could have one of the first ones for my time zone.
Please fix the errors so I can redownload a copy that I can read!
8 Nov 2011
Thanks for letting me that this was fixed. I was just able to redownload it. After checking it over rather quickly I'll go ahead and give it 5 stars.
on December 23, 2011
Naomi's Gift by Amy Clipston
I listened to this sweet novella while driving from Arizona to California for winter break.
Short, sweet and spirited, I couldn't help but love this book!
Naomi's Gift is the story of Naomi (go figure) who has been burned badly by love. She had her heart broken when her fiancé broke up with her for another woman, and then again when she chased after another man, almost shamefully so.
Naomi has given up on love. She believes that perhaps God means for her to live her life helping her mother raise her younger siblings. After all, what's so bad about being an old maid, really?
Then there is Caleb, a widower with a young daughter. His daughter is full of life and spirit but is clearly beginning to need some female influence around. It becomes more apparent during Caleb's visit to Pennsylvania to see his sister. His daughter is constantly asking for someone to teach her to quilt, and other womanly hobbies. Things Caleb just cannot teach her. But they are from Ohio and Caleb just isn't sure he should uproot his daughter and his life and move to Pennsylvania.
But then there is his meddlesome sister, determined to set Caleb up with an eligible young maiden. But the young woman she selects is indifferent at best, and rude and cold at worst to his daughter. How could he possibly find a match in a woman so uncaring towards his daughter?
And then there is Naomi, a fast friendship is blooming between his daughter and Naomi, and it awakens something in Caleb, something he thought he'd never feel again...
Will Naomi and Caleb find happiness? What is God's plan for them? Is Naomi meant to be an old maid, or does she have a future with a man, and if so, who? And what about Caleb? Is it God's plan for him to move back to Pennsylvania? Or keep his life where it is?
Read Naomi's Gift to find out!
What's not to love about this novella, really? It's sweet and in the spirit of Christmas!
I couldn't help but root for Naomi. I understand completely feeling downtrodden by love and having the belief that God may mean for you to end up an old maid. That's something that I fully understand because I feel that way about my own life often. So I instantly connected with her and could feel everything she was going through, especially since my fiancé too broke up with me suddenly.
And Caleb's love for his daughter was so warm and endearing. Having tragically lost his life in a horrible accident right around Christmastime, and having a full-time job now as a parent to his young daughter he is clearly determined to put her first. It's amazing today how few parents do so. And to see a man so selflessly dedicated to his daughter was endearing.
I think the author, Amy Clipston, does a wonderful job making her characters personable and believable. I have loved every book of hers that I have read thus far and look forward to the rest.
I easily give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. It warmed my heart with Christmas cheer. :)
on December 12, 2011
Naomi's Gift is the 4th book in the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. In earlier books, we've watched Naomi pursue, and have her heart broken by, two different Amish men. In this novella, Naomi has grown up a bit, but has decided that God doesn't want her to marry or have a family of her own. When handsome widower Caleb and his cute daughter Susie arrive for a Christmas visit with his family, he and Naomi are thrown together and attracted to each other immediately. The story moves along nicely, and we learn about Amish Christmas traditions.
There are two negatives about this book. I never understood Sadie Kauffman's extreme interference and harsh attitude toward Naomi. Sadie's portrayed as a gossip, but her actions go way overboard. No motivation is really given. I began reading this book for a NetGalley review, then purchased the Kindle version to finish the book when the NetGalley version was archived. Both versions were full of double words followed by words being left out. I could guess the missing word, but it was very distracting.
The book included a recipe, family trees, discussion questions, and a list of Amish/English phrases.
If you're looking for a quick, cheerful Amish Christmas story to read during this busy holiday season, consider Noami's Gift.
With thanks to Zondervan via NetGalley for my review copy.
on October 13, 2015
Caleb, a widower, heads back home for the holidays. He meets Naomi at the farmer's market and they form a connection.
It was great to see how Naomi has grown and matured through the stories that Amy has told. I really felt like she had learned her lessons from past hurts and was trying to do it right this time. The story was full of twists and turns like I have come to expect from Amy's work and I was unhappy to have to stop reading. I even told one of the Dr's that I had to just finish one more page. That didn't sit well with him:).
Caleb and Naomi are meant for each other but it seemed like the harder they tried the more forces tried to pull them apart. Naomi's mother has doubts, Caleb's sister wants him to find a "proper wife", and Caleb's grief over the loss of his wife.
So what happens? Well you'll have to pick up a copy and read it for yourself!
on August 16, 2014
This special novella focuses on Naomi King.
I didn’t really notice her much until she began talking to Luke, bringing him lunch and… if she weren’t Amish, I’d say… she was flirting with disaster – ha!
But she couldn’t see that everyone thought she was behaving badly – making a spectacle of herself by flirting with Luke in front of the whole church district”
No one can say she didn’t try her best to convince Luke to court her… even when Luke tried to tell her she was wasting her time, she refused to listen – even to him!
Eventually, after Luke finally convinces Naomi that her feelings will never be returned and he has feelings for Sarah, Timothy notices her… and begins thinking she might just suit him after all.
So she gets involved with Timothy… I can tell that Naomi has grown up a bit and she really tries to act properly, but she really gets hurt by Timothy, who still loves Miriam, but thinks it’s hopeless and convinces himself that he should marry Naomi.
Talk about a mess!
To be fair, Timothy often feels that he’s being unkind to not share his true feelings with Naomi, but every time he tries, something stops him. Thankfully, Naomi finally realizes how he feels and she ends the relationship.
So now she’s stopped trying altogether! She’s made such a mess, she thinks she will be better off staying at home and helping out with her 8 younger brothers and sisters.
I like Naomi so much more in Naomi’s Gift… and when Caleb and Susie begin to care for her, I cheered!
Now if only Caleb and Susie can convince his sister to stop interfering… and convince Naomi’s mother that their feelings are true!
Amy Clipston does an awesome job of showing how Naomi has grown and matured, especially when Sadie, Irene and Irma treat her poorly. I enjoyed every moment of this novella and can’t wait until the next story, hoping to hear what happens to Naomi, as well as the main characters in the story!
If you’ve been reading this series, I’m certain you’ll enjoy Naomi’s Gift as much as I have. If you haven’t read it yet, be sure to get it – and don’t wait until Christmas to read it!
I can't believe that it's time to break out the Christmas books already. I mean technically summer JUST ended! I guess it's never too early though to get into the holiday spirit. And if you're into Amish books that have a romance in them this will be the type of combination that you will be looking forward to reading.
I felt horribly bad for Naomi when she tries to strike a friendship with Caleb and everyone keeps lambasting her for chasing the guy. They aren't concerned with her having her heart broken again. No, they are worried about how bad it's going to look for her to keep going after single guys. I was a bit appalled at how worrisome these Amish folks were on what other people were thinking. Caleb seems like a good guy and it's evident that he love his daughter very much. I was pleased to see him stand up to his sister.
I didn't find much Christmas in this story. It takes place in winter and it's around the holiday season but other than a few brief mentions, there's not too much of it in the actual story. I don't even think the Amish really participate in many Christmas-y activities to begin with so it doesn't really feel like there's much holiday joy in the air. Let's just say I didn't get excited for Christmas while reading this book. I also didn't really learn anything new about the Amish either in this book.
If you're into Amish books, you will probably enjoy this story. If you're looking for something to get you in the holiday spirit, this probably isn't the best book for that purpose. As a novella, it's a short story with the sole purpose of having two people come together to find love. Therefore it fulfills it's purpose with an Amish twist to it. If you're into that, you'll be very happy.
on November 28, 2011
This book is a must read for anyone that loves Amish fiction and Christmas stories. She does a wonderful job portraying the characters in the story,and a book the you wouldn't want to put down once you opened the front page.I would recommend to grab a steaming hot cup of cocoa,a cozy blanket, and some quiet time to enjoy this authors book.You will be glad you did.
on December 15, 2011
Naomi has been unlucky in love and in hot pursuit of the men she's longed for in untraditional ways, until Caleb comes to town with his daughter Susie. Susie is a great kid and the two of them form a friendship. Naomi finds herself wanting to be with Caleb, but she is constantly being reminded not to seek him out. He takes her out a few times and really starts to open up to her about his wife being killed before his eyes and allows himself to feel for Naomi. They each talk about finding love again. However, Caleb's sister is intenet on setting him up with Irene and pushes him away from Naomi telling him that she is too forward with men and isn't the right choice. Misunderstandings lead to falling outs and a near tragedy brings out the truth.
I really enjoy this series and the characters in them. I wish the book was longer, but being a novella they are short. There was so much more that could have been put into the book to make it a full novel, but it was still good. The story is layed out nicely, easy to connect with and I just flew through the pages. I'm sad that it's over already, but it's a series and there are more.