Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (October 6, 2009)
"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? "
My Thoughts: When Beth and Jonah began exchanging letters, each thinking the other person was someone else, they both were not afaid to show their vulnerable side. Beth and Jonah both shared such deeply personal thoughts which helped the other person to see who they really were inside. But when Beth finds out about Lizzy's manipulations after Jonah shows up at a social given by Lizzy, she becomes very angry and wants nothing more to do with Jonah. Will Beth be able to let go of her pain and anger and see that Aunt Lizzy has her best interests at heart or will Lizzy's deception ruin her original matchmaking scheme?
This book touched me in ways that at times I actually had tears in my eyes. The characters in this story came to life for me and I was immersed in their lives from the very beginning. Woodsmall can get right into her characters' hearts and souls with the ability to easily convey those feelings to the reader.Woodsmall has the knack to engage the reader very early on with her little hints of mystery behind Beth's heartache. I couldn't wait to find out what happened and so read the book in two sittings. Even though the story is reasonably short ( just 194 pages of actual story) it packs an emotional wallop. I cried and I rejoiced at this simple but wonderful story. The Amish aspect of the book was not only educational but extremely interesting to me. The book has a Christian theme to it; but it is handled like pleasant low background music, not blaring in-your-face noise. A thoroughly enjoyable read that I would highly recommend to fans of Christian fiction, romance and family stories.
Author Bio: Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and The New York Times Best-Seller When the Soul Mends. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families. A mother of three sons and two daughters-in-law, Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of thirty-one years. Cindy has a wonderful website with chances to win one of her books and/or a handmade quilt.
A big thank you to Elizabeth from Multnomah/Random House for inviting me to take part in the tour and for the review copy. For more info on The Sound of Sleigh Bells and options for purchasing on line, please visit Random House.