Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Review: A Lancaster County Christmas

A Lancaster County Christmas by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Publication Date: September 2011
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Genre: Christian Fiction, Inspirational
Pages: Hardcover, 208pp
ISBN-13: 9780800719951
ISBN: 0800719956

(Received for an honest review from Revell Books)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository,, IndieBound

Suzanne Woods Fisher on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter

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Excerpt from A Lancaster County Christmas (Courtesy of


Mattie Riehl was hoping to give her husband, Sol, the Christmas gift they have both longed for - news that a baby was on the way. But as usual, she is disappointed. The holidays bring an acute awareness to Mattie that her dream of a big Amish family isn't likely to become a reality. Will those empty chairs at the table ever be filled?

Then a winter storm raging outside blows an impatient young woman and her husband into the Riehl home on Christmas Eve - and into a much slower pace of life.

Both couples are about to find out if they can weather the storm - and if miracles happen at Christmastime.


This is the perfect holiday book for the frantic Christmas season. It's short, but very thought provoking. A Lancaster County Christmas by Suzanne Woods Fisher continues the authors quest to make the Amish lifestyle both more accessible and easier to glean wisdom from. What do you do when God's plans don't match up with your expectations?

Mattie and Sol Riehl want nothing more this Christmas than another child. Mattie is losing hope after several miscarriages and she longs to fill her family table with children. Their son Danny is a joy to them and everyone he meets, but surely there will be more... Married couple Jamie and C.J. are not faring much better. Their chaotic pace of life is leaving them close to divorce and unable to see the love they once had for each other. Jamie longs for the love and guidance she needs from a father, that just may not be able to give it. A snow storm is the catalyst that both families need to seek God and his ultimate plan for their lives. Even when it isn't what they expected.

Suzanne Woods Fisher once again gives readers a heartwarming story set in Amish country. Using characters from her very popular novel, The Choice, the author is able to create a sense of the familiar with readers. These are characters most of them already know and will love to hear more about. She also introduces the English couple, C.J. and Jamie, who need to slow down a little bit and smell the roses. Their fast pace of life is killing their relationship, but C.J. has faith that they still have a chance and their Christmas experience with the Riehl's will make an indelible mark on both families. I loved the interaction between the Amish family and the English family. It did not come across as contrived, but very natural and plausible. A snowstorm is definitely a way that two families who may not have met any other way could possibly come together. 

Woods Fisher has a knack for showing the Amish and their beliefs in a very understanding way and I think that's one of the things that makes her writing so appealing. The way she is able to show that you don't have to be Amish to learn from their faith and beliefs. I like the simpler pace of life she describes and wish I could have more of that in my own life and I think most readers will feel that way at some point when reading her work. In A Lancaster County Christmas this idea is explored, as well as, understanding that what we want may not always be what God wants and accepting that is key to a good relationship with Him. I thought the author explored these ideas well in the time she had with this book and I think it is just perfect for the fast paced Christmas season.

A great holiday book for the coming season. It may be just starting into fall, but winter is right around the corner. This is book would be great for cuddling up in front of the fire or listening to the rain drum on the roof. A very relaxing and pleasant read, full of wisdom and understanding.

Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Choice, The Waiting, and The Search, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. her interest in the Anabaptist culture can be directly traced to her grandfather, W.D. Benedict, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Benedict eventually became publisher of Christianity Today magazine. Suzanne is the host of a radio show called Amish Wisdom, and her work has appeared in many magazines. She lives in California.