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Friday, December 16, 2011

Amish Story~"A Lancaster Co. Christmas" by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Published by:  Revell/Baker Publishing Group
Pages:  191, and Discussion Questions
Genre:  Fiction, Inspirational

Introduction of Author:

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 cultures 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.

Book in a Nutshell:
Are you as curious about the Amish as I am?  It seems I've had a sense of awe about them and what seems their secretive ways.  A couple of my children went to small, private colleges near Lancaster County (Dickinson and Gettysburg), affording me an opportunity to visit the Amish villages,  and see their farms once in a while.  Since I stopped to shop in their small town, I was a heartbeat away from these gentle people whose nearly downcast eyes and shy smiles felt like gifts to me as they passed by. My spirit was lifted just be being around them.   Although, I'll never forget nearly crashing into a buggy with my too- fast-moving sports car one afternoon...an English lady not paying attention to what I was doing!

The Quilt Museum in Lancaster County is a display of the most astonishing quilts I've ever seen.  With simple, unpatterned cotton in every hue, Amish women have created quilts that flash and vibrate.  It's truly other-worldly.  I've never experienced anything like it.  The juxtaposition of colors makes your eyes "play tricks" on you so that the quilts actually sparkle!  Such is the plain life of these people~they quietly sparkle in their simplicity. And lest one think their clothing is too plain, it's amazing how inventive women can be with plain, beautifully colored cotton and cotton blends...no zippers or buttons included.

In "A Lancaster County Christmas" Susanne Woods Fisher brings us a story of such an outwardly simple, plain Amish couple with one cherished son, who meets and takes in a young "Englisher" couple in trouble.  The couple is in trouble both physically, as their car is disabled in a raging snowstorm, and in that their marriage is on the brink of divorce. 

Through this story during the weekend of Christmas, we learn about loss and love, the meaning of friendship and faith, family and following the light we've been given.  We also learn that whether Amish or not, people are the same in their life-struggles and in their feelings of insecurity and pain.

The theme of the book, "Emmanuel (God) with us" reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas.  That He came down to be with us. It's the reminder that we would not always find life to be perfect and without struggles, but that we would have the promise that He would always be by our sides~with us~and He would never fail us through it all. It's a story that's simple and, yet, so complex to grasp. 

 "A Lancaster County Christmas" is a book that leads us along the path to understanding the importance of real communication.  I loved the story of the two couples, of how they saw the similarities in the troubles they had to deal with, how they gave each other hope and strength.  It's a book that's gentle to read, and a book that leaves you stronger for the reading.  A sit down between cookie baking novel...
May you know that Emmanuel is with you this Christmas.

Recommended for now through January--and beyond.
4 winter stars



I went to college near an Amish community like your children and enjoyed being around this interesting community of people. This looks like a wonderful Christmas story that I would enjoy. Thanks for the great review!


Hi Deb! Loved, loved, loved your review of "Lancaster County Christmas." Thank you for reading it and writing up such a thoughtful summary. Smiled at the near-buggy-collision! And enjoyed your observation of Amish quilts. Btw...my great-grandmother's house was in Gettysburg! The Price House--became Eisenhower's White House in the 50s and is part of the National Park now. My great-grandmother was Alice Price. Thank you again, Deb! Merry Christmas! Warmly, Suzanne Woods Fisher

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