Monday, October 12, 2009
The Sound of Sleigh Bells: My Review
Have you ever had an internet friend, someone you've never met "IRL" but with whom you have exchanged emails, message board posts or blog comments? Have you ever talked to someone on the phone on a business capacity over a long period of time, and developed a picture of that person in your mind, but, when you met, found that you were all wrong? In a very general way, that experience is what happens in this book.
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?
I enjoyed this short novel, which has a heartwarming climax on Christmas. While I wouldn't classify it as one of Woodsmall's best works, it was pleasant afternoon diversion. The pen pal angle was kind of interesting, but basically the book was a sweet predictable romance--but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
To purchase on Amazon:The Sound of Sleigh Bells
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.