Thursday, 16 December 2010

Sarah's Christmas Miracle - Mary Ellis

Sarah Beachy has plenty to be joyous about as autumn leaves start to fall. She loves her job at the English bed-and-breakfast where she cooks and refreshes rooms between guests. She has a serious beau, and everyone expects an engagement soon. Why, then, would she jeopardize everything by suddenly deciding to take a trip to Cleveland to track down a brother who left the Order years ago?

Her family’s faith in God is put to the test as the holiest night of the year approaches and Sarah remains far away. Sarah’s mother, Elizabeth, has been missing her son for such a long time…will she lose her daughter to the English world as well? Or will the Beachy family receive an unexpected Christmas miracle?

Sarah Beachy is at a crossroads in her life, hanging on to her childhood as she's unsure about the responsibilities of entering the adult world. She's witnessed the hurt that her mother has experienced in losing her older brother to the English world, and this has made her cautious about becoming a wife and mother. But Adam Troyer is desperate to get married and can't understand why his beau is happy to remain at in her parents' home, working at the local inn. So both Sarah's family and Adam are worried when she sets off to Cleveland to visit her older brother and decide whether the life of an Amish mother and wife is best for her. But Sarah soon discovers that life in the city isn't as rosy as her brother made it sound, and her journey makes her realise what she really wants in life. 

This was the perfect Christmas novella; the return of a prodigal son mixed with the coming of age of a young woman. It only took me a few hours to read this book but it really warmed my heart and put me in the Christmas mood. Ellis crafted her characters wonderfully and I loved reading about Sarah and her family, as well as the other members of the community and the English couple who run the local inn. All of these characters were entirely believable and Fredericksburg sounds like a lovely place to live. I appreciated all the little details about the Amish way of life, from descriptions of the cookies that they were baking to the school performance on Christmas Eve. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a short Christmas story to put a smile on your face. As it's only 134 pages long this would also be perfect for someone wanting to try Amish fiction for the first time, or for a girl in her early teen years. This is the first book I've read from Mary Ellis but I'll definitely be looking out for more of her books as she's clearly the cream of the crop when it comes to Amish fiction! 10/10


  1. I agree Rachel, its a great book! I'd also be interested in reading more by Mary Ellis.

  2. Okay Rachel, you talked me into reading this Christmas book next. I have about 15% left of my current book which I plan on finishing this morning.

  3. Yay! It really is excellent, I think you'll enjoy it. Quite a quick read too, so you should be able to squeeze it in between two bigger books.