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The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall

The Sound of Sleigh Bells

by Cindy Woodsmall

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1381286,938 (4.13)9



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I'm going to try really hard not to ruin anything here and I'll say this, I'm not sure I am a good enough writer to really do it justice but I'm going to give it my best shot.

If you are someone who has ever had a rough relationship, this is something you NEED to read. If you've ever dealt with loss, this is something you NEED to read! And if you enjoy a good book with wonderful characters and a fantastic story, you will want to read this book.

It's truly a GREAT read!

Cindy has a talent for reaching out of the story, getting a firm grip on your heart and pulling you into the story. And when you find your way back out again, you've had an amazing experience and you never quite look at the world in the same way again... or at least that's the way I feel anyway.

The beauty of Cindy Woodsmall's writing is that she writes characters who could be anyone. One of the things we struggle with is the realization that the Amish are just like us, they just live their faith in a different way than most of us do. They're not really very different from most religions. Every religion has their own little things they do differently than anyone else, rules, traditions, ideals and even habits.

So these characters in Cindy's novels, they could be anyone. It's so very easy to associate the things they go through with your aunt or your father or your next door neighbor or someone you work with. And she does this really well. She has a true talent for helping you to get into a characters head and I am so thankful for it.

I pray that Cindy's books bless you the way they have me and I pray God Blesses Cindy Woodsmall and her writing for many years to come!

And if you would like to read my whole review, it goes live on my blog tomorrow.

http://jcsbookshelf.wordpress.com ( )
  JCMorrows | Aug 25, 2015 |
To be honest, I was a bit hesitant when picking up this book. I've read one of the author's books in the past, and had a bit of trouble reading the subject matter in the book. It was enough for me not to be able to read the other two books in the series. Therefore I was worried that this book would be like that. Luckily, as far as I could tell, there's no connection and the storyline was one that rather enjoyable. I liked reading about Beth, Lizzy and Jonah. All three of them had very interesting story lines and I liked seeing the connections between the three. I thought it was interesting how the Amish portrayed in this story were allowed to be a bit more modern and freely use phones and other electronics. This is mainly due to the business but it's always fascinating to read.

The problem with novellas is that because they are short, sometimes the story feels a bit rushed. The author has the hard task of making the entire story come across plus give the characters enough time to grow and develop in a shorter amount of words. In this case, it works well for the most part. I personally would have enjoyed seeing the confusion of identity between Beth and Jonah last longer. It would have been more interesting for them to think they were writing to who they were picturing instead of the actual person. As it was, the illusion ended too quickly. I'm still not ok with the way that the Amish seem to handle heavy subjects. Beth's fiance sounds like he had serious controlling and abusive issues but she never tells anyone this because it would look bad on them. This type of behavior makes me very wary of the community portrayed in Woodsmall's books. This book seems to be marketed as a Christmas story but I'm not really seeing it. Aside from a few references to the holiday in the book, it's almost not even an issue. I would classify it as more a winter time story. Overall, it's a nice short read perfect for a fall or winter afternoon. If you are a fan of Amish fiction you will enjoy this story. ( )
  mrsjason | Sep 22, 2011 |
What a very sweet story. I loved how it looked inside the characters. I appreciated how the faith of the characters informed their actions (and I say this as a non-religious person). ( )
  ImBookingIt | Jun 6, 2011 |
NCLA Review - Remorse and loneliness still echo in Beth Hertzler’s heart every day and she still wears dark clothing to indicate her mourning of her fiancé. She works alongside her Aunt Lizzy in their dry goods store and serves as a contact between Amish craftsmen and Englischer retailers. In her hunt for new merchandise to sell, she discovers an intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow. Something inside Beth’s soul responds and she wants to help the unknown artist find homes for his work. Her Aunt Lizzy meets Jonah, the artist, and is determined that Beth come to know this man whose hands create healing art. Does this gifted carver hold the answer to both her past and future in his hands? The author weaves a wonderful story of tragedy, secrets and a healing grace. Rating: 4—SGV ( )
  ncla | Jan 2, 2011 |
This is a delightful book from start to finish. It is a gentle read that will make you smile while bringing a tear to your eye.

As with most of the Amish fiction I have read, the story starts out with a death. Beth Hertzler's fiancé has died & Beth is in deep mourning. She works for her Aunt Lizzie in her aunt's dry goods store. Beth often travels to find handmade items by Amish craftsmen to sell in the store. On one of her travels, Beth finds a beautifully carved scene of Amish children. While it is too fancy for the Amish, she knows that the tourists will love it. Beth sets out to meet the 'old man' that has made the carving. She is unable to find him on this visit but, due to some intervention by her aunt, she and Jonah begin a correspondence.

Lizzie finally meets the man she has been writing to and discovers that he is actually a young man. While walking through his barn she discovers a sleigh, which brings back some lovely memories. The sleigh is mentioned only in passing but it is an intricate part of the story.

This is a great stand alone book. I highly recommend it. ( )
  wearylibrarian | May 5, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307446530, Hardcover)

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?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:24 -0400)

In mourning over the death of her fiance, Beth Hertzler works alongside her beloved Aunt Lizzy in their dry goods store. When Beth responds to a woodcarving, Lizzy sees the changes in her niece and hunts down Jonah, the artist who created the healing work of art. Lizzy is determined that Beth meets this man. 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?… (more)

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