Review

The Dawn of Christmas: A Romance from the Heart of Amish Country

by Cindy Woodsmall

New York Times bestselling author Cindy Woodsmall shares a story of broken vows and the slow healing and renewal that comes when God is placed on the scene. In THE DAWN OF CHRISTMAS, set in the heart of Amish country, Sadie Yoder is stunned and dismayed when she sees her fiancé, Daniel, kissing another young woman. Smack dab in the middle of their wedding planning season, Sadie realizes she must break off the engagement to Daniel because she can no longer trust him. So she confides to her father what she has witnessed before making her decision public and before Daniel and the other woman begin calling her a liar. Despondent when others outside of her family start questioning (and doubting) what she has seen, Sadie leaves the community to start over and heal her heart.

"Cindy Woodsmall does a tidy job of bringing together all the loose ends of this tangled love affair into a satisfactory ending that will warm readers’ hearts just in time for Christmas."

Sadie is now happily working for a married couple in their general store and trying to save for a long missions stint in Peru when her father summons her home. It doesn’t take long for Sadie and her father to begin arguing about her need to return to the family home once again. Sadie disagrees because she has forged a new life, an independent one, and a faith she never had before. When he forces her to stay home during a family celebration, she decides to take a nighttime horse ride through the surrounding fields where she happens upon Levi Fisher, who has been thrown from his horse and is lying injured, afraid that no one will find him.

As Sadie attends to Levi while awaiting the medical help they telephoned for using Levi’s cell phone, she attempts to keep him awake and alert by asking questions. The two hit it off immediately, even though both have individually decided to stay single for their lives given what they have personally experienced and observed in others who have pursued romance and marriage. But even their most stalwart resistances begin to crumble when over time they become good friends --- and then more than friends.

Both of their respective families continually harp on these young people finding a spouse and settling down. Thus, together they allow the gossip to spread that they are indeed courting, so the pressure to look for that special someone will stop. Neither one sees what’s ahead --- that they will fall in love with one another. Enter Daniel, who starts to spread untruths about Sadie to Levi, who then begins doubting Sadie. When Sadie realizes that she has given her heart to Levi and now he demonstrates a similar type of untrustworthiness as Daniel, she shuts her heart once again toward the promise of romantic love.

Before the final page, we are reminded that there are always two sides to every story, even a love story. Cindy Woodsmall does a tidy job of bringing together all the loose ends of this tangled love affair into a satisfactory ending that will warm readers’ hearts just in time for Christmas.

Reviewed by Michele Howe on December 16, 2013

The Dawn of Christmas: A Romance from the Heart of Amish Country
by Cindy Woodsmall