The Sound of Sleigh Bells: A Romance from the Heart of Amish Country (Apple Ridge)

by Cindy Woodsmall

Hardcover, 2009

Status

Available

Call number

813.6

Publication

WaterBrook (2009), Edition: 1st Edition, 208 pages

Original publication date

2009

Description

Fiction. Romance. Christian Fiction. HTML: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 fianc�. 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?… (more)

Language

Original language

English

Physical description

208 p.; 8.3 inches

ISBN

0307446530 / 9780307446534

User reviews

LibraryThing member mjmbecky
Beth Hertzler carries an emotional wound that has left her unwilling to open her heart to love again after her fiance passed away. The problem is, that no one quite knows why she has drug out her mourning for him so long. Into her life enters a young artist, who was also wounded years ago in a
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sleigh accident. Intrigued by his carving, Beth buys a piece of his art and unknowingly (which will be revealed in the story), starts a pen pal friendship with the artist. Once she realizes who it is she is writing to and opening up her wounds in front of, will Beth allow herself to continue the blossoming friendship and even love?

While rather slow in its precession, I found the book sweet. Some of the predictable twits and turns of the plot were actually not all that predictable, and even shockingly anticlimactic for me. The ending thankfully delivered a sweet resolution, which is what one wants in a tender romance such as this. Overall, an enjoyable, quick read.

***Book given to me by Waterbrook Press.
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LibraryThing member KellyBlackwell
Every time I read an Amish fiction novel, I am surely more and more pulled into it becoming one of my favorite genres. I have yet to find a piece of work that I have not thoroughly enjoyed. It is often surprising to me as I am a lover of mystery, suspense and quite frankly...horror. I once thought
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that Amish fiction and Christian fiction for that matter, could not possibly hold my attention. Boy was I happily wrong!

Cindy Woodsmall weaves a story that reads so quickly that I had to force myself to put the book down so as to not finish it too soon. I could have easily finished The Sound of Sleigh Bells in one sitting, but that would have deprived me of an escape into the lives of Beth, Lilly, and Jonah, and that would have been a shame. This book was a vacation into a place so very real, warm and inviting! I loved each and every character and wished these were people I knew. Who would have thought I wished I could have grown up in a home such as this?

It seems that Jonah and Beth have family members who want absolutely the best for them. They want them both to find happiness in all forms that it can bring. A partner for life is definitely on the top of the list! Beth and Jonah have both seen a side of life that is not easy to traverse through unscathed. Surviving and being comfortable may be just about all either can wish for, but maybe a second chance at joy can happen for both.

My favorite part of this book: When I say that I felt I was on a vacation while reading this book, I speak the absolute truth. The Sound of Sleigh Bells quite literally pulled me away from a very stressful couple of weeks. The descriptions were so vivid and literally created a place in my mind. The family interaction was also fun to read.

I totally would recommend this to anyone who enjoys good fiction. It is a story of healing and a story of removing the clutter of the past. I cannot wait to read more of Cindy Woodsmall's work. I am definitely a new fan!
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LibraryThing member tipsister
I was lucky to receive a review copy of The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall and was very anxious to read it. I know there are several books that take place among the Amish and I just haven't had a chance to read any of them. This was my first foray into the genre and I found it to be very
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sweet.

The book revolves around two people who are broken in their own ways. Beth has never recovered from the death of her fiance and continues to shun the idea of falling in love. Jonah was the victim of a tragic accident as a teen and never quite felt whole. Through a series of letters, a few mix ups, and a meddling relative, Jonah and Beth realize that they might just be what the other needs.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in reading a beautiful love story and learn a little more about the Amish way of life. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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LibraryThing member cherryblossommj
The sound of sleigh bells is something that brings great joy into the life of Beth Hertzler, yet the same sound brings pain to Jonah Kinsinger. This is a great Christmas or anytime read of growth, strength, forgiveness, moving forward, and romance with true love. Straight from the beginning even
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with the mystery of what really holds Beth back from looking for love brings a reader in to care for her with a slight of intrigue. Each chapter causes one to wish for her to open up to love. In a different manner, our other protagonist has his own set of dark past issues that hold him back from moving forward with life. It is one of those things were romantic or not, God put them together to learn something. It is the opening and shutting of doors in the future both good and bad for our characters that keeps those pages turning to see what happens next. The side story of true love unseen is fabulous and even though not a main picture in the book, so appropriate and good. This is one of those books that has a good plot and so many little facets that keep it interesting and different from other stories. A reader may assume they know what is to come next, but they do not see the whole picture until the end. Family is a theme, Christmas spirit is through out, and each chapter brings one deeper into the lives of very interesting characters. Cindy Woodsmall did well with her other series with the Sisters of the Quilt, and even though this is a stand alone Christmas book the quality of the story is right on key. I highly recommend her books to anyone looking for a short-ish story at right about two hundred pages for the winter time. I personally could hear the sleigh bells and children's giggles while reading her words of text. I look forward to reading her other new series coming soon starting with The Hope of Refuge. *This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.*
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LibraryThing member cherryblossommj
The sound of sleigh bells is something that brings great joy into the life of Beth Hertzler, yet the same sound brings pain to Jonah Kinsinger. This is a great Christmas or anytime read of growth, strength, forgiveness, moving forward, and romance with true love. Straight from the beginning even
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with the mystery of what really holds Beth back from looking for love brings a reader in to care for her with a slight of intrigue. Each chapter causes one to wish for her to open up to love. In a different manner, our other protagonist has his own set of dark past issues that hold him back from moving forward with life. It is one of those things were romantic or not, God put them together to learn something. It is the opening and shutting of doors in the future both good and bad for our characters that keeps those pages turning to see what happens next. The side story of true love unseen is fabulous and even though not a main picture in the book, so appropriate and good. This is one of those books that has a good plot and so many little facets that keep it interesting and different from other stories. A reader may assume they know what is to come next, but they do not see the whole picture until the end. Family is a theme, Christmas spirit is through out, and each chapter brings one deeper into the lives of very interesting characters. Cindy Woodsmall did well with her other series with the Sisters of the Quilt, and even though this is a stand alone Christmas book the quality of the story is right on key. I highly recommend her books to anyone looking for a short-ish story at right about two hundred pages for the winter time. I personally could hear the sleigh bells and children's giggles while reading her words of text. I look forward to reading her other new series coming soon starting with The Hope of Refuge. *This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.*
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LibraryThing member tututhefirst
A sweet little Harlequin type romance set in Amish Pennsylvania. I received this as an ARC, and it was an easy read during the hectic Christmas season. The story is the typical girl meets boy, both have chips on shoulder, elders try to matchmake, principals resist matchmaking, etc etc etc.

The
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character development and motivation are above average for this genre, and the story goes along quickly. I wouldn't rush out and look for more, but I think lots of people will find it a heartwarming read.

And in spite of the title, it doesn't even need to be billed as a Christmas book.
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LibraryThing member ReviewsbyMolly
I really loved reading this book. Maybe it's because it's about the Amish (I really love the Amish!), maybe it's the season of winter (winter=holidays=something else I love!), or maybe it's the simple fact of Cindy Woodsmall's beautiful talent of writing a story that I didn't want to end, that I
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loved this book so much!

It's a story of hurt, guilt, faith, love and friendship between two Amish members. The plot of this story is simply life like and warm.

I'm not going to make my review of this book too long as if I do I will be too tempted to tell the end of this magnificent story! And I don't want to do that as I don't want to spoil this for my followers! But I WILL give this book praises over and over, and I'll give the author a 5 star rating for a talent that is truly God-guided and inspiring. The Sound of Sleigh Bells is a book to curl up with at the fire place on a cold winter evening, with a cup of coffee, hot cider, or hot cocoa, and you'll be warmed from the start! It's a blessing you won't want to miss!!!!

*This book was provided to me for review courtesy of the author and her publisher*
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LibraryThing member wearylibrarian
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
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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.
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LibraryThing member ImBookingIt
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).
LibraryThing member mrsjason
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
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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.
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LibraryThing member Sandralb
Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorite Amish authors. I really enjoyed this sweet, short Christmas Novel. The characters were likeable and very interesting. A very good Story to read for the holiday.
LibraryThing member KamGeb
A fast cute romance novel. Nothing earth shattering or remarkable but a fun read.
LibraryThing member JenniferRobb
A friend passed this book on to me after she'd read it. I don't think I've read anything else by this author but I'd be willing to search out other books by her if this one is an example of her writing.

The only real negative I have is that there was a bit too much plot-teasing about the incidents
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that both Jonah and Beth suffered prior to the author revealing the details.

I liked the advice Jonah had about healing and even wrote some of it in my journal to remember.

I liked Lizzy's idea of having a barbecue/sleigh ride for singles--even if in the end she thinks she did it for the wrong reasons. I'm also glad she found love.

I do wonder how Jonah and Beth will arrange their life in Pennsylvania. He's already got his woodshop and a house in Ohio and it seems like her work might be more easily transferred. There's also the issue of Omar (as bishop) not approving Jonah's carvings as sellable in his district--I can't imagine how Jonah's going to continue that business if he moves to Ohio and Beth's district. But I can see why they'd not want to be on his family's land with his family used to just walking in and out of his house--I don't see why that behavior couldn't be changed but. . . it was a bit like O'Henry's "The Gift of the Magi" in that both are willing to give up something dear to them for the other.
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