Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Angel of Forest Hill

October is almost over.  Only two more months left in 2016.  I hope all of you are having a special weekend.  I am working on my bedroom.  I moved rooms almost a year ago (to be closer to my mother's room), and I am slowing making it my own.  I like unique pieces.  I am not the type of person you will find in Ikea.  I prefer thrift stores and antique shops.  That's what happens when you grow up with two aunts who own antique shops!  

The Angel of Forest Hill by Cindy Woodsmall is a lovely Amish romance.  Rose Kurtz is the only daughter in the family.  She has eleven brothers and their needs dominate the household.  Her mother has never had a kind word for Rose.  Then one day the Bishop comes by to ask a very large, life altering favor from Rose.  There is a family in need in a small Amish community.  Joel Dienner just lost his wife, Florence (died giving birth).  He needs someone to help with the children (two children in addition to the new baby, Grace).  There are only eight families in this little Amish community.  They would love to help, but they all have their own families and responsibilities.  Because of the circumstances, Rose would have to marry Joel.  Rose knows this is her chance to get away and she agrees.  The two marry, but they each have their own bedroom.  A year later Joel is finally starting to come alive again. Rose has been a big help with the kids and with Joel’s business.  Her suggestions have even helped his business become profitable.  Four years later the two of them are still in separate bedrooms.  But they are attracted to each other.  They spend more time together and get to know each other.  Joel helps Rose overcome her fears.  Erma, Joel’s former mother-in-law, is very nasty to Rose.  Joel talks to her and, unfortunately, lets it slip that Rose and Joel have never consummated their marriage.  Erma hot foots it over to the Bishop to tell him.  The Bishop (Joel’s father) has no choice but to take this issue to a higher authority.  Just when Rose and Joel are ready to move forward with their relationship, they might be ripped apart.  Join Rose and Joel in The Angel of Forest Hill.

The Angel of Forest Hill is a special book.  You will be drawn in right from the beginning.  The book is well-written, has good characters, and a beautiful setting.  The story is told from Joel and Rose’s point-of-views.  I give The Angel of Forest Hill 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it).  It is a sweet story, but it does have a predictable ending.  The Angel of Forest Hill is lovely book that will help you get into the spirit of Christmas.  It is a short novel (208 pages) that can be finished in just a couple of hours.  I do wish the author had provided an epilogue.  I would have liked to find out how Rose and Joel fared.  Did they have kids?  Did Rose end up having a good relationship with her mother?  There are a couple of recipes at the end of the book.  

Cindy Woodsmall has some other wonderful Christmas stories (click on her name to view some of her other novels).  I look forward to reading her latest Christmas book each year.  You should also check out the special Christmas novels by Melody Carlson and Sheila Roberts.

I am off to feed the cats.  They get very vocal if I do not feed them when they decide it is time to eat.  May you have a special Sunday evening.  I will return soon with another book review.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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