Tuesday, September 21, 2021

A Christmas Engagement by Linda Byler

 A Christmas Engagement
Book Summary

Liz had been in love once, had even been engaged. In fact, the wedding had been planned, the barn cleaned, and the celery was set to be harvested to make the traditional wedding soup. Just two weeks before the day she was to exchange vows with her beloved, he changed his mind, and that was that.

The humiliation was almost as bad as the heartbreak. The whole community had celebrated her engagement, had participated in the wedding planning, had started giving her advice on keeping a home and raising children. When the wedding was canceled, no one knew what to say. She had to bear the pitying looks and awkward glances for many months. She vowed never to be such a fool again, never to trust her heart to a man who could just up and leave her with hardly an explanation. She'd rather be an old maid than go through that again.

Years pass, and Liz has made peace with her life as a single woman, a "leftover blessing" as the Amish say. She can admit to herself that Matthew, the owner of the Amish restaurant at the market where she works, is handsome. And she is aware that he is single. But she reminds herself over and over that it's not worth feeling anything for the man. He's her boss and that's it. So why does she look forward to work so much every day? And why can't she make her heart beat at a normal pace when he comes near?

Linda Byler is beloved for her skillful story telling and true-to-life descriptions of Amish food, faith, and culture. As an Amish woman herself, she can share details of Amish life that few can replicate. In this charming novel, Byler shares intimate details of day-to-day life in an Amish community while spinning a sweet tale of love and hopes fulfilled at Christmastime.
My Thoughts

A Christmas Engagement by Linda Byler has Liz planning on staying single the rest of her life after being disappointed in love.  She cannot handle going through the heartbreak again.  The restaurant where Liz works is purchased by Matthew who exasperates Liz.  At the same time, Liz finds him handsome and attractive.  When Matthew asks Liz out, will she say yes and risk her heart once again?  A Christmas Engagement contains good writing, and we get to see inside Amish life.  I like that there are comparisons between how the Amish have done things and how the current generation prefers to do them.  I did feel that the characters lacked development.  We are introduced to Liz with only a first name.  The book is of the length (240 pages) that I wanted to know more about the characters and the setting.  The books pacing fluctuated.  I found it slow going at times especially when Liz was thinking about how she was betrayed by Ray, whether she can love again, and other such thoughts.  There is also a repetition of information and predictable nature to the tale.  A Christmas Engagement is a sweet story, but it needed a more depth.  The Christmas element is not as expansive as I had hoped for a book with Christmas in the title.   I did enjoy the Christian elements in the story.  My favorite message is that we are never alone as long as we have God in our life.  If you are looking to escape from everyday life, then The Christmas Engagement fits the bill.  The Christmas Engagement is a subdued Amish novel with an energetic eatery, a hurt heart, a massive wedding, a profusion of food, and the magic of Christmas.  

A Christmas Engagement is out today and is available from Amazon*.  You can find Linda Byler's other novels here plus you can follow her to receive updates on her latest releases.  Linda Byler's next release is the 2nd novel in The Long Road Home series which is Beacon of Light that publishes on March 15, 2022..  Here are a couple of the other books published today: Dead Set by Vannetta Chapman, The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady by Sharon J. Mondragon, and An Impossible Promise by Jude Deveraux.  Thank you for reading my review today.  I will return tomorrow to discuss An Impossible Promise by Jude Deveraux.  I hope you have a kindhearted day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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