Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Review: The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall (and a giveaway)

The Sound of Sleigh Bells
One of the hallmarks of Amish fiction is the community comprised of...you guessed it families. So when I opened this book and realized it was going to be about single Amish women I was excited. Because strangely enough, I'd never really thought about single women in the Amish community where everything centers around family. Which is shame on me since I'm a single woman who grew up in a culture that highly values the traditional family as well.

But...even though the story started out with two single Amish women it quickly went into matchmaking. Which I should have expected since it is a Christmas novella...but I'd love to read a Christian book that just for once sends the message that it's okay to be single and possible to live a happy and fulfilling life that way.

This book is about two Elizabeths. Lizzy, the older Elizabeth is the one who never married and is a business woman and runs a shop. Beth, her niece, lost her fiance in an accident over a year ago and has been deep in mourning ever since. Lizzy is very worried that Beth will never move on with her life and when Beth falls in love with the carvings of a handsome young Amish man, Lizzy begins to put together a plan to get them together that involves some serious deceit. And that's all I can say without giving away the book.

I'm a little torn about my feelings on this book. On the one hand, it was a nice read and I enjoyed it, but the on the other hand the plot was hard to buy and I was a little offended that the single woman had to come to her senses and realize her life had been miserable when she was single. I think fans of Amish will like it regardless.

It's not terribly Christmasy, but still an enjoyable read.

Rating: 3.5/5
Things You Might Want to Know: Christian Fiction
Source of Book: Review copy from publisher
Publisher: Waterbrook

I have a copy to give away. If you'd like to read this book, please leave a comment with a Christmas book recommendation and a valid email address. I'll mail this one worldwide.



Sandy Nawrot said...

I've always been intrigued by the customs and lifestyle of the Amish. When I lived in Indiana, there was a whole community of Amish not far from us, so there was always a constant reminder of our differences. For a young and slightly crazy 20-something, it was almost hard to get my head around!

Nicole said...

I had never really thought of Amish women as being single either, but then I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about the Amish. I thought about them briefly in the Bones episode a few days ago though!

Jen - Devourer of Books said...

That's sort of sad it isn't terribly Christmas-y. I got all excited for you when I saw the title, because I know how you love Christmas books.

trishalynn0708 said...

Please enter me. For some reason I really enjoy reading Amish books. I really enjoyed the series by Lauralaine McDaniels (The spelling is wrong for her first name.. I can't remember how to spell it)
My recommendation for a christmas book is Secrets of a Christmas story. :)

lovestoread0708 at yahoo dot com

mjmbecky said...

No need to enter me here, I just wanted to say that I also read this to review and am glad to see others agreeing with me about plot points. While I thought it was a sweet story, premise surrounding two people saving one another with their love (okay, maybe slightly nauseating), there were times I felt it either rushed or went painfully slow in the pacing. Like you though, I did like the story, even with some of the flaws. I'll be posting my review later this week. Nice review, and thanks for sharing! :)

Tina said...

Thanks for the review. I am not a big reader of Amish fiction, but I find that there is something about Woodsmall's writing that I tend to get drawn into, no matter the plot. She's just a natural storyteller and can get readers to turn the page. Plus, it helps that she has a connection to the people she writes about.

Esme said...

Amy I agree with your review of this-I felt the same way-I am going to list your giveaway on my site also as I also have a giveaway for this.

Beth (BBRB) said...

Skipping Christmas was hilarious!

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Bethie said...

Please enter me. I just finished the Christmas Sweater. I enjoyed it. It got a little weird at times though.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Jo-Jo said...

I don't know about you, but I have found that most of the Christmas fiction that I have read so far is full of way too much fluff. One that I read with my book club last year was Finding Noel by Richard Paul Evans. It was an enjoyable read but a bit too fluffy for my personal taste. Around Christmas time these books are ok for me since it always gets so hectic so I would love to win this.
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Dar said...

Great review Amy-sorry you were a little torn about it though. I'd love to read it. My favorite Christmas book is A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg. I just loved it.

CherylS22 said...

One of my favorite Christmas books is "Skipping Christmas" by John Grisham. It's the book that "Christmas With the Kranks" movie is based on. An enjoyable book to read & a departure from what Grisham usually writes.

Thanks ~ megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

Megan said...

Can I just say that I sooo agree that I would love to read a Christian book that says being single is perfectly good and rewarding and the entire goal of a woman's life doesn't need to be catching a man? You know, considering that even the Apostle Paul wasn't even the biggest proponent of marriage, you would think there might be a few. Or, you know....one. Where's the book that says "being single is cool because it gives you the time to concerned about the Lord's affairs instead of the world's affairs" a la 1 Cor. 7? If you happen upon one, do let me know. Single people could use a little affirmation once in a while, too! =)

Tena said...

would love to read this book!

I enjoyed Skipping Christmas


Carole said...

I appreciate your honest review, Amy, and agree with your thoughts. Since I do enjoy Amish fiction, though, I'd like to read it.

One of my favorite Christmas books is A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg. It's a classic and I highly recommend it. In the Christian fiction genre, I enjoyed an older book by Lisa Tawn Bergren called Christmas Every Morning.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Elizabeth said...

I've only read a bit of Amish fiction, but this looks intriguing! Thanks for your review.

I also loved A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg (I love all her books!). And of course- Dickens' A Christmas Carol is truly a classic!! :)

thanks - beth drbethnolan@Hotmail.com

Emma said...

My Christmas book recommendation is Debbie Macomber The Perfect Christmas.This book sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

Holly said...

I'd love to read this one. And, it's very hard for me to recommend one favorite Christmas book because I collect them and have boxes, literally, full.

One I do love is, "A Stranger for Christmas", by Carol Lynn Pearson. It's absolutely wonderful.


Mystica said...

I have read only just one book on Amish people and would like to read this one. Sleigh bells - something never going to be heard in this part of the world anyway!
Thanks for making it open for overseas readers. Much appreciated.

Winning Readings said...

I've enjoyed The Great Christmas Bowl - but I love just about any Christmas related book!

We've posted about this at Winning Readings: http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2009/10/sound-of-sleigh-bells_15.html

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Anita Yancey said...

I recommend A Holly Jolly Murder by Joan Hess. This book sounds like a great read. Please enter me. Thanks!


Mark said...

I recommend "An Imperfect Christmas"

rubylovesadventure said...

Christmas book? hmm.. one that particularly comes to mind is an old sweet valley twins book called "a christmas without elizabeth"

when i was younger i used to love that book!


plb8156 said...

I have read so many Christmas romance novels that I have read over the years but cant think of the name of one of them right now...so I will go with the night before Christmas which I read to my kids every year :) I love Amish stories...please enter me

adge said...

Last year around Christmas time I read The Christmas Bus by Melody Carlson, and it was good. Not really a romance or anything just a nice small town type read.

Dawn M. said...

I really enjoyed Silver Bells by Luanne Rice. (They also made it into a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie.) :0)

librarygrinch at gmail dot com

Milka said...

I haven't really read christmas books that much, but there is this new young adult book called Ex-Max which I really want to read because I read great reviews about it. I think there is also a new Christmas book by Cecelia Ahern which could be interesting.


Wanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wanda said...

I would so much love to win this book. Please enter my name in your wonderful draw. Thanks.

A Christmas book that I really like is The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans.


Icejewel said...

Please enter me, icejew at gmail dot com

Thanks for the giveaway.

"Miss" Anita said...

Thanks for hosting this giveaway. This looks like a good read!
roseinthemorning [at] gmail [dot] com

g.g. said...

I would like to win this book. I think a good Christmas book you can't go wrong with is The Polar Express.

thanks for a chance to win

anjamie4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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