Book Review: A Christmas Gift for Rose by Tricia Goyer

Title: A Christmas Gift for Rose

Author: Tricia Goyer

Genre: Christian, Historical Fiction (mid-1900s), Romance

Synopsis: Born in the midst of the hardships of The Great Depression, Rose grew up in Berlin, Ohio, in the arms of a loving Amish family. But as she prepares to marry, she’s thrown into confusion when she learns the truth of her birth. She was born Englisch and abandoned when the family moved on in search of work. Was she meant to be Amish or would she have been better off growing up with her own kind—Englischers? And was her intended’s gift of discovering her birth family given out of love or fear?

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As a novella, this book will receive a slightly shorter review than most.

A Christmas Gift for Rose is such a sweet story! As much as I say that I wish there was more Amish fiction without romance as a main element, I remain a sucker for nearly every one that I read! This book is no exception. The story starts on the day before Thanksgiving, and progresses through to Christmas. As the weather shifts, Rose learns about her own identity, her convictions, and what she wants for the future. Elements of faith and family are strong, but not as central to the plot as personal identity and truth.

Rose grapples with whether she is Amish because she has been raised Amish, or “Englisch” because she was not born Amish. At the same time, we see some of the unusual life of Rose’s ex-fiance, Jonathan. Jonathan chose to serve as a medic in World War II, a decision for which his Amish community has ostracized him. Now, the home, family, and friendships he expected to return to have all changed. Rose initially declares that she is ashamed of Jonathan and wants nothing to do with him…but this changes as she considers things more deeply.

Ultimately, this is a tale of finding out who you are and where you belong. This can look different for everyone, and Rose and Jonathan must find their own ways. Love, trust, and peace can all be found when you become comfortable with your understanding of who you are. filligree page divider

Although A Christmas Gift for Rose initially did not seem very deep, the more I think about it the more I realize there are subtle elements with deeper meaning woven into the simple story. PTSD is addressed, and although I would have liked to see a broader interpretation, the way it is conveyed is appropriate for the book.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable story and quick to read – I finished it in a weekend, reading a few snatches at a time while visiting relatives. I highly recommend A Christmas Gift for Rose for fans of Amish fiction, stories about family, and anyone looking for something quick and Christmas-y to get you in the Christmas spirit. This marks my second completed and reviewed book for the #ALiteraryChristmas challenge! I’ve got three others in progress, and my goal is to read 5 by the end of the month, so I think I’m on track!

Until the next chapter,

Jana

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