Tag Archives: Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

A Christmas Haven by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

A Christmas Haven, a touching Christmas story, gives us a glimpse of the Zook family, one year after the story, The Christmas Remedy.

Ivy Zook, like most young people, is struggling with who she is and who she wants to be. It is a struggle that will touch a chord in almost everyone’s life. However, her dilemma is complicated by her being Old Order Amish.

Arlan and Magda Keim, brother and sister, land in Ivy’s area when running from an even stricter Amish group. Arlan knows his sister desperately needs help, and by helping her he violated so many rules he may not ever be able to return home. He already knows Magda cannot return home.

I enjoyed how the focus of the book was more on sibling/family love vs. romantic love. Not to fear though, there is some romance, too! Arlen’s love for Magda was heartwarmingly moving. In addition, Ivy’s conflict, which will affect her sister the most, demonstrated her deep love and affection for her sister, also.

A Christmas Haven illustrates the true meaning of Christmas. As each person struggles to reconcile faith, hopes and dreams, they begin to learn life lessons in honor, forgiveness, kindness and most of all, God’s love for them.

I received the book from Waterbrook Multnomah. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

For fans of holiday romances and Amish life comes a new Christmas tale of surprising expectations and discovering miracles.

Old Order Amish Ivy Zook is wrestling with her need to shed her community’s ways so she can grow the business of her dreams: planning parties. As long as she’s stuck living without modernization, she can barely get her business on its feet. But if she leaves too soon, she’d cause trouble for her sister, Holly, who is planning her wedding to Joshua Smucker. All of their plans become twice as complicated when an old car crashes into the storefront of Greene’s Pharmacy, carrying a Swartzentruber (ultra-conservative sect) Amish man, Arlan, and his very ill sister.

The Zooks take in Arlan and Madga, tending to the woman’s illness and Arlan begins helping around the family farm. Ivy and Arlan are on different tracks, one wanting to leave her community and the other to return to his. But both young people are trying to discover what God has in store for their futures and what miracles might lie around the corner this Christmas season.

The Christmas Remedy by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

My Review

The Christmas Remedy by Cindy Woodsmall, and her daughter-in-law, Erin Woodsmall, is an exceptional Amish story. Greene’s Pharmacy, in the heart of Amish communities, is the focus of their story. Englishers (non-Amish) who own Greene’s Pharmacy, understand and help work around the Amish people’s reluctance to use prescription medicine.

Holly Zook convinces her bishop to allow her to complete school past the 8th grade and work toward a pharmacist degree, to help her community, with the understanding she quit work when she marries.

Joshua Smucker, an Amish man from a neighbor community, is drawn to Holly. However, she keeps him at arm’s distance as she wants to keep her job.

I enjoyed the story for many reasons. I learned a lot about how pharmacies function, the rules they must follow and consequences for non-adherence, and I rediscovered the magic of chickens that lay a variety of different colored eggs.

The people were authentic, and their stories plausible. Though the strictness of the Amish is sometimes hard to understand, I appreciate their adherence to their beliefs. It makes their willingness to deviate in compelling cases more admirable.

Although a novella, the story encompasses plenty of territory- suspense, complicity, romance and philanthropy.

The Christmas Remedy is a heartwarming story, with lots of winter and Christmas imagery providing an enjoyable way to spend time curled up with a blanket or afghan, something hot to drink (like Dr Pepper with a small splash of lemon juice!) and a few hours to absorb the charm of Christmas.

I received the book from the authors and WaterBrook Multnomah. However, I was under no obligation to post a review. #PRHpartner

Publisher’s Summary

When an Old Order Amish woman takes a job at a small-town pharmacy struggling to survive in a world of “big box” stores, her motive is to help her Plain community. But the advent of the holiday season brings an unusual mystery to the surface–and possibly love.

Twenty-four-year-old Holly Zook lives a unique life for a young Amish woman. Years ago, her bishop allowed her to continue her education and become the lead technician for Greene’s Pharmacy, an old-timey drugstore that looks out for the Amish community–a group largely without secure healthcare plans. She knows she can’t marry and hold onto her professional job. She’s Amish, and she can only have one or the other, so she spurns love and works toward addressing treatable diseases–like the one that claimed her father’s life.

As long as Holly continues to avoid Joshua Smucker, the one man who draws her like a warm hearth in winter, she should be fine. When something unexpected threatens Greene’s Pharmacy, Holly and Joshua must work together to unravel what’s happened and find the “missing” patient before the Board of Pharmacy shuts them down. As the snows of December arrive, with Christmas in the air, will Holly succumb to the generous spirit of the season?