In A Simple Amish Christmas by Vannetta Chapman, a young Amish girl named Annie Weaver is called to return home to take care of her injured father. She left her home at age sixteen after her parents’ suggestion that she go on her “rumschpringe” to find out who she was. She remained living outside of the Amish community for three years while earning a nursing degree and landing a job in Philadelphia. Annie’s return home brings with it her fear of condemnation from her family and community.
Chapman uses dialogue and the thoughts of her main characters to make her book read at a quick but relaxed pace. The relationship between Annie and a certain love-interest is predictable but sweet, and shows the value of combining commitment and love. Most of Annie’s conversations with her family revolve around faith. My favorite part of this book is how Annie relates to God – she speaks to him about her frustrations and fears, feeling like a failure when she is unable consistently to follow God’s will.
Annie Weaver’s main conflict seems to be whether or not her Amish community will accept her, but the challenge is really about how she finds a way to practice the modern medicine she loves in an old fashion place she loves too. She also deals with the issue of deciding whether to open herself up to love. Another main character, Samuel Yoder, is the local Amish doctor and he plays a key role in her decision making. Annie and Samuel eventually decide to work together, despite some disagreements, for the greater good of their community.
Annie is kind, often worried, and hard working. She likes to feel useful and cares a lot for children, her family, and her medical patients. Her hard-working attitude is similar to that of the other characters, but she is more restless and desiring of a purpose than they are.
Overall, this book is good in that it brings up the topic of medical needs in Amish communities. This, combined with Annie’s love relationship and the breach of certain subjects about God and his will for people’s lives, makes this a fun and slightly thought- provoking story. However, the ending is a bit frustrating, and Chapman only briefly goes into some subjects I would have liked her to go more deeply into. I would recommend this book to women who enjoy love stories with happy endings. – Jody Ford, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Annie Weaver always planned to return home, but the 20-year old RN has lived in Philadelphia for three years now. As her time of rumschpringe is about to come to an abrupt end, bringing for Annie an overwhelming sense of loneliness. She returns home and finds herself face-to-face with a budding romance with an Amish farmer and Annie has several important choices to make.