Twice Blessed –Two Amish Christmas Stories by Barbara Cameron
· Paperback: 288 pages
· Publisher: Abingdon Press (September 15, 2015)
· Language: English
· File Size: 513 KB
· Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
About Her Sister’s Shadow Identical twins Katie and Rosie Stoltzfus couldn’t be more different: Katie is outgoing and gregarious—so much so that Rosie feels unattractive in comparison and retreats to the background. The girls split their time between working in an Amish store and their own business, Two Peas in a Pod, where they raise and can their own vegetables and fruits. Then an unexpected business opportunity…and one very special man, allows Rosie to see the unique and striking woman God meant for her to be.
About His Brother’s Keeper Ben Fisher can’t remember a time when he hasn’t envied Mark, his more adventurous brother. Now that Mark is engaged to Ruth, Ben is more jealous than ever. A terrible accident on Christmas Eve results in mistaken identity with everyone believing Ben is in a coma, when in actuality, it’s Mark. Ben can use this twist of fate to finally have the life he’s always wanted—and with Ruth by his side. But can Ben find real happiness if it means deceiving his brother…and trying to ignore God?
With each story being approximately 140 pages long the author didn’t really have enough time to fully develop her characters but she did have enough time to develop the plots and I think the author just chose not to do so. Don’t expect two Christmas stories –what you will be getting is more of a spanning of the seasons, starting with spring (the traditional strawberry picking season) with “Her Sister’s Shadow” and culminating with Christmas in “His Brother’s Keeper”. It was an awkwardly written spanning of the seasons and you never really knew where you stood.
The idea behind this novel is a good one –how does it really feel to be part of a twin and is more difficult for Amish twins when they don’t really have the ability to separate from their twin like Englishers do (college, jobs etc)
Each novella does give us a start and a finish – it is the middle of each novella that I have issues with. There was a lot of repetition instead of development. There is a lot of discussion on food instead of more plot or character development.
Each novella got a ‘happily ever after’ but not each character does. The novella - His Brother’s Keeper deals with an even more important issue and that is one of being a liar…even if the reason is sort of a good one (actually only in the characters mind would his reason of lying be a good one!)
These are not what some of us would consider traditional Amish – they use cell phones and iPods. But I can see this leniency easier when I meet the Bishop and read about his youthful hijinks.
My biggest problem is trying to keep Mark and Ben straight and keeping their character differences straight.
Not a bad read, but not one that I would re-read on a regular basis.