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Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
In The Christmas Singing, author Cindy Woodsmall places an Amish woman named Mattie in Ohio. Three years prior to the setting of the book, Mattie and her childhood sweetheart, Gideon, broke off their long-term relationship. Mattie was convinced that Gideon preferred the fancy English women to her, and she has now struck a friendly relationship with Sol. He does little for her romantically, but Sol is good company, and Mattie and Sol have an understanding that they will someday marry. Then tragedy strikes. Mattie's beloved bakery burns, and she is left without a profession that consumed all her waking hours.
Mattie then travels back home to Pennsylvania to be with her sick mother, and she inadvertently comes into contact with Gideon, a situation which has them both anxious and on edge. Mattie sets about making wedding cakes for two friends, and this necessitates even greater contact with Gideon, a man who appears to hold many secrets. Anger, disappointment and a sense of betrayal all prevent Mattie from seeing and accepting the truth about Gideon, and she flees back to a loveless life with Sol. But, the story does not end there.
Those who like the writing of other Amish writers will be captivated with Cindy Woodsmall's stories. The stories are a simple and honest portrayal of the interpersonal issues which present in everyday life to people of any religion and any culture. There is no violence, no aggression, no hostility; there is only the honest portrayal of everyday life in the making.