About the Book:
Title: The Christmas Prayer
Beloved, bestselling author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter takes readers on a journey in 1850 along the California Trail.
Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when a sudden snowstorm traps them, obscuring the trail.
Cynthia Cooper is traveling with her mother and the man she has promised to marry. But as Christmas is upon them and they are hunkered down in a small cabin, she is forced to reevaluate her reasons for planning to marry fellow-traveler Walter Prentice. When a widowed father heading to a California ranch and a gold prospector both show an interest in Cynthia, she weighs her dreams for marriage alongside her responsibility to care for her mother. Can love win over her timid heart?
This historical romance, The Christmas Prayer by Wanda Brunstetter, is a very promising plot that fell short for me. I have read several of Brunstetter’s Amish books and really liked them. I have read at least one other historical romance she wrote that I thought was a true winner. This one, I believe, just was too short (it is a novella) and space ran out before the narrative could conclude smoothly. I think, had this book been a novel, things would have happened at what I would consider a good speed and it could have been a great book.
I felt for poor Cynthia stuck on the westward trail in 1850 with a much older, unkind, uncaring fiancé. Especially when there were two highly eligible other young men in their little wagon train. The children, Amelia and Alan, had very integral roles.
The portrayal of the characters was interesting, but at the end, I wanted to see more fleshing out. I realized many were more two-dimensional than I would have liked.
The journey was interesting, but it seemed to reach a climax, then abruptly loose ends were tied up and the novella ended. I felt like I was riding a horse at a good canter, but then the horse suddenly came to an abrupt stop at the edge of a bluff, and I got thrown.
Two songs characterized this book for me: in one spot, Keith Green’s early 80’s hit, “So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt?!”; and “You Can’t Hurry Love(You Just Gotta Wait).”
Quotable: “When our hope is lost, that’s when we need to rely fully on Him, for with God, all things are possible.”
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own, for which I am solely responsible. I was not required to write a positive review.
About the Author:
New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda’s stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.
Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.
When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
To learn more about Wanda, visit her website at www.wandabrunstetter.com.