Monday, December 12, 2016

5-Star Review of "The Christmas Secret"

Review of The Christmas Secret:  

Will an 1880 Christmas Eve Wedding Be Cancelled by Revelations in an Old Diary?

by Wanda E. Brunstetter


Bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter delivers a poignant historical story of a couple on the threshold of marriage who are suddenly pulled apart. Elizabeth Canning discovers an awful secret in her aunt's diary. Believing her chances for a happy marriage are spoiled, she leaves her fiancé a letter and flees town. Anticipating a Christmas Eve wedding with Elizabeth, David Stinner is confused by her letter and desperate to find her. Can David root out the truth about the past and bring back his bride? Or is the truth destined to bring an ultimate end to their romance?

My Review:  Christmas Eve holds a special meaning for Elizabeth Canning as it is her birthday and she plans to make it even more special.  It will an unforgotten moment.  She and David are working to clean the little cabin they plan to make their first home.  When she discovers some awful, terrible secret, she must leave. She won't tell David where she has run, but he is determined to find this beautiful lady.  Will David be able to make this incredible Christmas surprise come to fruition?  
     This book was very different from the books that Wanda as they have all been works of Amish. I love the Amish books, but this historical fiction was so well written that it made up for the fact that Wanda Brunstetter had strayed from her Amish genre. That's a bit of a joke. But I DO LOVE her Amish fiction! :)  
      The Christmas Secret is set in 1880 and the town sounds simply enchanting in its simplicity.  The little cabin they plan to live in for sentimental reasons intrigues others but many of them don't understand their decision.  They know they could live in a more modern cabin.  They plan to marry there as well even though her best friend, Helen, doesn't think it is a wise choice.  Unfortunately for the happy couple, Elizabeth discovers her aunt's secret diary as she is cleaning the cabin and when she reads it, she finds a horrible, horrible truth that means she can never marry David.  In her shock and grief, she hastily writes a letter to David to cancel their marriage and flees without even talking with him first.  He is confused and upset and all he wants is to find her and bring her home for their wedding.  He may never find her though and when he does, the secret may indeed end their chance of a lifetime of married bliss together.  But David isn't giving up on this beautiful, wonderful young woman and God isn't giving up on either of them.   If only Elizabeth would trust God to shape their future.
         This is the perfect time of year to spend time reading The Christmas Secret as we approach the Christmas holiday.   Of course, any time of year is the right time to read books in my opinion, but I love to read Christmas books at this time of year.  Wanda has tackled this historical fiction piece with as much style and grace as she does with her Amish works.  The story has a shocking element that leads to a mystery for David as he searches to bring his bride-to-be home.   I love a good shocking bit of a mystery when I read and I think that other readers will enjoy it too.
          I rated this book 5 stars and give it my highest recommendation.
          I received a copy of this book from the publishers and netgalley.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:
Wanda E. Brunstetter

Wanda Brunstetter is an award-winning romance novelist who has led millions of readers to lose their heart in the Amish life. She is the author of over 70 books with more than 9 million copies sold. Many of her books have landed on the top bestseller lists, including the New York Times, USA Today, Publisher's Weekly, CBA, ECPA, and CBD. Wanda is considered one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre, and her work has been covered by national publications, including Time Magazine and USA Today.

Wanda's fascination with the Amish culture developed when she met her husband, Richard, who grew up in a Mennonite church, and whose family has a Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. Meeting her new Mennonite sister-in-laws caused Wanda to yearn for the simpler life. In their travel
s, she and her husband have become close friends with many Amish people across America. Wanda's desire to explore their culture increased when she discovered that her great-great grandparents were part of the Anabaptist faith.

All of Wanda's novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Many of her books are well-read and trusted by the Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.

Wanda's primary attraction to the Amish is their desire to live a devout Christian life that strives to honor God, work hard, and maintain close family ties. Whenever she visits her Amish friends, Wanda finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties, which is in stark contrast to the chaos and busyness that plagues so many modern "Englishers." Time and time again, Wanda loses her heart in the Amish life, and she hopes her readers will, too. For more information, visit:

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