I will begin this with the fact that I do not always read novellas. I certainly do not usually read Amish novellas. For some reason, at Christmas time, I find myself drawn to the shortness of them. They feed the need for a story, but yet during the busy time of year, take less time.
This Amish Christmas novella takes place during the time following World War 2. Rose’s fiancé has made the choice to serve as a non-combatant during the war. I was a little confused at first as it made it sound like he joined the military as a full serviceman, but claimed he never carried or fired a weapon. There were many Amish and Mennonites that served in non-combatant positions in hospitals as medics during World War 2. It was during that time the laws changed considering conscientious objectors. They were often persecuted, even though the law gave them the chance to serve without fighting. It was not as badly as during World War 1, where many were imprisoned. Since this was a novella, this book does not go into much of the history of that. It also refers to them as “Pacifists”. This was a title often shunned by those of Anabaptist beliefs. They were not passive in their beliefs, they simply did not believe that it was right to kill or harm someone simply because you do not agree with them or their nation. You loved your enemies instead, and sometimes quite aggressively. You could serve in non-combatant positions, but not in an office. You needed to take the jobs that were serving others. They worked as janitors, nurses, and medical personnel. But many times insisted on serving enemies and friends alike.
The book “One Boys Battle” by Christmas Carol Kauffman is a true story of one boy that served in the military.
For One Moment is another about a German boy.
There are many, many books written on this topic, which many people that are not raised as Anabaptist, struggle to understand. I think if you enjoyed A Christmas Gift for Rose and wish to understand more about this, those are good books to read.
Before I digress more so on that topic, I will talk more about the actual book. I enjoyed the adoption story in this book as well as the history behind it. The topics were heavy, but dealt with in a light manner. This makes this an ideal Christmas time read and you get a minor history lesson just from reading this review.
About the book:
Inspired by a true story, A Christmas Gift for Rose is a heartwarming novella of sacrifice and deep love.
Born in the midst of the hardships of The Great Depression, Rose grew up in Berlin, Ohio, in the arms of a loving Amish family. But she is overwhelmed by self-doubt when she learns the truth of her birth. She was born Englisch and abandoned when her family moved West in search of work. Was she meant to be Amish or would she have been better off growing up with her own kind—Englischers? And was her intended’s gift of discovering her birth family given out of love or fear?
Don’t miss award-winning author Tricia Goyer’s first Christmas novella.
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