For the peaceful town of Willow Ridge, November presents an early holiday surprise. Stranded in the snow, 18-year-old Lena Esh and her boyfriend Josiah Witmer need more than a place to stay for the night. Lena defied her strict family and their judgmental beliefs to run away with Josiah and have his baby. But she's starting to wonder if he can prove as responsible as he is passionate. And she isn't sure how—or if—they can ever find a place to truly call home.
Expecting their own miracle baby, Miriam and Ben Hooley rally the town to help the young couple, and Lena draws strength from their unexpected support. Though trouble may come calling, in this season of joyous rebirth, a little child will lead them. And two couples will see their dreams of forever family come true .
My thoughts: THE CHRISTMAS CRADLE is the latest in Ms. Hubbard's ongoing Seasons of the Heart series. I enjoyed getting to to know Miriam and Ben a little better and Lena and Josiah. In addition the previous characters from other books made a reappearance in this collection, so fans are able to get caught up with a host of other characters.
There is a bit of suspense in this story as well. The reader is aware who the "bad guy" is, but not when, how, or why he will attack. That will keep the pages turning as well, as a scary face suddenly appears unexpected in a window, or a wedding reception turns ugly. .
Amish fans will love THE CHRISTMAS CRADLE. A great Christmassy read with plenty of spiritual truths. Recommended. And clean for the youngest readers too. My thirteen year old read it before I did and she gives it 5 stars. I agree.