Cover Image: A Christmas Home

A Christmas Home

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Member Reviews

This is a beautiful story of love and forgiveness.  Both Sarah and Noah had been deeply hurt in the past.  Sarah’s pain came from her father’s consistent search for his “promised land”, but never finding it.  Noah struggles from his wife’s desertion after their twin sons were born.  As Sarah returns home to live with her grandparents, her grandmother finds Sarah a  job as a bookkeeper for Noah’s custom furniture business.  Sarah soon falls in love not only with the twins, but also Noah. Both Noah and Sarah have to learn to trust God for future happiness that seems impossible to find.

The storyline of this book is compelling.  I had sympathy for Sarah’s situation, and hoped that she and Noah might find their happily-ever-after together. The twins in this story are sweet and added much to the story.  I know this is presented as a Christmas-themed book, but this would be a good book to read at any time of year. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.
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Filled with family, friends, love, faith, and magical winter days, this is a charming book. I really enjoyed the setting in Amish country, since this isn’t a setting I have read much about. It really transported me into a different place while reading it!

And of course, there is a love interest Noah Raber who is a man that is good with his hands, crafting beautiful furniture. Don’t we all kind of fall a bit for someone who is able to create with their hands??? When Sarah Yoder returns home and is asked to help Noah with his business, it seems like things might be coming together for a great love story. But things are so simple or predictable. There is a pretty big obstacle in the way of Noah and Sarah developing a relationship, and it’s not a simple one.

Noah is the father to a pair of rambunctious twins, whose mother mysteriously disappeared. Through an exploration of faith, integrity, and following your heart, we see their story unfold. This was a charming story and one that made me think a lot about the compass that we dedicate to guide us through life, and what happens when life doesn’t stay on course.

There’s also a section at the back with some Amish recipes and traditions that I thought was a cute addition. A sweet book that will give you all the right cozy winter feels!

Thank you to Berkley for my copy. Opinions are my own.
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I truly can’t help it. Honestly, I didn’t try very hard. I completely fell in love with Mark!

You don’t need to re-read the synopsis, you didn’t miss anything there. The hero’s name really is Noah. And there isn’t another guy in the picture for Sarah. Unless you count Matty and Mark, Noah’s adorable sons. Matthew is cute with his “boy-sterous” energy and outgoing personality but Mark is the one who captured my heart. Took it for ransom and won’t give it back. This sensitive, shy child with his openhearted trust in Sarah. Talk about a heart-melting sweetness! Each time he leaned against Sarah, taking comfort in her kindness and understanding. . .

I was surprised to find out the reason for Noah’s boys not having a mother. It was a complication that I hadn’t expected. I don’t believe in giving spoilers so I’ll just say that it was a doozy!

I really appreciated Sarah’s take-charge-but-don’t-bulldoze-over-everyone attitude. Her heart was tender and kind, which is why she was so determined to help.

Noah had been deeply hurt and didn’t feel he had anyone to share his burdens. He struggled with anger as a result of the suppressed grief. Yet he knew how to love deeply and was an amazing father to the twins.
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After 10 years of moving from place to place with her widowed drifter of a father, Sarah finally feels her younger siblings are old enough to take care of themselves so she returns to the Amish community of Promise Glen, home to her grand- mother and most of her relatives. Much more quickly than she expected Sarah finds a job working as office manager for a furniture maker with twin sons but no wife.
Noah’s wife had left him one day without a word. As far as anyone knew Noah has made no effort to find his wife and he doesn’t know where she is.
You can guess where this is going, can’t you? Like all good romances, and especially Amish ro- mances, the reader can take comfort in its predict- ability.
But a well-written romance also has an element of surprise ... and this one is well- written and enjoyable.
It is warm and inviting, with smells and sights and sounds of a close-knit Amish community and a love story that you know will develop, but you just can’t quite figure out how.
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4.5 stars 

A Christmas Home is everything you want in a Christmas read, Amish or not. Snowy days, family, faith, friends, yummy food, adorable kids, falling in love. The fact that it is set in Amish country adds even more charm to this heartwarming story.

Sarah Yoder is a tenderhearted young woman with an intuitive wisdom and a nurturing heart. This makes her the perfect choice to step in and help Noah Raber with the business side of his furniture side – but an even more perfect choice to capture his heart – and that of his precocious (and motherless) twin boys. The story isn’t as predictable as you might guess, though – one pretty insurmountable obstacle stands in their way and it’s a doozy. I loved that Noah and Sarah were both people of strong faith and integrity but also that they struggled realistically with the complications of life and their growing feelings for each other.

I thought I knew how it would probably play out – and I was right – but the process of getting there kept me second guessing my initial predictions. Along the way, I fell in love with all of them – Sarah, her grandmother, her cousin & his young family, Noah, his boys (especially tenderhearted Mark), and even his parents. I’m delighted that this is a series because I hope to see glimpses of all of the above in future books, too.

Perry’s writing is engaging and immediately draws you in to the setting, the plot, and the characters. If you’ve never read one of her books before, you’ll readily see why she’s such a popular writer. I never felt that the story lagged or that my attention waned – especially because I wanted to see how this potential romance was going to be possible.  It’s a fairly quick read, perfect for a wintry evening (or a warm late autumn night that you wish were wintry) or weekend.

Bottom Line: Grab a mug of your favorite hot beverage and a handful of homemade cookies, and settle in for this delightful story of love, faith, and the holiday spirit. The gentle theme of knowing when to forgive, when to stand up for yourself, and when to accept help is woven organically throughout the story – along with flawed but endearing characters who win your heart. Really enjoyed this sweet romance! Looking forward to another visit to Promise Glen in the (hopefully) near future.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
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A Christmas Home by Marta Perry is the first book in The Promise Glen Series.  I always enjoy reading books from Marta Perry who has a charming writing style and relatable characters.  Sarah Yoder lost her mother when she was eighteen.  She has three younger siblings which meant she had to take charge of the household and raise them as well as taking care of her father.  Sarah’s three siblings are now happily married and settled so she can have a life for herself.  She has chosen not to join her father on his latest move.  Sarah has returned home to Promise Glen, Pennsylvania to live in the grossdaadi haus with her grandmother, Etta Miller.  She obtains a bookkeeping position with Noah Raber and helps to promote his furniture business.  Sarah tries to resist falling for Noah and his busy twin boys because Noah is married.  His wife left when the kids were babies and divorce is not an option for Amish.  Can you imagine being stuck in a marriage for the rest of your life after your spouse has deserted you?  I liked the characters in A Christmas Home from the insightful Etta Miller to Noah’s active twin boys, Mark and Matthew.  There is a wonderful community with thoughtful, caring people as well as those who gossip.  The book is well-written with steady pacing.  The author’s depictions allowed me to visualize the settings and the characters.  I could feel the character’s emotions in this heartwarming Christmas story.  I like Christmas stories because it is a time of year when people are in better spirits and it seems that anything can happen during this magical season.  The phrase I wanted to share from A Christmas Home is “You can always trust God to take care of the details.”  There are recipes at the end of the book along with Amish Christmas customs.  A Christmas Home is a touching tale with busy boys, furniture making fundamentals, scheming friends, bookkeeping bedlam, and family Christmas traditions.
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The author gives us a young Amish woman who had to grow up early when her mother died and her younger siblings need her. She also had Dad with wanderlust, and was never able to stay in one place very long. Now she was home, at least where she began and is living with her Grandmother.
Add a struggling Amish man with twin motherless boys, and trying to run a business, and you could see where this story was going, but alas not all is at it first appears, and thus the story.
While I could figure out the end of this book, the author kept my attention and I found the read enjoyable.

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Berkley, and was not required to give a positive review.
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Sarah and Noah’s story was a wonderful tale of two people struggling with the restrictions placed upon them by their religious community and family needs in A Christmas Home by Marta Perry, book one in The Promise Glen series. After the death of her mother, Sarah Yoder spent ten years keeping house and raising her younger siblings, following the wanderlust of their father. When she returns home to Promise Glen she is ready to make a life of her own. Sarah’s new job is with her neighbor, Noah Raber’s furniture business. Noah is the single father of six-year old twin boys. His young wife ran away, abandoning their family, looking for an adventure. There is no divorce in the Amish community, so Noah is married, but not; single, but not; at loose ends. He needs Sarah’s assistance in organizing his business but acts resentful. The two clash over everything from the arrangement of the work space, how to reach new costumers, or how to raise his mischievous twin boys. Despite longing for her own home, Sarah is conflicted with her feelings toward this ready-made family and especially Noah. When these two are forced to work together on the Christmas pageant, their feelings grow; forcing them to avoid being alone. Sarah knows that loving Noah will not end with a happy ending, but with faith, love, some help from their close-knit community, and maybe some Christmas magic, there might yet be a Christmas home for them both.

I felt sympathetic toward Sarah and Noah as both were in difficult spots. Noah was not a free man, able to pursue his interest in Sarah. As these two worked together, Noah recognized the strengths, kindness, and problem-solving skills that Sarah possessed; traits which made her perfect for him and his sons. Sarah wanted to be loved. Maybe more than that, needed to be loved and appreciated for who she was. 

Ms. Perry wrote a sweet love story that is not to be missed. She provided a tale rich with emotions, attraction, chemistry, wonderful dialogue, and endearing characters in an interesting Amish community, all helping Sarah and Noah find a way to their own Christmas home.  I highly recommend A Christmas Home to other readers and look forward to future books in this series. 

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
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A sweet Christmas Amish Christmas story and a perfect book to start a new series! I look forward to reading about the lives of the different characters introduced in A Christmas Home. Sarah was a special character who will easily be loved by readers. I liked that recipes were included in the back as well as an explanation about the way the Amish celebrate Christmas.
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I didn't appreciate this was an Amish story when I received my ARC from Netgalley so I started reading with some trepidation. I soon became immersed in the story and enjoyed the mannerisms and language. It was still an old fashioned romance but purer and gentler than more modern tales with lots of sex scenes. It was full of family, community, love, kindness and understanding. Don't be fooled that it was all sweetness though, the characters had flaws like anger and guilt which made them more likeable. The ending was easy to spot because of Amish ways and belief in God but I didn't mind knowing what was to come. I enjoyed learning a little of the Amish ways and feel in love with the twins. Most of all it made me long for fresh snow and Christmas. A lovely, uncomplicated morning read.
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I have reviewed this novel for New York Journal of Books where it will be posted the evening before the publication date.  

"A Christmas Home" by Marta Perry
October 8, 2019
Inspirational Holiday Romance

Publicity Contact: NetGalley

Reviewed by Nancy Carty Lepri 

Amish-raised Sarah Yoder lost her mother when she was 18, leaving her to nurture her younger siblings. She achieved her duty by protecting the children and keeping them happy though her father let no moss grow under his feet by constantly moving them to different places while he searched for employment. Now, with the youngest sibling married and settled, Sarah moves back to her beloved hometown of Promise Glen, a green valley tucked between sheltering ridges in central Pennsylvania.

Sarah’s Grossmammi welcomes her with open arms, thrilled she is back, and she settles in to live with her while her cousin Eli, his pregnant wife Ruthie, and their two-year-old daughter Mary live in the main house. Sarah is uncertain how Ruthie feels about her being there, and she insists she does not plan to take over Ruthie's domain. 

Within a short time, Sarah is lucky to find employment with Noah Raber, a neighbor, and custom furniture maker. Though Noah is a master craftsman, he knows nothing about business, so Sarah resolves to get his books in order. Their relationship is strained in the beginning for Noah is introspective and reserved. Meanwhile, Sarah is more outgoing, but at first, she keeps to herself so as not to rattle him. 

Mark and Matty, Noah's six-year-old twins, melt Sarah's heart, and she makes a concerted effort to connect with them. Janie, their mammi and Noah's wife left him and the boys when they were babies. Though Sarah dreams of having a family of her own, she refuses to marry a man for the purpose of raising his children, which she did with her brothers and sister. Sarah desires what every woman wants—a man who loves her for herself, not as a maid and a parent. This does not concern her too much, because Noah isn't divorced, and he has no idea of Janie's whereabouts. Even if he did know, divorce is not allowed in the Amish faith. 

Sarah considers Noah could attain more customers if he advertised his business, yet when she broaches the subject, he becomes angry and puts her in her place by reminding her she is just his employee. Noah does not take to "forward women," which he considers Sarah to be, but she appreciates how expensive it is to raise youngsters. She pushes the issue until he acquiesces, though she finds his indifferent manner hurtful.

After a while, Noah observes how well Sarah and his children bond, and he soon acquires a soft spot toward her, but he can do nothing about it. Sarah starts to fall in love with Noah; however, she must lock her feelings away for being together is something that can never be. 

"Noah slid into her thoughts despite her determination to keep him out. Maybe that was all of a piece—her growing affection for the twins, the fierce attraction that had led them so close to an embrace, even this yearning for a child. . . . 

. . . "Her grandmother rounded the table to put an arm around Sarah's waist. 'Tell me, child. You have feelings for Noah, ain't so?'

"Sarah turned her face away, unwilling to meet those wise old eyes. 'We're friends. I . . . I care about him and the boys. I know it can't go beyond that.' Please don't ask me anything else. Please don't read my heart.

"'It's hard sometimes to understand God's doing.' She gave Sarah a squeeze. 'This is one of those times. All we can do is trust His plan.'"

While Sarah spends more time with Noah and his boys, her feelings for them grow as her heart breaks. Will she ever find true love, happiness, and a life with children of her own?

A Christmas Home is the first installation in The Promise Glen Series. As with Perry's other inspirational novels, A Christmas Home employs the loving bond of family and community along with longing and heartache, yet a strong trust in God that things will all work out in the end. This book also Includes some mouth-watering recipes, a glossary of Pennsylvania Dutch words and phrases, and information about Amish Christmas customs, making this a heartwarming read.
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Sarah Yoder has come home after many years away and has found a job with furniture maker Noah Raber, the father of twin sons whose mother left when they were babies.  Noah and his wife are still technical married and divorce is not done.  The boys become very fond of Sarah and she of them and she and Noah become friends.  Can they become anything more?
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