Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall

Childhood friends and sweethearts, Maddie and Gideon expect to marry and have a lifetime together. One day, however, Gideon unexpectedly breaks things off with Maddie, leaving her bereft. Will Maddie find happiness with her new boyfriend, Sol, who is solitary and likes to hunt by himself?

Though most readers know how this novel will end, The Christmas Singing, is still charming. Maddie is a bit to clumsy for my taste and Gideon is a little too perfect (even with his alleged wandering ways) yet it's easy to see them together.

Maddie keeps herself busy in another Amish town after Gideon jilts her. Her bakery, Maddie Cakes, does well until an accidental fire causes it to burn to the ground. This bit of ill luck brings Maddie back to Apple Ridge where she has a series of chance meetings with her ex-beau, Gideon. He is the carpenter who is building her cousin's house.

Gideon tries to explain why he broke up with her but Maddie refuses to let him into her heart again. She's engaged to Sol because he's a good man who will never break her heart. Convenience, safety and companionship are no reason to marry. Her heart is safe with Sol only because it is never really engaged. As her cousin astutely argues, "You can't break what you cannot touch."

Maddie's heart melts when she know the real reason why Gideon broke up with her. None of the horrible things she thought about Gideon were true. He has lied to her in order to protect her. Nonetheless, Maddie is furious that he was not more straightforward. She has already made a promise to Sol.

Will Maddie returns to Ohio to attend the Christmas Singing and reunite with Sol? Or will she reunite with her past love, Gideon?

Even though most readers can guess what will happen, this novel, like a good comic play, is enjoyable to the last line.

As a participant in the Waterbrook/Multnomah's "Blogging for Books" program, I have had a chance to view an e-version of this novel at no charge. The opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.