One Quilt Binds Three Generations of Amish Women
Enjoy the gift of a brand new romance from New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter, along with stories by her daughter-in-law, Jean and granddaughter, Richelle.
For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me. Psalm 31:3
The scripture embroidered on the back of a beloved quilt brings hope to three generations of Pennsylvania Amish women at Christmastime.
By Wanda E. Brunstetter
Luella Ebersol has been caregiver for a dying woman and her young son. When Dena Lapp gives Luella her favorite quilt, she makes Luella promise to pass it down to her daughter. But Luella isn’t sure she will ever marry if she can’t find someone with maturity and faith like Dena’s husband Atlee Zook.
By Jean Brunstetter
Karen Allgyer and her husband moved to a slow-paced village to raise their children, but Karen longs for the closeness of family to help her through the challenges of managing three girls with one on the way. When life’s pressures rise, will Karen cave to her fears?
By Richelle Lynn Brunstetter
When the unexpected happens on the day of her wedding, Roseanna Allgyer can’t help blaming herself, despite not understanding why. Then an old friend returns to town, and she battles feeling for him—afraid of being hurt again.
|Publisher:||Barbour Publishing, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda's stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards. Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs. When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. To learn more about Wanda, visit her website at www.wandabrunstetter.com.
Jean Brunstetter became fascinated with the Amish when she first went to Pennsylvania to visit her father-in-law’s family. Since that time, Jean has become friends with several Amish families and enjoys writing about their way of life. She also likes to put some of the simple practices followed by the Amish into her daily routine. Jean lives in Washington State with her husband, Richard Jr. and their three children, but takes every opportunity to visit Amish communities in several states. In addition to writing, Jean enjoys boating, gardening, and spending time on the beach.
Richelle Brunstetter is a college student from Washington state who is just starting her writing career. Her first published story appears in The Beloved Christmas Quilt beside her grandmother, Wanda E. Brunstetter, and her mother, Jean.
Read an Excerpt
Luella Ebersol had never been lazy, but this morning it was all she could do to push the covers aside and pull herself out of bed. She'd put in long hours yesterday, taking care of Atlee Zook's wife, Dena, and their son, Daryl. When Dena's health declined a few months ago, Luella had been hired as her caregiver while Atlee was at work in his shop or had to be away from home for other reasons. Atlee usually stayed home from their biweekly church services on Sundays, so Luella could go with her family, but sometimes she sat with Dena, allowing Atlee to attend the service.
It was not easy leaving the warm confines of her blankets this morning, and Luella cringed when her bare feet touched the cold wooden floor. The late November weather had turned chilly, and snow was in the forecast. The dull light coming into her room was an indication of how dreary it was outdoors. The Indian-summer days of autumn were gone, and she already missed having the windows open at night. "I'll never complain about hot summer days again," Luella mumbled as she slipped into her robe and fuzzy slippers.
Quickly making the bed, she shivered, guiding her hands over the sheets and covers to smooth them out. Mama was probably downstairs scurrying around the kitchen; which prompted Luella to close her eyes and inhale deeply. Tantalizing aromas drifting up from the kitchen made her stomach gurgle in protest.
Walking over to the window, Luella ran her fingers down the moisture on the glass. Looking toward the barn, she saw the door was open. Dad had most likely been there awhile, getting his morning chores done.
Forcing herself away from the view, Luella needed to hurry and dress so she could help get breakfast on the table. Surely, her full-of-energy, twelve-year-old sister, Sara, would already be there. Luella and Sara were ten years apart, so with the exception of their easygoing personalities, they had little in common. Sara liked to be outdoors with the animals, whereas Luella enjoyed indoor things like embroidery work, reading, and cooking. One of her favorite things to make this time of year was apple butter bars. She'd baked a batch of them last night to take over to the Zooks' this morning.
"And I'd better get dressed or I'll never get there." Luella washed her face and hands with water from the basin on her dresser then chose a plain, dark blue dress to wear. Once she'd gotten dressed and put on her shoes, she secured her hair in a bun and put her heart-shaped white head covering on.
Downstairs in the kitchen, the first thing she did was slip her black apron on. "What's for friehschtick, and what can I do to help you?" she asked her mother.
Mom turned from where she stood at the stove. "Thought we'd have pannekuche for our breakfast this morning."
Luella grinned. "Pancakes sound good to me. Shall I mix up the batter?"
"Already done." Mom stepped aside and pointed to the griddle on the stove, where bubbles formed on the surface of four nice-sized pancakes. "Sara set the table, and now she's outside helping your daed in the barn."
Luella's brows furrowed. "How come Samuel's not helping Dad feed the animals? Did my little bruder sleep in this morning?"
"Your brother came down with the flu during the night. He's resting in bed."
"I'm sorry to hear it. Sure hope he feels better soon and no one else gets it." Luella especially didn't want to get sick. It would mean not being able to take care of Dena, and Luella certainly didn't want her dear friend to get the flu. It was bad enough Dena's heart was failing. Atlee's wife was pure sweetness, and although her heart had weakened, she never complained. According to what the doctor had told Atlee, Dena would not live to see their young son become a man.
"Daughter, did you hear what I said?" Mom tapped Luella's shoulder, halting her contemplations.
Luella turned around. "Ach. Sorry, Mom. I was deep in thought."
Mom gave a nod. "It looked as if you were."
"What did you say to me?"
"I asked what time you need to be at the Zooks'."
Luella glanced at the battery-operated clock. "I should leave within the hour."
"Then we'd best eat soon. Why don't you run out to the barn and tell your daed and schweschder to stop what they're doing and come in for breakfast? If they're not done, they can finish up when the meal is over."
"Okay, Mom." Luella pulled her woolen shawl from the wall peg and slipped out the back door.
Pulling the shawl tighter around her shoulders as she approached the barn, Luella heard Dad whistling. He always made music when he fed the livestock. Luella felt blessed to have such a cheerful father. For that matter, both of her parents had positive attitudes, even when faced with trials. Luella hoped someday, when she was married and had children, that she could set a good example for them as well.
Upon entering the barn, Luella spotted her sister down on her knees, petting one of the barn cats.
Luella cleared her throat real loud and, with a jerk of her head, Sara looked up. "You shouldn't sneak up on a person like that. Almost gave me a hatzschlack."
Hearing her sister say "heart attack" caused Luella to think about poor Dena again. Ever since she had begun working for Atlee, she thought about him and his wife's situation. How sad it would be to marry someone and then a few years later learn they were gravely ill.
In an effort to redirect her thoughts, Luella knelt beside Sara and reached out to stroke the cat. "I thought you were supposed to be helping Dad feed the animals." She wagged her finger.
Sara's pale brows lowered, and she pushed a lock of silky blond hair back under the head scarf she wore to do chores. "For your information, I've already fed the katze and the hund, so now I'm just takin' a little time to pet Cloud."
Luella snickered. Her sister loved animals and had named every one of their cats. This one she called Cloud because of its fluffy white fur. "Okay, Sara, I understand, but Mom sent me out here to fetch you and Dad so we could eat breakfast."
Sara rose to her feet. "Oh, good 'cause I'm hungerich."
Luella smiled. "You go ahead to the house, and I'll get Dad."
"All right. See you up in the kitchen." Her sister scampered out the door with Cloud following close behind.
First, Luella paused to check on Buttercup, the Nubian goat her parents got for her sixteenth birthday. The floppy-eared goat came to the front of the stall and bleated, most likely hoping Luella would follow through with the normal ear scratching. "Don't worry, I didn't forget you, Buttercup." Luella had to giggle when the goat leaned into her hand as she scratched behind its ears. "Why, I believe you are actually smiling."
After fussing with Buttercup, Luella followed Dad's whistles to the back of the barn. She found him inside the stall of Mom's buggy horse.
Seemingly engrossed in his chore of spreading fresh straw, Dad didn't notice her at first. It wasn't easy running a farm, but somehow he put enjoyment behind the hardest of work. Even now, as her father followed his normal routine of freshening the stall, one would never know he'd been up before daybreak, putting in a few hours before breakfast.
She stood watching him a few seconds longer, until he paused to wipe his forehead. "Ach, Luella! I didn't hear you come in. How long have you been standing there?"
"Not long at all. I've enjoyed the tune you've been whistling, while watching you work." With tender emotions, she looked at her dad. "You know what I always say, Dad. 'Keep your happiness in circulation.'"
He grinned, giving his full dark beard a tug. "You know me ... always singin' or whistlin' when I have chores to do."
She nodded. "The reason I came out is to tell you breakfast is about ready. Since I have to leave for the Zooks' house soon, Mom said I should call you in to eat."
He gestured to the pile of straw yet to be spread. "I still have a little more work here."
"I know, but Mom thought you could finish up after breakfast."
He reached under his straw hat and scratched his head. "Jah, I suppose I could do that all right. Who knows, I might be able to work a lot harder once my belly is full." Dad winked at Luella. "Agreed?"
She grinned up at him. "Jah, Dad, I agree. But ya better not eat too much, or it'll make you sleepy."
"I've never looked at it that way," her father said with a chuckle, as he put his arm around Luella's shoulder and they walked out of the barn together.
"How is Dena doing today?" Luella asked when Atlee let her into his house.
"Not well." Atlee slowly shook his head, glancing toward their bedroom, which was on the first floor. "She didn't sleep well last night, so I insisted she stay in bed this morning and rest." He reached up to rub his neck. The poor man's somber expression said it all; he was worried about his wife.
Luella wanted to offer him comfort but wasn't sure how. She certainly couldn't give Atlee a hug, like she did whenever Dad was troubled about something. That would be inappropriate. "I'm sorry, Atlee. I'll keep Daryl entertained today and make sure Dena's needs are met."
His shoulders drooped, and he rubbed the heel of his palm against his chest. Luella saw only sadness in Atlee's brown eyes. His thick, dark brows, matching the color of his hair and beard, pulled downward. He looked so defeated. "According to the doctor, short of a miracle, my fraa doesn't have long to live."
Luella's heart went out to him. Although Atlee tried to stay strong for his wife and son, she could see the stress was wearing on him. Dark circles under his eyes suggested he'd gotten very little sleep last night. She'd been praying and praying for Dena, but the dear woman seemed to be getting weaker every day. How would Atlee cope when she was gone? How would their son manage without a mother? At times such as now, Luella couldn't help but question God. Why did He call some people home in the prime of their life, while others got to live to a ripe old age? It didn't seem fair, but it wasn't her place to question God. As their bishop had said in a sermon lately, "God's ways are not our ways, and He has a plan for every one of His people, even if we can't see or understand it."
Luella tilted her head toward the stairs but heard no noise coming from up there. The Zooks' house was a large two-story, with one bedroom down, and the other four bedrooms on the second floor. "Is Daryl still in bed?" she asked, feeling the need to talk about something else — something that didn't speak of death.
"Jah." Atlee ambled over to the woodstove and picked up the coffeepot. "Would you like a cup of kaffi, Luella?"
"No, thank you. I'll fix you some friehschtick, though."
He shook his head. "I've already had breakfast."
Luella glanced at the table, where only Atlee's empty cup set. No sign of any plates having been out, nor was there a frying pan or kettle on the stove. "What did you have?"
"I ate a piece of that tasty shoofly pie you made yesterday, to go with my coffee."
"I see." She glanced at the kitchen sink, but it was empty.
As if he could read her thoughts, Atlee quickly said, "I didn't use a deller. I put the pie on a napkin and ate it with my fingers." He held up his hand and wiggled his fingers. "It got kind of sticky, but that's what soap and wasser are for."
She resisted the urge to laugh, certain that he didn't mean it to be funny. Truthfully, the only time Luella saw Atlee laugh, or even smile, was when he took time out from his job to play with his son. Atlee had a woodworking shop in a separate building on his property, where he made doghouses, birdhouses, picnic tables, lawn chairs, and some small storage sheds. He did most of the work himself, but one of the young Amish men in the area came to help when Atlee had too many orders to fill. At noontime and at least once more during the day, Atlee came into the house to check on Dena and spend a little time with Daryl. If Luella had learned one thing about Atlee since she'd been working for him, it was that he was a devoted husband and father. She hoped to find a man someday who would be equally devoted to her. For now, though, her only goal in life was to be a good caregiver for Dena and see that Daryl had everything he needed. That's what Atlee had hired her for, and she wouldn't let him down.
Luella took a seat in the chair beside Dena's bed, while Daryl played with his wooden horse on the floor nearby. Luella had brought the boy into the bedroom with her, partly so she could keep an eye on him and also to give Dena a chance to be with her son.
"You don't have to sit here with me." Dena's brown eyes closed then fluttered open. It was an obvious struggle for her to stay awake. "I'm sure you have other things to do."
Luella shook her head. "The lunch dishes are done, and the laundry is hanging on the line outside, so there isn't much I need to do till it's time to bring the clothes in and start supper." She touched Dena's pale hand. "Besides, I enjoy talking with you. But if you're too tired to visit, I can come back later to check on you and see if there's anything you need."
"What I need is to get up and do something meaningful. I don't know why Atlee insisted I stay in bed all day." Dena released a lingering sigh. "I feel so useless."
"Would you like me to bring your basket of yarn so you can sit up in bed and knit or crochet?"
"I suppose I could do that, but it's not the same as cooking for my family, cleaning house, or going for a walk with my precious little bu." When Dena turned her head to look at Daryl, tears gathered in the corner of her eyes. "I'm missing so much not being able to care for him like I should, and ..." Her voice lowered. "It breaks my heart to think that I won't be around to see him start school."
Luella gently squeezed her friend's fingers. "Please don't talk like that, Dena. You must not give up hope."
Dena lifted a shaky hand to push a wisp of auburn hair away from her colorless cheek. "My hope lies in Jesus, but I have to face reality. My heart's not getting any stronger, and it's only a matter of time until ..." Her voice trailed off as several tears seeped out from under her lashes. "There's so much I want to tell you, Luella, but I can barely keep my eyes open. We can talk later. But for now, why don't you take Daryl outside to play while I take a nap?"
Luella nodded. "I can do that. Is there anything I can do or get for you before we head outdoors?"
"No, I'm fine. I just need to sleep for a while."
Luella patted Dena's arm then tucked the lovely quilt covering her bed up under her chin. "I'll be in to check on you after we come back inside."
"Danki." Dena closed her eyes.
Luella continued to sit a few more minutes, until she was sure Dena had fallen asleep. Then she left her chair, took Daryl's hand, and led him silently from the room.
"Why can't Mammi come outside with us?" Daryl's innocence tugged at Luella's heart.
"Your mamma is a little tired still, and she needs her rest."
With no more questions, Daryl stretched out each arm while Luella slipped his jacket on, then put her heavy woolen shawl around her shoulders.
As they stepped off the porch, Luella stopped. In certain spots, sunlight glistened on the grass, making dewdrops sparkle like tiny diamonds. But in other shaded areas, yet untouched by the warmth of the afternoon sun, frosty patterns coated the still-frozen blades of grass. Luella was glad they both wore heavier attire, as she blew air from her mouth and watched the vapor dissolve into the cold, nippy air.
"Schnee! Schnee!" Daryl pointed to the thin layer of sparkling ice lingering on the trees in the Zooks' backyard.
"No, Daryl, it's frost, not snow," Luella said in Pennsylvania Dutch. At the age of four, he was still too young to understand most English words, but that would change when he turned six and went to school.
The boy tipped his auburn head back, looked up at her curiously, and repeated the word schnee.
She didn't correct him this time. He'd learn the difference between snow and frost eventually. As chilly as it was, all too soon Daryl would be correct in yelling, "Schnee."
Luella watched as the young lad ran through the yard, making a matted-down trail in the frost as he went. While Daryl was content amusing himself, she turned and looked back at the large, five-bedroom house. How exciting it must have been when the Zooks were first married and moved into this place.
Excerpted from "The Beloved Christmas Quilt"
Copyright © 2017 Wanda E. Brunstetter.
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
** This is just a preview. The story and characters are rather flat, and the conversations are odd. Hope the author fully develops the story and characters. ** esk 09/2017 **
I really did like this book I only wish that it was longer or hopefully they'll be more books to follow this one
Way too short.
Written by three very skillful authors, Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter and Richelle Brunstetter, these stories will capture your heart and hold it suspended in time. A novel you will not want to miss. I love also the way the beautiful quilt kept popping up during the stories and what was said each time. This book is loaded with excitement, that need to know suspense, and intrigue; plus that touch of romance that will keep you turning page after enjoyable page. Our first story titled, LUELLA'S PROMISE, starts on a sad note when Luella Ebersol had been asked to be caregiver for a dear friend and her beloved son. While there, Luella was also asked to keep a promise for her dear friend. Will she be able to carry out this promise and make everyone happy, or will someone wind up hurt in the process? Wonderful story! As I delved deeper into these amazing stories, especially at Christmas time, my heart went out to these wonderful people and their slow-paced way of life. Their sadness reached into my soul as our next story titled KAREN'S GIFT, slowly began. Everything was going along smoothly for Karen Allgyer and her family, until news from the doctor brought a sadness to Karen's world. Will she be able to cope? Will her husband Seth be able to except the challenges set before him? Beautiful, heart-warming, but sad read! As I excitedly read on our third story titled, ROSEANNA'S GROOM, became even more intriguing with Roseanna preparing herself for her wedding day. Although she seemed a little nervous, she kept things hidden behind a warm smile. This is suppose to be the happiest day of her life. What is she afraid of? Was she having second thoughts? Maybe it was just wedding day jitters. Great story! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Enjoyed but wish the author would of continued the story with an ending rather than letting us guess the ending.
Here are three stories by Wanda, Jean, and Richelle Brunstetter. This book just made me smile. Explore the life of Luella Ebersol and the quandry with the quilt...... Karen wants the closeness of a family while raising her children and Roseanna's heart was broken on her wedding day; will she find love again? Readers, you will not want to put this book down
This book is what I've come to expect from the Brunstetter writer's. Wonderfully descriptive writing. Religious without shoving it down your throat, a wonderful look at the Amish culture, and three heart-felt semi-short stories
I love how we see three generations with the three stories. With many stories we don’t get to hear in detail from each generation especially from three different authors. Each author kept the stories how I feel the Amish fiction should be written but each author had their own kind of style. I love the quilts that the Amish make and getting to read three stories about the same quilt being passed down was so nice. The quilt helped each woman in different ways and meant something different and special to each one. It just Roseanna a little while to accept it from her mother because of her special circumstances. “This book was provided to me by Barbour Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.”
If this is one third of the book, it is much to do about nothing.
A very good story.
What a beautifully collection of Christmas Stories. This Christmas book is made up of three stories wireetn by popular Amish author Wanda Brunstetter, her Daughter-in law Jean Brunstetter and first time published author, her grand daughter Richelle Brunstetter. The thing I loved about this was that the stories are about three generations of women in one family written by three generations of women in one family. Each of the women that these stories are written about, suffers emotional times and heartache that really tugs at the heartstrings. The stories also focus on one beloved, cherished, Christmas quilt with a thought provoking scripture verse embroidered on it that is passed down to the next generation on or around Christmas. Finding the person who is right for you to marry is hard enough, but moving away from family or dealing with a child born with a disability can add stress to any relationship. When your parents do not agree with your choice of a spouse in an Amish family usually means the marriage is not going to happen and could result in a lot of unhappiness. The final story deals with being left at the alter and healing enough to love again. A wonderful set of novellas, that I very much enjoyed. The publisher, Shiloh Run Press, generously provided me with a copy of this book to read. The rating, opinions and ideas are my own.
Writing was good but allow at times, but will get the next book
Just reaches out, grabs your attention, and holds on tight and will not let it go. I loved it.
The Beloved Christmas Quilt: Three Stories of Family, Romance and Amish Faith by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter and Richelle Brunstetter All three stories are tied together by a beautiful quilt that is passed down from generation to generation. The lives of these Amish women all face life challenges, loss, romance and love, second chances and faith. There is hope and God’s promise within the scripture verse lovingly stitched into the quilt, "For Thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for Thy name's sake lead me, and guide me. Psalm 31:3", (KJV...one of my favorite verses) that in time bring comfort, hope and peace to each woman. A collection of heartwarming stories. 1-Luella’s Promise by Wanda E. Brunstetter 2-Karen’s Gift by Jean Brunstetter 3-Roseanna’s Groom by Richelle Lynn Brunstetter ~I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing/author (no monetary gain were exchanged), this is my honest review~I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255~
I loved it couldn’t put he book down
Nice to have Christian romance stories.
The men in the story are hard-working. Glad I did not grow up on a farm. The plot looks predictable, but I could be wrong. The sample ended suddenly.
The Beloved Christmas Quilt by Wanda Brunstetter is a wonderful Christmas book that includes 3 stories. It is a series of stories that follow a special quilt that is being handed down from generation to generation. In keeping with a traditional Brunstetter book, all of them have a sweet element of Amish romance. In them, I saw a picture of new love, giving not selfishly but with others in mind, and sometimes what you think is the answer is not the answer at all. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I loved these books.
Very nice. I enjoyed the characters.