Families rejoicing together, caroling parties full of cheer, and church get-togethers brimming with delicious cooking and warm fellowship. Ivy Weaver would give anything to be a part of Christmas in Wells Landing. But one reckless mistake made her an outsider, and it's all she can do now to tend to her ailing grandfather and make a living. She sure doesn't need Zeb Brenneman returning to help after he abandoned her for no reason. He's working hard to make amends, but Ivy isn't sure there's enough faith—or still-sparking love between them—to stir her forgiveness . . .
Zeb knows leaving Ivy was the biggest mistake he's ever made. Even though she won't hear him out, he's determined to prove he's become the trustworthy, steadfast man she truly deserves. But bright new chances and surprising revelations will give him and Ivy choices they never imagined. And finding their way back to each other will be the most challenging—and precious—Christmas gift of all . . .
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"Irene Jane, you cooked too much food. Way too much." Her grandfather's gaze chastised her over the top of his wire-rimmed glasses. Those eyes were sharp and blue. They seemed to have lost none of their brilliance, but the brain behind them ...
"Ivy, Dawdi," she corrected gently. "I'm Ivy." She didn't bother to remind him that Irene was her mother and had left months ago to live with her new husband in Indiana. Her grandfather would remember it or he wouldn't. Either way, she didn't want to start an argument. Not today. "It's Thanksgiving," she said with a bright smile.
"I know that. Bah." He scrubbed his hand over his head the way he did when he hadn't remembered, but didn't want to say it out loud. The action made the strands of his cottony, white hair stand out from his head like they had been shot through with static electricity.
Ivy allowed herself a small smile. She loved this man dearly, but as time went on, he seemed to be more and more forgetful. She was certain the day would come when he wouldn't remember who she was at all. When that happened, she wasn't sure what she would do.
"Don't just stand there," her grandfather chastised. "Sit down and let's eat before it goes to waste. Too much food to let it rot on the plate."
"Jah, Dawdi." She slid into the seat opposite him and bowed her head for their prayer. Thanksgiving. It should have been a happy day. So why was she in such misery?
Because after Thanksgiving came Christmas, and this one would be even worse than last year. Last year, it hadn't been that long since Zeb had left. Last year she was still pretending that nothing mattered, that she didn't care, that she wasn't heartbroken. This year the charade had grown weary, or maybe it was her. But she couldn't let everyone know that she did care, she had always cared. What good would that do now?
Her grandfather stirred in his chair and Ivy lifted her head, her prayer, such as it was, complete.
"Everything looks good, Irene." He reached for the platter of turkey, forking a large helping from the top before passing it across to her.
Ivy bit back a sigh. "Ivy," she gently corrected.
He nodded as if that were what he had said from the start. "I know that."
She had lost count of all the times he had called her by her mother's name. It was a recent development. But it worried her all the same. She supposed she looked enough like her mother. They had the same heart-shaped face, sky-blue eyes, and slim build, but whereas Mamm had smooth, brown hair and even smoother white skin, Ivy's hair was the color of flames, her skin marked with so many freckles she almost looked tanned. Almost.
"You shouldn't have done so much for just the two of us." Dawdi nodded toward the laden table. She had cooked more than usual, but tomorrow was promising to be a busy day at work; the whole weekend was, as a matter of fact. The turkey would keep them both in sandwiches until next week and her grandfather wouldn't have to turn on the stove or the oven in order to feed himself while she was gone. That in itself was a stress reliever. Not that she wanted him to know that.
"I love leftover turkey. Don't you?"
He swallowed the bite in his mouth and nodded. "Almost more than first-day turkey."
Ivy laughed. There was her dawdi. The man she had loved her entire life. The man who was now worrying her more than she liked.
At first she had chalked up his slipping memory to the fact that he had more to do around the farm since her mother and father had moved away. Stepfather. Alan Byler had come down from Indiana to look at some horses over at Andrew Fitch's and hadn't gone home. Her mother claimed it was love at first sight. Ivy could only smile and agree. After all, her mother deserved happiness. Ivy's father had died a few years back from pneumonia. It was a sad and lingering death. Her mother had done everything possible to nurse Ivy's father back to health, but the illness just proved to be too much.
Ivy wanted her mother to be happy. She wanted it more than anything, but ... she wasn't sure Alan Byler was the answer to her mother's lonely life. But it wouldn't do to voice her opinion. Her mother wasn't the kind to listen to the advice of others. Was it any wonder Ivy had taken the road she had?
"I'll clean up the dishes," Dawdi said. "That way you can get on over to the wedding."
Ivy stirred her potatoes around on her plate, her appetite suddenly gone. "I don't have a wedding today."
Her grandfather took a bite of his buttered roll and thoughtfully chewed. "When I was in the post office I heard Maddie Kauffman talking to Esther Fitch about Rachel Detweiler's wedding. I thought you two were good friends."
They had been, once upon a time. Before Zeb left, before she decided to hide her broken heart in a wild rumspringa filled with jeans, cars, and Englisch friends. The Amish were forgiving people, but Ivy hadn't asked for forgiveness. She stubbornly refused. She hadn't done anything all that wrong, and yet she was treated like a leper. Well, the joke was on them. She wasn't contagious. She couldn't make Amish boys forget their raising or turn Amish girls from pious to jezebel. And she hadn't been invited to Rachel Detweiler's wedding.
Ivy gave a careless shrug. "I guess we just lost touch." That was one way of putting it.
Her dawdi nodded. "I guess that happens."
All Ivy could do was nod. It had happened all right. And now that it had, there was nothing she could do to change it.
* * *
Ivy scrubbed the cotton swab between the buttons on her cash register and sighed. So much for today being busy. She hadn't counted on all the "Black Friday" sales and people gearing up for Christmas. She'd simply been thinking about everyone being tired of leftovers already and coming in to get something different to cook. She supposed everyone was tired of cooking as well. She peeked out the front window of the Super Cost Saver grocery store to the fast-food restaurant across the street. The line for the drive-through wrapped around the parking lot and spilled out into the street. Yet the store was so quiet she was certain she could hear the fruit going bad. She wasn't sure what Black Friday meant, but it certainly spelled out no customers for the Super Saver.
"Ivy, you have a call on line two. Ivy, line two."
She started at the sound of her name, the voice coming through the store speakers, tinny and hard to recognize. She had a phone call? From who? And how was she supposed to answer it, since she was stationed behind register one?
Bill, the store's assistant manager, had sent everyone home but a couple of stock boys, her, and Sue Ann, who answered the phones and kept the books. She had to be the one summoning her. It could be no one else.
"You can take it in here," Sue Ann said, suddenly appearing at the door of the business office. She motioned for Ivy to step away from the register. "I'll watch it for you," she added when Ivy made no move. "It's not that busy, and this sounds important."
Ivy nodded and made her way to the office. She must have been distracted by the mere fact that she had a call. It took that long for her to realize that she didn't know anyone with a phone — and what reason would a stranger have to call her?
Sue Ann eased toward the registers as Ivy stepped into the office. She picked up the receiver and pushed the flashing button with the 2 above it. "Hello?"
"Ivy? It's Daryl Hicks."
Her closest Englisch neighbor. Okay, so she knew one person with a phone. But it still didn't answer the second question.
"Your grandfather is in the field across the road from my place."
It seemed to take a full minute before his words hit home. "What?"
"Your grandfather —"
She shook her head, though she knew Daryl couldn't see her. "Why is he in your field?"
"I'm not sure I know the answer to that. He's just there."
"I would appreciate it if you could take him home." And lock the doors behind him.
"Ivy, I don't have any problem taking him home, but he's talking crazy. About not getting involved in wars and the like."
Not exactly a proper afternoon conversation, but not a problem either. Right? But somehow she knew it was more than that. "Spit it out, Daryl." Her voice came out sharper than she intended, but his stalling tactics were getting her riled up, nervous, anxious.
"He's talking about Vietnam."
She chewed her bottom lip. He had done this once before — forgotten what year it was. It had happened three times, if she counted the one when he forgot what day of the week it was and missed an auction. But that could happen to anyone, right?
It was different than calling her by her mother's name and forgetting to put on socks. He didn't know when he was, and it confused him. The more confused he got, the more he seemed to slip into whatever time he had chosen.
"You need to come home," Daryl said.
He didn't need to tell her that. She knew it. Just as she knew that she couldn't leave work.
"I'll be there as soon as I can." She hung up the phone and glanced out the office door. Sue Ann hovered around register one, looking toward the office every so often. When she saw Ivy was off the phone, she headed toward her.
"Is everything all right?"
Ivy shook her head and swallowed hard. "I need to leave. It's an emergency."
Sue Ann blinked once, but made no other move. "Bill's not going to like this."
She knew that, as clearly as she knew there was nothing she could do to help her grandfather short of going to Daryl's, coaxing Dawdi out of the field, and taking him home. "I'm sorry," she said. "It can't be helped."
Sue Ann nodded as if she understood, but the slant of her mouth was anything but understanding. She nodded toward Bill who was approaching from aisle six "Clear it with the boss."
* * *
Ivy pulled her tractor to a stop in Daryl's driveway. The day had turned out bright and sunny for late November, but the cheery sunshine only mocked her inner turmoil.
She had explained the situation as best she could to Bill, who had pursed his lips and given a single, stern nod. When she clocked in for work tomorrow, she would most likely have her hours cut if they couldn't find a way to fire her outright.
She bit back a sigh as she swung down. Her grandfather was barely visible in the slightly overgrown field. He was lying on his stomach, his head barely lifted off the ground. Did he think he was in some battle? She had heard about military men who returned from one war or another and never left it behind. Had her dawdi ever fought? She couldn't imagine. They were Amish: conscientious objectors. They didn't fight battles or go to war. But there he was sprawled out as if hiding from some unseen enemy.
"Dawdi," she called as she strode across to the field.
He raised up just enough to see who had called him, then lowered his head with a loud shush. "You keep hollering that way and you'll scare off all the deer."
Ivy glanced around the field. It was the perfect place for deer to come and munch on the stalks of crops harvested months ago, but there were none out now, in the middle of the afternoon. Deer fed at dusk and just before dawn. She didn't know a lot, but that much she knew for certain. But the thing that concerned her most was the idea of him toting a gun out here. What if he thought something was a deer and it wasn't?
"Dawdi," she started again, slower, more gently. "There aren't any deer."
He pushed to his feet. "Of course not." He snorted in disgust. "Not after you came over here hollering like a banshee."
"I'm sorry," she murmured as he brushed the dried grass from his clothing. Sorry for what? That she was yelling when he was trying to "hunt"? Or because there never were deer to begin with?
He dusted himself clear to his ankles, then straightened. The knees of his pants and the front of his blue shirt were stained with water, as were his elbows.
"Where's your coat?" The sun might be shining, but it was still winter. The wind was cold, and in Oklahoma, it never stopped. The recent rains had left the ground soggy. Wet and cold were not a good combination.
"It's the middle of June," he said. "Don't need no coat out here."
"Dawdi, it's November. Remember? Yesterday was Thanksgiving. And you can't hunt deer in June."
He stopped, mulling over her words as one studies a foreign language they are trying to learn. "Bah!" he said. He took his hat from his head and scrubbed his hand across his already frowsy hair.
"Come on," she said, running one arm through his. "Let's go back to the house and get you some dry clothes."
He looked down at himself then, as if just realizing that he was wet and he wasn't sure how he got that way. "Jah. Dry clothes," he said, though his confusion was tangible.
What was she supposed to do? She couldn't let him go on believing things were the way he imagined, and she didn't want to frustrate him by telling him the truth.
But the worst thought of all was the possibility of coming up on him on a day like today and not being able to convince him of the real time and place. What would she do then?
She thanked the neighbor and apologized to him once again, then she hopped back onto the tractor and pointed it toward home. Daryl lived less than a quarter of a mile from her and Dawdi, but when she thought about her grandfather walking it alone, thinking heaven knew what, alone, and without a proper coat ... So many things could have happened.
Thank the Lord none of them had.
They rode home in silence. Ivy would have given almost anything to know what her grandfather was thinking, but she knew if she asked him he wouldn't give a straight answer.
She parked the tractor and hopped down, her grandfather already striding toward the house. She knew he was embarrassed. Maybe that wasn't the word. He was frustrated, confused, and uncertain. As uncertain as she was herself.
"Dawdi," she called to his retreating back.
"Bah." He waved a hand behind himself, dismissing her questions without giving her a chance to ask even one.
* * *
He should have called, maybe written a letter. He should have told them he was coming.
And what difference would that have made?
They could have braced themselves for his return ...?
Did they need bracing? Heaven knew he did. Zebadiah Brenneman had never planned on returning to Wells Landing. In fact, he wasn't entirely sure what led him to come home now. Christmas, he supposed. But that was still over three weeks away. He had missed Thanksgiving by a couple of days. Not that it was a big holiday at their house. Four bachelor men living together, they were lucky to get a hot meal, much less a planned feast.
Three bachelors, he corrected himself. His brother Obie had married Clara Rose Yutzy earlier in the year. Zeb could have come home then, but he hadn't. Should have for certain, but he didn't. Because returning home would mean facing all the mistakes he had made. Mistakes that only one other person knew about. Ivy Weaver.
So why am I here now? he asked himself as he hitched the strap of his duffel bag onto his shoulder. It wasn't the kind of bag an Amish man took on trips, but it was handy and sturdy. Zeb figured if it was good enough for the Army, it was good enough for him. Or maybe some of that old rebellion was raising its head again. Who in Wells Landing carried a government-issue duffel bag? No one but him, he was certain.
He looked around him at the run-down bus stop. It looked the same as it had almost two years ago when he'd boarded the bus to Florida. He needed it to be changed. He wasn't the same person as when he left. He had moved on. Having everything the same suggested that maybe he hadn't. If everything was the same, then leaving and coming back were just small hiccups in his life. Like that book he'd heard about where a man went back in time and lived for years only to return to the present and find out that he had only been gone for two minutes.
He didn't stand out. No one would call him different. Here, in Wells Landing, he was the same old Zeb, brother to Benjie and Adam, twin of Obie, and son of Paul.
It wasn't that he wanted to be different. Somehow, he simply knew that he was. Like he had been given a message before he was born. You will be ... something. Something more? Something else? Something unrelated? He wasn't certain. That was why he went searching. That was why he traveled to Pinecraft, Florida, and lived in a tiny beach house with three other Amish boys, all from different parts of the country. Pinecraft was as far as he could get without dropping off into the ocean. So he'd traveled there and stayed.
Yet why was he here now?(Continues…)
Excerpted from "A Wells Landing Christmas"
Copyright © 2018 Amy Lillard.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A Wells Landing Christmas captured my attention right away and never let go. Dealing with issues of forgiveness, forgetfulness, faith, loneliness, and old love, it kept me reading page after page. Some memorable characters were in this book but I especially loved the ones who gave Ivy the love and guidance she needed. Characters like, Ethan from the nursing home and her Grandfather, who both give her little bits of wisdom without passing any judgement, that spark hope for her situation. They also gave her guidance in restoring her faith with God. The clip clop of the buggy though is something that only came sometimes in this book. The Amish in this community have adapted to other modes of transportation. I miss that little bit of their lifestyle that kept them separate from the English. I want to warn you that among all the life situations that happened in this book, there was some great sounding food. Ivy especially enjoyed spreading the joy of Christmas with wonderful sounding cookies. A great read! I was given a copy of this book by the author. I was not required to post a positive review.
Journey back to Wells Landing this Christmas and be captivated by the story of Zeb and Ivy. Wells Landing Christmas doesn't fail at all. Lillard know just how to write a good romance novel and center it around God's grace and love. Her continued knowledge of the Amish shows in her writings and the stories she brings to her readers. I promise you that you will not be disappointed in this book. Grab your copy today and head to Wells Landing where there is love, family and friends waiting. I was given a copy of this book and was under no obligation to write a review.
A Wells Landing Christmas by Amy Lillard is the eighth book in A Wells Landing Romance series. Ivy Weaver lives in Wells Landing, Oklahoma where she has a reputation for wearing jeans, driving a car and kissing at least three boys (shocking). Ivy has been taking care of her grandfather, Yonnie since her mother married and moved out of state two years prior. She has yet to join the church because she does not feel worthy and she would need to confess her sin before the congregation. Ivy has her hands full taking care of Yonnie who has begun to lose his memory and act oddly. Zeb Brenneman broke her heart when he left and moved to Pinecraft. The last thing she expects is to see him back in Wells Landing. Ivy is rushing home after a call from her neighbor about Yonnie when she spots Zeb walking towards his family home. Zeb knows that leaving Ivy was a mistake and he wants to make amends. Zeb wants to prove to Ivy that he is trustworthy and earn her forgiveness along with her love. After Yonnie becomes hurt one day, Ivy visits the local nursing home, Whispering Pines. She meets Ethan Dallas who talks to her about God’s love, forgiveness and grace. Ivy begins to feel that there is hope for herself, her life and her relationship with Zeb. Can Ivy and Zeb find their way back to each other? Is there a chance for a Christmas miracle in Wells Landing? A Wells Landing Christmas is nicely written story about forgiveness, love, hope, and grace. Ivy needs to forgive herself, but she has not been able to do it. She has a secret that keeps her from allowing people to get close. She feels left out of her community and is overwhelmed with caring for her grandfather. It is serendipitous that she visits Whispering Pines and finds someone who can understand her struggle. It is sweet how Ivy takes care of Yonnie. She is patient and understanding with him. She does not want to leave him alone, but Ivy must earn a living to pay their bills. You can feel Ivy’s emotions come through the pages (heartache, sadness, tension, loneliness, love). Her biggest struggle is unable to forgive herself for a sin. Zeb knows he made a mistake leaving and wants to atone plus earn his way back into Ivy’s heart. The path to love is bumpy, but it is rewarding. We all feel unworthy and need to remember that God will forgive us for our sins. All we must do is ask. I find it amusing that the Amish in Wells Landing cannot drive cars, but they are allowed to drive their tractors all over town. It seems a dangerous and loud mode of transportation with limited seating (how can it be safe). We get to see how gossip can harm a person’s reputation (no matter who started it). Gossip is not the truth, but people treat it as such. There are good life lessons in A Wells Landing Christmas. I like how the author handled the subjects of illness in elderly and their care. I wish the author had eliminated the repetition. Personally, I find it annoying when the same details are repeated throughout a book. A Wells Landing Christmas can be read as a standalone. A Wells Landing Christmas is a sweet, heartwarming Christmas story that will touch your heart.
This was a truly gripping story full of secrets, surprises, and not least of all, love. Ivy Weaver's mother has remarried and moved to another state. Ivy decided not to go and stays in the home she grew up in to take care of her grandfather. She struggles to make a living and at the same time keep an eye on her grandfather who suffers from memory loss from time to time. Ivy fears losing her income, being called sporadically to "rescue" her grandfather. To add to her complications, her former beau, Zeb comes back to town after being away two years. They have a heartbreaking secret between the two of them that no one else knows about. Zeb keeps trying to get in her good graces as she keeps pushing him away. I couldn't help coming to love these characters. As much as they struggled with hardships, Zeb kept relating how trusting in God was the key. How he learned from the Beachy Amish in Florida that trusting in Jesus and his mercy and grace instead of works was the way to Heaven. Amy Lillard has a wonderful way of pulling everything together for an interesting conclusion. A very satisfying story to read and to spend a few hours in Wells Landing. I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to write a review.
Travel back to Wells Landing with Amy Lillard's latest novel in her Wells Landing series. If you haven't read the other books in the series, not to worry, you can start here and not be lost. Ivy Weaver never meant to be alone. She was in love with Zeb Brenneman and thought they would be together forever. When he left her and headed for Pinecraft she was devastated, but she had her family to keep her going. That is until her mom got remarried and moved to Indiana, and her grandfather losing his grip on reality more and more each day. Ivy wishes she had friends, anyone really, to unburden herself to, but she has no one. Viscous rumors about her have spread like wildfire throughout the community and she has no one to blame but herself. Zeb Brenneman is shocked to find himself back home. He has no idea why he felt the need to come back, but he did and he's starting to think maybe it was a mistake. It's easy to fool yourself into thinking you're over someone when you don't see them everyday but when you're back home and she is the first person you see, well things are bound to get complicated. He didn't want to go to Pincraft, FL not really but Ivy told him to go and he figured a clean break would give them both a second chance. When he gets home and finds out not only about the rumors flying around about Ivy, but also that she's left caring for her ailing grandfather, Zeb feels a little guilt and quite a bit of protectiveness. Now if he could only get Ivy to see that he wants to help maybe they can be friends and heal both their hearts. A Wells Landing Christmas isn't your typical romantic read. Zeb and Ivy have some major baggage and while it takes a bit for what that exact baggage is you can feel her turmoil and grief. She struggles with trying to be an adult, work and take care of her grandfather. We all know how lonely it can be when you have no one to talk to. She worries that if her secret, that her grandfather isn't quite himself, gets out her mom will force them to move to Indiana. It's not what either she nor her grandfather, Yonnie want. She's determined to make the best of a rough situation. Zeb had no idea his leaving would cause Ivy so much pain. In typical man fashion, he assumed she was thinking just like he was and him going away would make things easier on and for the both of them. Once he comes home however, he realizes everything he thought he knew was wrong. For one, he still loves Ivy, probably always has. His leaving sent her into a tail spin and he feels a like he has to fix it somehow. But how when Ivy won't look at him let alone talk to him. Once you start A Wells Landing Christmas you won't be able to put it down. It is well written and the characters take on a life of their own. It's guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit and make you believe in faith, hope, and love. The only downside is it makes you want Christmas cookies and it's October!! *I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.
Ivy’s grandfather, Yonnie Weaver, is a handful for her to care for. His mind is slipping. He keeps calling her by her mother’s name. He wanders off while she’s at work. Ivy has a secret but, it seems, so does Yonnie. Because of what she’s done, Ivy won’t join the church. She doesn’t want her secret revealed. She just can’t forgive herself. Zebadiah Brenneman had been Ivy’s boyfriend until he moved to Pinecraft, Florida. He spent two years there among the Beachy Amish. Now he’s home for the holidays. It takes some doing but he finally talks Ivy into letting him help her with Yonnie and the farm. He tries to talk to her about what he’s learned in Florida. About “saved by grace”. Of course, that went against the Ordnung she followed. Ivy went to visit a local retirement home and made a good friend there. He could tell Ivy was troubled and talked to her about God’s saving grace. Maybe Zeb was right. Would God forgive her and set her free? Could she have an assurance, not just hope, of heaven? Pick up a copy of this book and read Ivy, Yonnie, and Zeb’s story. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip back to Wells Landing. Thank you, Amy, for another wonderful read!!
Ivy and Zeb have a past and now that he’s back.. maybe a new beginning. I enjoyed the family, faith and life’s lessons that brought out secrets, lies and the blessings of new beginnings.
I have enjoyed every book I've read by Amy Lillard! This book takes us back to the little community of Wells Landing, where several of Amy's books have taken place. It was nice to read some familiar names and remember back to their stories. I really admired the main character, Ivy. She worked and also took care of her grandfather, who has the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. Ivy is a loner due to a past mistake. Her special friend Zeb returns, realizing he should have never left. He tries to ignite the spark they once had. How do things work out? Read the book to learn more about this special Christmas.
We return back to Wells Landing. It's a Christmas story and also Ivy and Zeb's story. I loved this story and being back in Wells Landing again. Zeb went to Florida and has returned. While he was away Ivy did some thing's that she's not happy about. The more Zeb hangs around Ivy he realizes he wants to get back together with her. Ivy keeps blowing him off and tell him there isn't a chance it won't work. Will Ivy and Zeb be able to move on and get over the things in the past? Will they be able to find the spark they once had? You need to get this book and find out. I recommend this book to others. I loved it and wasn't able to put it down. I had to know what was going to happen next. It held my interest from start to finish.
Amy Lillard sure knows how to captivate her book reader audience with her latest book A Well’s Landing Christmas. Travel back to Well’s Landing and visit with some of the characters that you know and love. And meet new ones that you will surely come to love. This story is full of love, faith and forgiveness. Be sure to get your copy of a Well’s Landing Christmas today.
Will she give them a second chance at love...? Christmas was, and is, a few months away as I read A Wells Landing Christmas. Where I live the trees are in the process of turning color and the nights are getting downright crisp but Amy Lillard transported me to the depths of an Oklahoma winter in just a matter of pages. As with the rest of her books I found A Wells Landing Christmas to be a moving story, sometimes a little bittersweet, filled with many poignant moments and even a few chuckle-out-loud spots. I will confess that I don't read a lot of Christmas books but this one captured me from the start and I finished it in very short order. Over the course of several books the characters of Wells Landing have become like old friends and it is so much fun to to return to that community, especially at Christmastime. And, of course, Zeb, Ivy, and Yonnie quickly became new friends. A Wells Landing Christmas is a wonderful holiday read, whether it is the holiday season or a hot Christmas in July day. You'll be glad you read Amy Lillard's latest emotionally moving Amish story, I know I am... (I received a copy of this book from the author. All opinions are entirely my own.)
Amy Lillard has become one of my favorite Amish fiction writers. In a genre that can become a bit stale, she always keeps the stories fresh and the characters interesting. So interesting in fact, that I read this book in one day. Basically in one sitting. Yeah, it’s that good! This is a story about family, friendship, love, and second chances. At times it is an emotional read that had me smiling and then tearing up. Ivy has her hands full caring for her grandfather, Yonnie, who is quite the character at times. I loved reading about the gentle way she cared for him and was protective of him. It was easy to see the bond between the two. I also loved the way Zeb didn’t back down when Ivy was rather harsh with him. It was clear to see that he cared for her and their story had me unable to put the book down. There are plenty of twists and turns that made me wonder if the two could ever recapture what they had years ago. Readers of the author’s books are sure to love a chance to return to Wells Landing. Realistic characters and storyline make this a quick, enjoyable read. Happy reading!!!!
I have never been disappointed in a book by Amy Lillard and again I loved this book. Ivy and Zeb must learn many lessons before they may think about being together. I love to find out how every Amish group is a little different from another. I received a copy of this book from The author for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
A Wells Landing Christmas was an absolutely captivating story of two people, Zeb and Ivy, who completely captured my heart! I love the Wells Landing setting and have enjoyed other books set in this Amish community. Even if you have not read any of the other Wells Landing stories, you can easily read this one as a stand alone novel. Right from the start, there was serious tension between Zeb and Ivy. The author slowly allowed the truth of their backstory to come to light a bit more with each passing chapter. And as I read, I began to fully understand the turmoil that Ivy had been going through for the past couple of years. She went on quite the emotional journey, growing a lot, and pondering the idea of being saved by grace versus being saved by works. This story has such heart! It is the perfect Christmas tale, combining family, friends, love, forgiveness, and second chances. I highly recommend it! I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
This story is an emotional roller coaster filled with joy, tears, forgiveness and hope. I love how the author makes the characters so real. I felt like I was sitting with Ivy as she takes care of her grandfather who is ill. Christmastime is suppose to be joyful but Ivy doesn't really feel a part of the celebration. Wells Landing is filled with festive parties and family togetherness. My heart went out to Ivy as she sensed herself not part of the joyous celebrations going on. We all make mistakes, but for Ivy her mistake caused her to become an outsider. It angered me that Zeb had deserted her and left her to face the community alone. The question now is why has Zeb come back after being away for so long? Will he try to find a way to get close to Ivy again? I loved the part where Ivy realizes she needs to forgive God and herself. That can be so hard when you feel alone and miserable. Ivy has suffered for so long for her sin and I was on pins and needles waiting to see what she would do. When a crisis happens, Ivy has no choice but to ask Zeb for help. It was so nice to read how willing he was to help Ivy even though he knew she hadn't forgiven him for the past . With Zeb helping maybe Ivy can see that he has changed and wants to start over. One of my favorite parts of the story was the friendship between Ethan and Ivy. She visits him at the nursing home and their connection is heartwarming. Ethan is a wise man and shares his faith with Ivy. I loved his examples that showed Ivy that people in the bible sinned and were forgiven. Ivy likes visiting Ethan and knows he is very ill. This part in the story was very touching and it reminded me of going to the nursing home to see my mother. I always felt so sad for the people who never had visitors. I'm so glad Ivy took time to befriend Ethan. He will instill in her much wisdom and comfort as the days go by. What a wonderful story the author has written about forgiveness and trust. I loved how she talks about how important family is and how hard it can be to care for an elderly family member. Ivy and Zeb have much to work through. Christmas will be a new beginning for some in Wells Landing and for others a reminder that love conquers all. " What a person wanted and what they ended up with were sometimes miles apart." I received a copy of this book from the author. The review is my own opinion.
Author Amy Lillard wrote a plot in A Wells Landing Christmas that mesmerized my attention with sensational characters. I was surprised how fascinating the storyline had with its different difficulties. Author Amy Lillard developed and wrote an astonishing storyline about Wells Landing. I enjoyed reading this book and hope Author Amy Lillard will write another book about Wells Landing. I urge you to read this book and I highly recommend it. I received a copy from the author, but was not required to review it. This review is one hundred my my opinion.
A Wells Landing Christmas By: Amy Lillard A heartwarming story that carries us back to Wells Landing. Lillard writes an inspirational story filled with romance, trust, faith, second chances, and forgiveness all in one story. The author grabbed me right at the start and I did not want to put it down. I was not disappointed. I loved the story and the characters, both were well written and well developed. There were several times that i had tears in my eyes and caught myself holding my breath. This story touched my heart. I felt sorry for Ivy and her ailing grandfather. Zeb left Ivy and Wells Landing two years ago , and now is back. Ivy made some mistakes, but should she not be forgiven by the Amish? Will these two young Amish learn to forgive and start over with their lives? Another great story by Amy Lillard. I was given an ARC copy of this book, but was not told that I had to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.
This is an emotional and moving story of love, friendship, forgiveness, grace and realizing our worth in God's eyes. Ivy Weaver is a special young Amish woman who cares for her grandfather and works but it is hard when he starts having memory issues. Her mother remarried after the death of Ivy's father and moved away. Zeb Brenneman and Ivy had a special relationship but when things didn't end well, Zeb moved to Pinecraft, Florida where he joined a more liberal Amish community. Two years later, Zeb is back visiting his family for the holiday. He would like to mend their relatisonship but Ivy is not ready. Zeb tries to show he cares for Ivy by helping her out with chores and care for her dawdi. Because of her dawdi's problems, she visited a new senior center just to check it out but drawn to visit the residents and met resident, Ethan Dallas. Ethan and Ivy become friends and both benefit from their friendship. He helps Ivy see herself as God's child and her need to forgive God, Zeb and especially herself for the past hurts. Ethan is dying and he benefits from their visits. It is heartwarming to watch Ivy as her faith grows and she realizes her faith alone earns her God's forgiveness and love, something that she cannot earn, contrary to what she has grown up believing. Only then can she love herself and allow others in. I was drawn into Ivy and Zeb's story and wanted things to work for them. It is obvious that they care for each other and both need healing from their past. This is a story that will stay with you after finishing the book. I recommend it for a special read anytime but especially during the Christmas season. I received a complimentary ARC from Zebra and Kensington Publishing through NetGalley for an honest review. Thoughts and opinions stated are mine only.
A trip back to Wells Landing, Oklahoma at Christmas was a beautiful experience connecting with the community and characters in this latest book by Amy Lillard. I was invested in the story and stayed up to finish it late last night. Ivy Weaver and Zeb Brenneman had a past but Ivy had her hands full making a living and caring for her Dawdi, who was struggling at times with memory loss. This book is filled with old and new characters including some special English ones—I fell in love with Ethan Dallas and his perspective on life. This story is filled with friendship, heartbreak, forgiveness, second chances along with discovering unexpected kindness and learning to accept the past and God’s amazing grace and love. “Now is Not the Time for Tears” given to Ivy by Ethan gave her a lot to consider and ponder. There were some accidents, willing hands to aid and serious conversations to bring an absolute exquisite ending to this beautiful Christmas story. I would enjoy seeing future stories surrounding the hero and heroine along with Dawdi Yonnie. Thank you to NetGalley and the author for the complimentary copy of this book. A positive review was not required but I have expressed my sincere thoughts. An ARC copy of this book arrived finally after being lost in the mail from the author.
Always fun to go to Wells Landing, Oklahoma and what better time than at Christmas! We meet new characters, Ivy Weaver and Zeb Brenneman. Ivy’s biggest problem is forgiveness. Zeb’s problem is he’s still in love with Ivy, and she is resolute in her determination to forget whatever feelings she had for Zeb. When he returns for Christmas after abruptly moving to Pinecraft, Florida, will they be able to reconcile past hurts? Will Ivy find the forgiveness and acceptance she craves? Author Amy Lillard writes with compassion, humor, and creates lovable characters. Hopefully, she’ll take us back to Wells Landing for another adventure! A perfect gift for yourself or a friend. I was given an ARC copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Amy Lillard does it again. It was great to be back in Wells Landing, Oklahoma with many of the characters we've met before and have their stories continue. This is Zeb and Ivy's story. We learn their history in detail after much denial and ignorance. I liked how the story was woven with so many different tales being told and drawing in the various characters. Ivy's grandfather was in the mix of things throughout and I hope we get to meet him again in another Wells Landing or a Pinecraft, Florida story. My emotions were engaged from the beginning. There was laughter and tears along with heartache and heartbreak. Once again a lack of communication will do in another couple or does it? The Amish beliefs were front and center but also Ivy's doubts along with her failure to commit to the church. There were Englischers that were central to the story as well as beliefs of the Catholic Church. The need for forgiveness was brought out and how you have to forgive yourself when asking for God's forgiveness. There are unexpected friendships that solidified quickly and other ones that have languished and died. There's a second chance romance that's going astray or is it? I loved the relationship between Ivy and her grandfather but also the reality of her fears and his mental health and well being at the stage of life he is in. Zeb was a huge support to both of them and was always there and willing to pitch in with what she needed even given their history and how they parted years before. But Ivy doesn't know her feelings, or his, and continually pushes him away. There are lots of foods and baking, games, chores, services and injuries, along with love. There is a depth to the characters but more stories to tell. There is some closure but more is needed. There are loose ends with a happily ever after in the offing. I have unanswered questions that I hope will be addressed in a future book so I have have the ahhhhhhhh moment I need! Lillard is one of my favorite authors of Amish fiction. I can't wait to see what she pens next.
You are in for a treat while reading Amy Lillard's newest release, A Wells Landing Christmas. Ivy Weaver has a reputation in Wells Landing, since Zeb Brenneman left, and it is not a good one. He left two years ago for Florida and has now returned right in time for Christmas. Ivy and Zeb are bound to run into each other and when they do, can they make amends and restore the relationship that they once had? Ivy visits a local assisted living home, during the weeks leading up to Christmas, and her heart is forever changed. You definitely don't want to miss Ivy and Zeb's story. This sweet story is right in time for Christmas. Take a stroll with author Amy Lillard to lovely Wells Landing as she captures your heart from the very beginning with this beautiful Christmas story! I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book from the author and have given my honest opinion.