A heartwarming tale of longing and hope in Lancaster by bestselling author Linda Byler
Elsie is desperate for a horse of her own, but her family barely has enough money to get by as it is—she knows they can’t afford to buy a horse, never mind pay for the grain and hay to keep it fed through the winter. With her father injured, it’s up to Elsie to help earn money for the family—while going to school and helping Mam with the other kids. So she buries herself in the daily tasks at hand and tries to forget her longing. But when her classmate Elam invites her to visit his family’s horse farm one afternoon, she willfully forgets her responsibilities at home and follows him. Exhilarated by the strong, sleek Morgans and the musty smell of the barn, her passion for horses is reignited.
As Elsie spends more time at Elam’s farm, it becomes harder and harder to be the responsible young woman her parents expect her to be. Why should she have to work as a maud to earn money for her family when Elam gets to spend every afternoon riding? It isn’t fair, and to make matters worse, now she’s expected to go to singings and play games with the other youth who are old enough to start dating, when all she wants is to be out riding. It’s a waste of time, she figures—it’s not like any of the boys will want a poor, rebellious girl like her anyway.
As she struggles to reconcile her anger and frustration with the obedience her Amish faith requires, she also starts to have confusing feelings for Elam. She’s determined not to like him in that way. After all, he only sees her as free labor, someone to muck out stalls and work the horses. Doesn’t he?
When tragedy strikes in the Amish community, Elsie is forced to let go of her teenage angst and grow up quickly. But sometimes letting go of one’s desires has a way of allowing one to accept something even better. A tale of longing, desperation, and finally hope, this is a heartwarming Christmas tale to be remembered.
Linda Byler grew up Amish and is an active member of the Amish church today. She is the author of several bestselling fiction series, all set in the Amish world: Hester’s Hunt for Home, Lancaster Burning, Sadie’s Montana, and Lizzie Searches for Love. She has also written several Amish Christmas romance novels including Mary’s Christmas Goodbye, Little Amish Matchmaker, and Becky Meets Her Match. Linda is also well known within the Amish community as a columnist for a weekly Amish newspaper. She lives near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.