Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
At twenty-two, Joy was almost considered an old maid, at least amongst the Amish. Lucas was sent to the English school for his education because the Amish school found him too different, too full of questions. The Amish described Lucas as different, strange. When the Amish teacher, Miss Graber, asks for volunteers to help with the children’s Christmas program, Joy and Lucas are the only two who appear. Their mutual love of music attracts them to each other and brings pleasure in their work with the children. But there are some restrictions in the Amish community that forbid certain ways of making music. And Lucas is walking a fine line between the rights and wrongs as dictated in his acceptance of his Baptismal vows.
Tattie Maggard has written a charming Christmas story that will warm the heart. In I Hear Christmas: A Swish Amish Christmas, the thread of music intertwines two lives as they both learn to listen to each other and to listen to the world around them. While Lucas struggles with his desire to make music on a forbidden instrument, Joy seeks to help him find another way, one that is acceptable within their church. While Lucas, brutally honest at all times, tends to blurt out his true feelings, regardless of whom he might hurt, Joy finds a way to tether his honesty. The two young people connect through their joy in music and discover that it doesn’t really matter what everyone else thinks. What matters most is what they hear in their hearts. A gentle, soothing read.