Before irrepressible eighty-somethings Anna and Felty Helmuth became Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin’s most-beloved matchmakers, they were mismatched young lovers facing seemingly impossible obstacles . . .
She can’t cook, sew, sing, or clean. And no matter how hard young Anna Yoder tries, she’d much rather help people in trouble than be a well-behaved pretty face and properly perfect Amish maidel. So she instantly reaches out to her old schoolmate, Felty Helmuth, when their Amish town ostracizes him for his Korean War army service. He's still the only one who's ever understood Anna—and liked everything from her green Jello carrot salads to her love of books. And this holiday season, she can't help hoping that somehow she and Felty can find a way to be the perfect match . . .
Felty sensed he was called by Gotte to serve his country, though it went against his community’s peaceful ways. Troubled by his wartime experiences, he is resigned to being an outsider avoided by most eligible Amish girls. But lively, intelligent Anna has grown into a warm-hearted generous woman who accepts Felty for who he is. And in the face of family and community opposition, he and Anna will take a leap of faith to prove they are made for each other—and a lifetime of happiness.
“Beckstrand’s books continue to deliver stories that entertain and inspire.”
—Beth Wiseman, author of A Picture of Love
Beckstrand impresses with a pleasing prequel to her Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill Amish series (following Home on Huckleberry Hill). Martha Sue Helmuth, 30 years old and determined not to marry, realizes she has been sent to Wisconsin by her parents to spend Christmas with her grandparents for the purpose of finding a husband. Though Martha tries to protest, she and her extended family from previous installments gather during Christmas dinner and listen as Mammi Anna and Dawdi Felty tell the story of how they fell in love. The narrative jumps back in time to the 1950s when Felty returned from the Korean War and was ostracized by his Amish community for his choice to serve which goes against the vow of nonviolence central to the faith. The girl he secretly loved, Anna, was the only one willing to forgive him, but he doubted she could ever love him back. Like Felty, Anna was an outsider in the community she couldn't cook, sew, or clean, and was too bookish to be considered a proper Amish girl. Their friendship which develops sweetly into love as they bond over the complexities of life and relationships, and as Anna helps Felty recover from the horrors of war drives the wholesome tale. Beckstrand's fans and newcomers alike will enjoy this yuletide outing.