From beloved Amish writer Linda Byler, comes a heartwarming Christmas romance set during the Great Depression.
It’s 1931, and times are tough for the Miller family, who are raising eight children in the midst of the Great Depression. When Eli Miller passes away unexpectedly, and then a fire destroys their barn, Annie has no idea how she’ll make ends meet. The Amish community rallies around her and the children, as is their custom, but as days turn into weeks and then into months, Annie’s friends and neighbors return to their own routines and seem to expect Annie to do the same. Annie knows she needs to stay strong for the children and figure out a way to keep everyone warm and clothed and fed, but she is heartbroken and exhausted. She reminds herself that God will provide, but every day feels like an uphill battle.
When Annie receives a letter from a widower with six children of his own, she tries to put it out of her mind. Her critical mother reminds her that it's too soon to start a new friendship with a man, and warns her that blending a family will be complicated. In the weeks and months to follow, Annie must learn to make her own decisions—and accept the consequences, good and bad—face her past, and embark on a new journey that will transform her and her large, complicated family. When life seems especially complicated one summer, she finds herself saying that by Christmas everything will start to come together, but she has no idea the challenges—and ultimately blessings—headed her way.
Byler (Home is Where the Heart Is) once again relies on her Amish heritage to bring rural Pennsylvania to life in this fine love story. Annie Miller is an Amish widow raising eight children during the Great Depression. The family sells their milk and eggs and lives on mush and coffee soup because Annie is too proud to ask the church for help. Then their barn catches fire and Daniel Beiler, who happens to be passing by on his buggy, notices the smoke and comes to the rescue. Afterward, Beiler, an amish widower, returns to his six children, and, unable to get Annie out of his mind, he boldly writes her and asks to begin a relationship. After months of indecision, Annie finally agrees. The chemistry develops quickly, and Daniel and Annie marry; however, combining their households is not as easy as simply moving into Daniel's much larger farm. Ever hopeful, Annie is convinced things will get better and works to integrate the large, eclectic family filled with contrasting personalities. Byler spends a great deal of time describing tasks and less on character development, often leaving readers in the dark as to why her characters act as they do. This quiet romance moves swiftly to a resolution and will appeal to fans of Wanda Brunstetter.
A heartwarming & inspiring story
The More the Merrier by Linda Byler is a sweet story. Annie Miller is left a widow with eight children to raise during the depression. Her eldest child has been hired out and his wages to help. But Annie needs to find a way to provide. Then her barn burns down and she almost dies. Annie is rescued by Dan Beiler who is a widower with six children of his own. Dan continues to think about Annie and decides to write her a letter to see if she would be interested in a friendship. The More the Merrier is a story about second chances, forgiveness and love. Linda takes us back to 1931 when everyone (except the 1%) is struggling to survive. We see Annie struggle each day to put food on the table for the kids. Annie must learn to make the decisions now that her husband, Eli is gone. Her life hits an all time low when the barn catches fire. Things always seem to get worse before they get better. Annie prays for guidance to make the right choices for herself and her children. Dan also worries about disrupting his kids’ lives and prays to God. They both want to follow His lead. I liked how they both had such a strong faith. We see that God answers our prayers in His own way and in His timing. I thought the story was realistic with engaging characters. I enjoyed The More the Merrier and look forward to reading more stories by Linda Byler. The More the Merrier is a heartwarming and inspiring story.