The Christmas Cradle is a wonderful holiday novel full of happiness and lessons for all in how complicated it is to lead a simple life. Charlotte Hubbard illustrates how simple in thought is harder to understand, let alone consistently follow. Despite the hardships in this novel, the story is uplifting and full of hope. This has a good plot, strong, well-defined characters with an excellent series arch creating a diverse and enriching novel.
Peaceful Willow Ridge is soon busy helping its' newest members (Lena Esh, Josiah Witmer, and the impending birth of their child) acclimate to the lifestyle of the Plain People. Lena ran away from her strict family to go with Josiah, her boyfriend and father of her child, even though it meant not following the path of their upbringing as Plain People. Miriam and Ben Hooley are also anticipating the birth of their child.
Miriam and Ben aid the younger couple by inviting them into their home. They help them learn how to make mature decisions. It takes time to learn some of these lessons, and Josiah doesn't have a lot of time to learn some of them. Ben tells Josiah the truth about the town of Higher Ground and gives Josiah some advice. Sadly, Josiah ignores the advice, and ends up igniting the ire of Hiram Knepp, the former bishop of Willow Ridge. When Hiram discovers Josiah is setting up shop in Willow Ridge instead of Higher Ground, Hiram creates a lot of serious problems for Josiah and the residents of Willow Ridge.
Plain People may seem one dimensional, but this novel explores concepts such as forgiveness, obedience, to their community and the Lord as well as conformity and how to actively find solutions to problems. Ms. Hubbard does an excellent job touching upon complex issues like mental illness vs. evil, how meanness and obsessive thoughts can lead to actions. Simple in thought is harder to understand, but Ms. Hubbard cleverly illustrates this concept in action in practically every scene. This great story is uplifting, full of positive actions and will set the tone for your holidays. Enjoy!
For the peaceful town of Willow Ridge, November presents an early holiday surprise. Stranded in the snow, 18-year-old Lena Esh and her boyfriend Josiah Witmer need more than a place to stay for the night. Lena defied her strict family and their judgmental beliefs to run away with Josiah and have his baby. But she's starting to wonder if he can prove as responsible as he is passionate. And she isn't sure how—or if—they can ever find a place to truly call home.
Expecting their own miracle baby, Miriam and Ben Hooley rally the town to help the young couple, and Lena draws strength from their unexpected support. Though trouble may come calling, in this season of joyous rebirth, a little child will lead them. And two couples will see their dreams of forever family come true . . .