In a small hospital in Pennsylvania, something horrible has happened. One day that will change so many lives, the unspeakable happens. Two newborn babies are sent home with the wrong families due to a doctor's error. His wife is a nurse and knows of the error, but with him being her husband she doesn't want to ruin his career so she covers it up for him. The doctor is an alcoholic, and both of the babies' first names are the same; unfortunately he doesn't match the baby's bracelet with the actual family he is sending her home with. The nurse makes copies of all of the papers, vowing to somehow, someday make this right.
To make matters even more interesting, one of these families is well off and can offer their child a lot of worldly things. The other family is a simple Amish family who does not believe in worldly things. These two small infants grow up in families where they kind of always feel like they are just a little bit different than the rest of their families, but they can't put their fingers on what is causing them to feel this way. They know their families love them, so why are they having doubts?
Then another fateful day comes, where 26 years later after the doctor has passed away that his wife takes out all of those old papers and sits down to write the hardest letters she has ever had to write. They are letters that will change the lives of 2 families from very different backgrounds, and 2 woman who have lead very different lives.
Now when the women get these letters, they have different reactions of course. The one from the city finds that she would really like to go and meet her birth parents and try to understand their way of life. The one from the Amish family decides that she would rather put the letter away and act like she had never received it. She didn't want to rock the boat that was her life, and she had a young daughter to consider. How would this affect her?
So these 2 women end up meeting when the one from the city drives out to find her birth family. They don't speak then, she just drives back to the city, but she contacts the Amish family and asks if she can come and meet them.
The Amish family is very surprised by this mix-up, but readily accepts their newfound "daughter" and marvel over how alike she is to their other children, in both looks and ways of thinking. The daughter they raised as their own finds herself jealous of their acceptance of this other woman; even though she tries to fight it, as she cannot be prideful and think she is better than her in anyway. So she decides, that maybe, just maybe she should go to the city and meet her birth parents as well.
What she finds in the city is amazing and scary at the same time. This family is wonderful and very kind to her. She can't get over how much she looks like her brother and sister either.
These 2 families who are so far apart in their thinking have found that they not only have the children that they raised, but also another daughter to call their own. Can each of these families figure out a way to come to terms with the error all those years ago and find some way to live a life harmoniously with each family without disrupting the lives they have come to know as their own? You will just have to pick up the book if you want to know the answers.
I totally loved this book from cover to cover. I love reading books about the Amish and this book was so heartwarming and honest. It was a real blessing to see that the author took the time to research the Amish instead of just writing a book on assumptions about what being Amish is all about. This book is a definite keeper on my shelf and I will be looking for more from this author in the future.
Raised in a Pennsylvania Amish community, young mother Rachel Yoder has led a simple life within her close-knit family. Widowed three years ago, she has moved back in with her parents, attempting to raise her daughter, Katie, without further emotional upheaval. Meanwhile, four hours and a whole world away in New York City, Ellie Lawrence is laser-focused on a high-powered public relations career, with too little time for her family, her friends, or even her boyfriend.
Then one fateful day, these two very different women receive shocking news of a mistake made three decades earlier and long kept hidden: Shortly after their births, the two were accidentally switched in the hospital. Shaken to the core by this momentous news, Rachel and Ellie are plunged into an exploration of who they are and where they really belong. While Ellie is eager to learn more about her Amish family and their life in the countryside, Rachel cannot help but feel jealous as she watches the only mother she has ever known bonding so easily with her natural daughter. But Rachel also knows that her own biological family is out there, and with Katie at her side she heads for Manhattan, where she establishes a connection with the raucous, spirited Lawrences.
As Ellie and Rachel make their way through unfamiliar landscapes, they face life-altering challenges and grapple with a crucial question: Will their old conventions and desires give way to new customs and yearnings? With the Christmas holidays fast approaching, it takes the love of two families for Rachel and Ellie to discover their own paths to fulfillment and happiness.