October 09, 2011
A Plain and Fancy Christmas by Cynthia Keller
A Plain and Fancy Christmas is the story of two Rachels. Switched at birth, they find out what really happened around their thirtieth birthdays. Curiosity overcomes both of them and Ellie, the Rachel raised in New York City, decides to go visit her birth family. The Amish Rachel isn't sure what she wants but she feels unsettled at how her family seems to like Ellie better than her and decides to visit her birth family in the city and takes her daughter Katie with her. As the two become more familiar with their families they decide to trade places for awhile in an attempt to figure out who they really are.
There wasn't very much to these characters. They had a few base attributes that were played on rather heavily such as Rachel being out of place no matter where she goes and Ellie being liked and good at everything where ever she goes. It just didn't seem fair to poor Rachel. And then there was Leah King, the Amish mother. She was very hard to like and went through such a change in personality towards the end with weird motivations that I just couldn't like her very much. The New York City mother was a much better character in comparison because at least she was kind to everyone.
I did like the plot and the concept of two very unlikely family's having babies switched at birth. It played into the whole nature vs nurture aspect of raising a child and what would they be like if circumstances were very different. The writing was easy to read and follow even though there was a great amount of characters involved and Keller has a knack for telling a story simply. As stated before, for being a novel that is titled with Christmas, there was barely any Christmas in this story and that was disappointing. I was kind of hoping for some nice holiday cheer.
An ok book. Not the best Amish fiction out there but a nice quick read for anyone who likes Amish fiction or culture.
A Plain and Fancy Christmas