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The Christmas Prayer

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  559 ratings  ·  240 reviews
Beloved, bestselling author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter takes readers on a journey in 1850 along the California Trail.
Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds
Paperback, 176 pages
Published September 1st 2018 by Shiloh Run Press
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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Deanne Patterson
The Christmas Prayers is a novella that was first published in 2014 in Barbour's Christmas Collection titled,The Westward Christmas Brides Collection: 9 Historical Romances Answer the Call of the American West. I love Barbour collections and this was one of my favorite novellas in it.
Cynthia Cooper promises to marry a man many years older than her named Walter. Now this will not be a love match on Cynthia's part but rather a match to ensure her and her mother have security financially and other

So, when I was 11-14, I read every Wanda Brunstetter book I could get my hands on and eagerly awaited new releases. Then, after a few years of not reading much by her, I've gotten back a bit...but I'm not very impressed with her writing?

Maybe I'm just more critical these days, but I've found some of her more recent works to be lacking—The Christmas Prayer included. This book was just strange.

Title >>> It doesn't have one darn thing to do with the book. I mean, NOTHING. Prayer? What
Victoria Goodbrand
Nov 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
DNF @ 1/2 way.
I’m sorry to say this but this is probably Wanda’s worst book. Legit just chucked it in the trash can.

1/5 stars.
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing

My thoughts: THE CHRISTMAS PRAYER is a historical set on the wagon trail by Wanda Brunstetter. This was an awesome novella! I totally loved it. There are there "families" traveling west together since they missed the wagon train that was leaving, and they were a brother, a sister, a widower and his two children, and a mother and daughter with the daughter's finance. I figured out how the story would pan out before I got to the end, but that was okay I enjoyed getting there.

I read this story qui
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Are you ready for a sweet Christmas story? It is a very fast read. and I will say it again great authors should NOT write novellas. They end just way to fast for me. I never get enough.
Wanda can write any genre and do it with such class and so much knowledge.
You should give this 4 star Christmas novella to someone you love this Christmas.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.
Shirley Chapel
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Three covered wagons set out from Independence Missouri heading for California. The year is April 1850. The small group had intended to meet up with and travel with a larger group of covered wagons but had arrived in Independence too late to connect with them. They set out on their own hoping to arrive in California before winter.
The trip was hard and the small wagon train fell behind schedule. After only traveling half the distance to California, winter set in. Things didn't look good for the
Maureen Timerman
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
A different read from the author’s usual Amish stories, this one will keep your attention, and is more like a novella, as I read it in about an hour.
Can you imagine living like the pioneers of our country did, leaving what they had in the east to travel to the western part. This ends up being one small wagon train, with only three wagons, so we really do get to know each of the members of this small party.
At first you won’t see much in common between this group, but by the end, which sure ended
Abigail Harris
My Review:

Before you read this review, you need to know I will be trying other books by this author because of her long writing history and I hold hope that her older books will be great since I know two people who enjoyed them. (One of them would be my mom, and she isn't too thrilled with my review being so horrid. Horrid is my word for the day.)

Genre: Historical fiction.

My Rating: 2 stars.

Recommendation: I don't recommend this book. If you want to read it go for it!

My Favorite Character/s: I w
This was a very enjoyable novella, but not really a Christmas story. Rather the story ends at Christmas time.

Cynthia Cooper is an engaged woman in a marriage-to-be arranged by her mother. Her fiance, Walter, is much older than Cynthia. He is a business man who owns two stores in New York and now wants to take Cynthia and her mother to California where he wants to open another store. But Walter is hard headed, opinionated, and knows nothing about travel to California via wagon train. When they m
Becky Lewis
This historical romance, The Christmas Prayer by Wanda Brunstetter, is a very promising plot that fell short for me. I have read several of Brunstetter’s Amish books and really liked them. I have read at least one other historical romance she wrote that I thought was a true winner. This one, I believe, just was too short (it is a novella) and space ran out before the narrative could conclude smoothly. I think, had this book been a novel, things would have happened at what I would consider a good ...more
Molly Jaber (Cover To Cover Cafe)
It's Fall. It's time for all things Fall-y, Halloween-y and best of all? Christmas-y! So, when I saw that Ms. Brunstetter was releasing The Christmas Prayer, I jumped on the chance! I love a good novella that's filled with snow, history and best of all? Wanda Brunstetter's addictive characters. This book had it all and so much more, for such a small, quick read.

Sitting down to read this, we are taken to history, during the 1850's, and introduced to some amazing, fun loving characters. Each char
Cheryl Baranski
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Christmas Prayer is an amazing work of fiction by Wanda E. Brunstetter. Wanda weaves together a piece of historical fiction unlike any other. I loved traveling along with the the wagons on their journey to California. This story is packed with lots of happens and unexpected events. I loved this story.
Carole Jarvis
Reviewed at The Power of Words:

Wanda Brunstetter never disappoints, and I found this sweet Christmas novella very enjoyable. Although I would have loved for it to have been fleshed out into a full novel with greater depth and character development, it is a very satisfying read and just perfect for the fall-to-Christmas season.

Brunstetter’s historical detail and descriptions are so vivid that readers will feel they, too, are on the 1850s westward journey from Independence,
Becky Van Daniker
Sep 21, 2018 rated it liked it
“A Christmas Prayer” is another premise from Wanda E. Brunstetter that sounded intriguing but fell flat. This is a short novella where our characters are traveling from Independence, Missouri to California to better their lives.

The plot was interesting but would have probably worked better as a full-length novel rather than a novella. The characters were two-dimensional and could have used some character development. The plot would climax at times only to abruptly end. It needed some fleshing ou
Carla Johnson-Hicks
This historical romance novella, The Christmas Prayer by Wanda Brunstetter, had a good plot, but just didn't hit the mark for me. I think the idea of this story was too big for this short novella. Cynthia Cooper and her mother were traveling west to California over the Sierra Nevadas. Cynthia is betrothed to Walter Prentice and older man who is a bit of a stick in the mud. She is traveling with Walter and her mother as well as a few other wagons. As the trip progresses, Cynthia realizes that she ...more
Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)
This is a great novella to get you in the Christmas spirit! First of all, I was surprised to read a book by Wanda Brunstetter that was not Amish! Her transition into the historic world was seamless, and I found myself loving the story line as much as I love her Amish books. The story was so short that I devoured it in one sitting, and actually found myself longing for more! The characters were great, but I couldn’t help but think of how much more development there could have been from a full len ...more

I've read several of the author's older Amish works, enough to know that I like her writing style. Most of her newer books seem to have lost that quality, though, but not so with this one! It is definitely vintage quality for the author,
Stormi (Bewitched Reader)
Dec 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas
The Christmas Prayer is a sweet Amish romance about a group of strangers traveling from New York to California in the hopes of better lives. This was my first experience reading a story like this. The pacing was very well written and I actually finished the story in a few hours. I enjoyed this sweet story, but there were a few things I wished were different. 

Without giving any spoilers, I do wish there had been a little more romance. Other than Cynthia's strong feelings that she didn't want to m
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-reads
Beloved, bestselling author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter takes readers on a journey in 1850 along the California Trail.

Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when a sudden snowstorm traps them, obscuring the trail.

Cynthia Cooper is traveling with
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, amish-fiction
The Christmas Prayer by Wanda E. Brunstetter takes us back to April 15, 1850. Cynthia Cooper along with her mother, Mabel are embarking on a journey to California via wagon train. They are going with Cynthia’s fiancé, Walter Prentice. They are late arriving in Independence, Missouri and the wagon train they were joining has already departed. Instead, they link up with two other families and begin their long journey to California. The other parties in the train are Cole Edwards along with his sis ...more
Shelly Itkin
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri in April 1850 with hopes of going to California and becoming rich.
One wagon has Cynthia Cooper and her mother along with the man she has promised to marry, Walter Prentice. In the second wagon was Jack Simpson along with his four-year-old son Alan and her six-year-old sister Amelia. The problem with Amelia is that since she witnessed her mother's death six months ago she has given up speaking. The third wagon had Cole who was twenty-six along with h
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wanda E. Brunstetter is known for her Amish stories. I enjoy and have read many of them. When I saw this title and read the description, I was excited to read something a little different by her. As the introduction tells us, this is a story about three different families. They each have met up in Independence, Missouri in April 1850 to join a wagon train. They all three arrived late and the other wagons have already left for California. Thinking they can catch the wagon train, they vote to cont ...more
Staci Kinman
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a heart-warming, sweet story! This is a perfect book for a quick read on a cold night, curled up with a cup of something warm and wonderful. When I was growing up, my mother would keep several small Christmas-themed books on the coffee table during the Christmas season, and this is just the kind of book that would be perfect for that. I plan to add it to my own collection this year!
In 1850, a cross-country journey was brave, dangerous, and difficult. Cynthia Cooper discovers more about lif
Oct 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: review, netgalley, barbour
Wanda Brunstetter’s “The Christmas Prayer” leaves me with mixed feelings. A brief novella, it is great for a one-to-two hour diversion, and the writing is very easy to understand. However, these qualities are also part of my criticism. The storyline seems like it would have been better suited to a full-length novel, as the plot comes across as rushed, jumping over weeks and even months at a time. The same is true of the characterization. As the reader, I did not feel any strong connection with a ...more
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very different book from what Wanda has written but I loved it anyway, but love all of Wanda's books anyway
This book has taken me away from all of my troubles and I surely hated coming back to the real world.
At first, when I seen the cover I thought it was the sequel to the Hope jar. But, it wasn't.
I loved the fellowship of the wagon train but what I didn't like was that there was someone in the crowd that always spoils or tries to for everyone else.
Wanda has a of making each person in the sto
Ashley Dawn
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novella. It is an interesting story about love. Cynthia is set to marry Walter, her mother arranged it so that Cynthia would be well taken care of in life. I have to admit that I didn't like Walter in the least and Cynthia's mother wasn't much better. Walter was uncaring and pigheaded. I did love the children.

When they head out on a journey with an interesting group of others, and not the wagon train, I couldn't wait to see how that went. The trip itself had its hardships
Nov 10, 2018 rated it liked it
If you want a quick, easy read for the holidays then this is the book for you! It has a sweet storyline, but unfortunately because it was so short the story has a strange, unbelievable, and quick ending.

I have read several of Wanda’s books and have enjoyed them much more than this one. I think if this was a full novel it would have been much more appealing to me. The relationships would have been richer and had more time to develop.
Without giving away any spoilers, it was just too cookie-cutter
Brunstetter's sweet, light-hearted, fast-paced novella is a heartwarming tale of Christmas romance. As a small wagon train works their way toward California, and the hope of a new future, Cynthia finds herself receiving the attentions of two handsome men... and engaged to a third. Although she dislikes her fiance, she knows her mother needs the security that comes with the marriage. Yet God may have a very different plan for her future...
The epistolary style used at the beginning of each ch
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really love Wanda Brunstetter's Amish stories so when I saw this I had to request a review. Thanks to the publisher for allowing me to. I loved this tale. This is a story that begins in the harsh winter of 1850, where covered wagons were the way to travel long distances and the elements weren't something just to complain about. This also plays with the heartstrings as our main character must chose between several suitors all the while taking care of her aging mother. A sweet and wonderful tale ...more
Gina Holder
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Christmas Prayer is a sweet little love story to warm your heart for the holidays. The small size, short length, and beautifully festive cover make it the perfect gift or even stocking stuffer. The story can be enjoyed for all ages, as the narrative is chaste, wholesome, and easy to read. This book reminds me of the song, My Lord knows the way through the wilderness. All I have to do is follow.” Cynthia Cooper finds herself in a wilderness both physically and emotionally. This story reminds us ...more
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New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda's stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.

Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, a

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