A Match Made at Christmas: A Novel (The Matchmakers of Harts Haven, 2)
Breast cancer survivor Sophie Eicher needs a new start. When her aunt Rose Yoder, who knows what she’s been through, suggests she relocate to Harts Haven, Kansas, to take the job as the schoolteacher, she decides to go.
“Everyone in their small Ohio community knew Sophie Eicher was a walking dead woman. Breast cancer had killed her mother and her grandmother. The pitying looks, the way people chose their words so carefully around her, had been stifling. It had been like living in a coffin waiting for the funeral to begin . . .”
Her younger sister Joanna goes with her, not because their widowed father is now remarried, which she uses as an excuse to Sophie, having her think she is in the way of his new family, but because she wants to be with her big sister and take care of her after her medical scare.
Sophie, who is supposedly cured from her disease, refuses to accept that fact. Since her mother and grandmother perished from the same illness, Sophie believes she will not live long. Joanna tries to make her see she can have a full life, and she hopes with this move Sophie will realize she does have a future.
Sophie loves children and mourns the thought she will never have any or a family. With her now taking on the job as an Amish schoolteacher and knowing teachers are not allowed to be married, it doesn’t matter for she has no intention of ever getting married.
Rose, known to be a matchmaker as well as a busybody, is thrilled when the sisters arrive. She has big plans to is fix up both Sophie and Joanna with available bachelors.
One of the men Rose is hoping to match up is Karl Graber. Karl’s beloved wife passed away, leaving him with two young daughters. Knowing Rose well, he warns her not to meddle in his affairs, insisting he will never marry again for his deceased wife was the love of his life. But Rose worries about his girls whom she believes are being neglected while he wallows in his grief.
However, Rose informs Karl he is not on her list of eligible husbands for Sophie, which causes him to wonder why. He doesn’t know about Sophie’s illness, so could that be the reason why Rose crosses him off? Does Rose think Sophie is going to die soon?
When Sophie realizes what Rose is up to, she adamantly but nicely warns her to mind her own business. Sophie’s only wish is to have Joanna marry and have a family of her own before she dies—something she firmly believes will happen.
Sophie soon realizes her aunt is up to something when she recommends they rent the small house on Karl’s property. Sophie decides this could be a reason to push Joanna toward Karl, even though he is much older.
Karl and Sophie clash at first, but before long, Karl finds himself drawn to the lovely young woman, especially seeing how well she connects with his daughters, Clara and Rachel. Clara acts aloof toward Sophie in the beginning, but Rachel is a child anyone can love. As they grow closer to Sophie, they ask if she will become their new mother, scaring Sophie tremendously.
Meanwhile, as the holidays approach, the townspeople are worried about the annual Christmas show the children perform every year. Sophie is stressed because there are only a few weeks left to prepare, and the parents are putting pressure on her. This is a big event for everyone in town, so what shall she do? Surprisingly, Karl helps her with props for the performance that his daughter helped put together. While he and Sophie are thrown closer together, Sophie soon begins to fall in love with the widower. How can this happen? She won’t set her sights on him or anyone, knowing she may not have long to live, yet imagine her surprise when he states his interest in her.
A Match Made in Heaven, book 2 in The Matchmakers of Harts Haven, deals with the uncertainty of life and having faith in God to trust in His ways.