I didn't realize until I started reading this novel, that I read Book I and II several years go. As I remembered the characters I was so glad I was going to read the conclusion of the dilemma between Hannah and Sarah, sisters, Paul her closest friend, Luke her brother, and Daed who never acted as if he believed in her or that what she had told him about a delicate yet horrid happening was true. Hannah was a young girl, pure in heart, but soiled as a teen. Sadly, she is given very poor advice that leaves her scarred and scared and she leaves her hometown. She is convinced she will never be accepted and that her friend will never really trust her. Her sister, Sarah, becomes emotionally sick, but no one understands what is wrong with her and she doesn't get help before she hurts herself and others. This is a story that takes many twists and turns, but these are what teach each of them about the wrongs that take place over a few years. Hannah separates herself from her community and her church for a period of time, but a love for others will bring her back to face her ghosts. Even though she thinks she has already found a new live in another city, Hannah will truly find herself again and the door will open where she left it almost shut. Restoration is sweet and she helps others while she is being shown the most important needs of all. A great story and I enjoyed it very much.
This book was supplied by Bloggin' For Books/WaterBrook for review and the opinions are my own. Mary Ann Young Robinson, Boise, ID
The Old Order Amish community of Pennsylvania is where Hannah Lapp grew up, unfortunately it is now the source of many hard feelings due to no fault of her own.
This book was about a tale of being ostracized by your family and faith. I was quite disturbed at the nonchalant way that the author addressed the situation of a teenage rape. On numerous occasions it was portrayed like Hannah Lapp had a secret and she was disgraced by this secret. The secret? She was raped, why the author made this sound like it was a character flaw is beyond me.
The other disturbing thing for me was the fact that in the authors eyes this event in her life had very little effect on her relationships. She didn't see to have any ill effects from the situation other than her family disowning her. This was a very serious topic and I think that Cindy Woodsmall downplayed the lifelong effects. That being said:
When the Soul Mends, by Cindy Woodsmall is the third book in the Sisters of the Quilt series. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, they were very likable and interesting. I also enjoyed learning about the differences between Amish denominations. Old Order Amish and Mennonites are very similar to outsiders, yet very different to the Amish communities.
I have ready many books by Cindy Woodsmall and usually enjoy her books immensely, I cannot say that I found this book enjoyable. I found myself annoyed with the tone and believability of the story. I will continue to read books my this author, as a matter of fact I will be reviewing another in a few days.
I loved this book. In fact, I loved the whole series. I read the first book, When the Heart Cries, some time ago, and I immediately tracked down the second two to read. Another reading of this one confirmed my initial impression - it is just as riveting, just as dramatic, just as real as it was the first time through.
Some of the Amish fiction stories that I've read make everything in the Amish world appear peaceful and serene, as if the biggest problem an Amish person ever faces is which field to plow and whether to marry English or Amish; but you'll never get that false impression from one of Woodsmall's books. Woodsmall applies real life, contemporary issues to Amish characters and then digs deep to see how they might find resolution. Each detail, each nuance, each character is intertwined, and the depth of the relationship and the soul-searching that must be done before these major decisions are made is well explored.
These dramatic problems create charasmatic, real characters who appear to be people you might just meet walking down the street. In fact, having grown up in the region of this book's setting, I was tempted to get out a map to ascertain exactly which towns were real, because who wouldn't want to visit City Island in Harrisburg and run into Hannah?
If you like Amish fiction, hurry to your nearest retailer and read When the Soul Mends. If you've tried Amish fiction before and weren't impressed, give it another shot - Woodsmall is sure to change your mind.
I received a free copy of When the Soul Mends from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.