When the heart cries is the first book in the sisters of the quilt series.
Amish Hannah Lapp is in love, too bad it has to be with a Mennonite follower Paul Wadell. She knows her parents will never approve the match, but Hannah and Paul believe that love can conquer all. One afternoon after Hannah and Paul meet secretly, Hannah is brutally attacked and raped. Unable to make sense and unable to talk to Paul about what has happened, Hannah begins to withdraw from her family and friends, falling into a severe depression. Only when her brother Luke and his fianc Mary are involved in an accident is Hannah force to reconnect with people.
So many things about this book, where to start? Ok Hannah, not only has been viciously attacked, after the accident her brother Luke begins to blame her for the accident. Then her other sister Sarah begins to act in a very strange way. For me there were just too many tragedies for one person to bare in the space of a few weeks.
The next problem I had the callousness of Hannahs family. Her parents know what has happened to her, yet there is no compassion from them, especially her father. There is no forgiveness or acknowledgement especially none of the events were Hannahs fault.
The upside is that this book is exceptionally well written. The author does very well in weaving a story around such sensitive subject material. The writing really was what made me want to get to the end of the book.
What happened to Hannah Lapp on her walk home was terrible. What her family and community did to her in the days and months to follow was inconceivably horrible. How can a family do that to a daughter, a sister? Her friends Mary and Matthew are her only source of comfort. I felt like cheering every time Matthew came on the scene. He showed true unconditional love that Hannah should have been able to rely on from her family and the church elders, rather than the judgement and rejection she received. It was hard to read, but enough high points and heroes to keep me reading, and leave me looking forward to the rest to the story in the next book in the series.
All her life, she has leved teh sheltered life on the Amish. After tragedy strikes, Hannah sinks into an uncertainty and despair. How can she face life knowing what has happened. In the midst of her person struggle, her brother, Luke and her best friend Mary barely survive being hit by a car. Taking care of her friend gives her life a new purpose and direction, but will the secrets she has been keeping destroy her?
Only a few know the truth of her situation and so many rumors are spreading. Has Hannah turned her back on the Amish community or has the community turned its back on her.
This novel is a worthy read and will break your heart while reminding that God is always there especially when the heart is broken.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Seventeen-year-old Hannah Lapp, raised in an Old Order Amish family, has done the unthinkable: she has fallen in love with a Mennonite. Paul Waddell is in love with her as well, and he has asked Hannah to marry him as soon as he finishes his final year in college.
But everything comes crashing down after a traumatic event, and all Hannah thought she knew is destroyed. This event leads to questions that the Old Order ways cannot answer, and Hannah risks losing her family and even her one true love.
This first book in the "Sister of the Quilt" series by Cindy Woodsmall was published several years ago, but it became available again for review at Blogging for Books from WaterBrook Press. Since I have read a couple of other books by this author, I thought I would see how I liked this Amish series.
I thought this book was written well because, even though I didn't exactly relate to the characters, I was still able to feel their emotions and their experiences. This can be seen as a positive (and I do think it is a positive thing to be able to feel what the characters feel), but this can also be a negative. Because this book deals with some difficult subjects, it was sometimes really hard to read. It was depressing at times, and I was extremely frustrated with the way this Amish community related to each other.
Even though I thought this book was written well, there was just an overall feel to the book that bothered me. The community and Hannah's family were extremely harsh, and this decreased my enjoyment of the book. There was no spirit of forgiveness among this community, especially for something that wasn't even Hannah's fault.
There were a few characters that I did enjoy. Paul, Mary, and Matthew seemed to be the only characters in the book that had any compassion at all. I was also interested in the story, even though the characters (especially Hannah's father) sometimes frustrated me to no end.
It's hard for me to say for sure whether I liked this book or not. Is it fair for me to say that I didn't like a book because I disliked some of the characters? To me, that is the sign of a well-written book - the author has crafted a story that makes me empathize with the main character and feel her frustrations. But, at the same time, the book was sometimes difficult to read because of the harshness of the characters.
Although I had mixed feelings about this book, the story (even the parts that were harsh) is compelling, and I am interested to see where the next books in the series take us.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Press through their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."