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.
After reading When the Heart Cries and When the Morning Comes, the first two books in this series, I was looking forward to a satisfactory conclusion in this final book.
I was not disappointed.
Even though Hannah started to really get on my nerves in this book (mostly at the beginning - she got really self-absorbed), I thought her ability to eventually listen to what others were saying and forgive them was encouraging. Paul's ablility to be compassionate and available in the midst of everything happening was nothing short of amazing.
Although I got slightly annoyed with all of the subplots in the second book, I really enjoyed the one involving Sarah in this book. It was fascinating to witness what was happening with her and how those caring for her helped her to come back to herself. I did think, though, that her story just kind of fell off close to the end, but we did need to take care of the main characters at that point in the story.
Again, I was irritated with the character of Martin in this novel. I thought he was a bad example of an Englischer, and I just could not understand what Hannah saw in him. Especially since all they seemed to do was fight.
I appreciate epilogues in books like this, in order to wrap up all of the stories, and this book had a good one.
When the Soul Mends is a novel with good reminders of what love and forgiveness should look like and what is really important in life. It also made me remember that it's okay for different people to live in different ways, as long as they follow the Lord.