Cindy Woodsmall certainly saved the best till last in the Sisters of the Quilt series. Hannah Lapp has settled into Englischer life better than she'd ever hoped for. She has found a whole new family with Martin and his niece and nephew, who he now has custody of. She is successfully pursuing a career in nursing. She doesn't even realise how much she misses her old life and family until her disturbed sister Sarah calls her, desperate for help. Hannah travels back to the Old Order Amish community that shunned her and is reunited with her friends and family, with varying degrees of warmth and acceptance. Many misunderstandings are cleared up and forgiveness reigns to such a degree that an old romance is rekindled, leaving Hannah with some huge choices to make. You'll have to read it for yourself to find out which world, and which man, she chooses.
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.