Once I start reading a series I like to read it straight through beginning to end; therefore I was so excited to see the three novels of Cindy Woodsmall's "Sisters of the Quilt" series in a complete trilogy edition! Woodsmall's "Sisters of the Quilt" includes the three stories of the series that have previously been released as single novels. Hannah Lapp is struggling to know her place, her beliefs and what her heart feels in the first book of the trilogy, "When the Heart Cries." Hannah is in love with an older man who is more worldly than she and her family and she accepts his marriage proposal. Tragedy brings other issues to light and disruptions for not only Hannah, but her best friend and brother as well.
Hannah's story and journey continues in the second book "When the Morning Comes." Not being treated kindly by her Amish community, Hannah disappears into the English world to try and find solace there. Although she is still in love with Paul, Hannah meets someone new who is accepting of her; yet this adds to her struggles as well. This is a highly emotional book as the reader will feel for Hannah through her new experiences and struggles and also Hannah's family and community as they are dealing with her disappearance.
"When the Soul Mends" is the last book in this trilogy and it an engrossing ending to this series. Hannah hopes to help her sister and returns home to do so. Hannah is faced with choosing between her two worlds and questioning her decision to leave over two years earlier.
This is a well-written and captivating series! You are not going to want to put it down once you start! Hannah's struggles, heartache, love and decisions will have you hurting alongside her, cheering her on and being torn between her loves and worlds.
*I received a complimentary copy from Waterbrook Press in exchange for a honest review.*
Sisters of the Quilt by Cindy Woodsmall is the entire Hannah Lapp trilogy in one volume. The book is comprised of the following stories:
When the Heart Cries
This was an edge-of-your-seat, heart pounding story set among the Amish. I was drawn into this book right from the start - it was a "sit down, hang on tight, roller coaster ride" through the entire story. After 19 year old Hannah Lapp's secure Amish life is turned upside down after "the unmentionable" happens to her, all aspects of her life begin to spiral out of control. Her parents turn on her, she loses the love of her life, her sister spreads horrible falsehoods about her throughout the community, and Hannah decides she needs to leave her Lancaster community behind in search of the aunt she never knew about until finding a letter hidden by her father. I was so sorry to see this book end...and it left me on the train with Hannah Lapp, so curious as to what will cross her path in the next book of the series.
When the Morning Comes
Hannah's arrival in Alliance, Ohio isn't all roses. The train depot for Alliance is basically non-existent anymore and without knowing anyone, she's left to find her own way into town. After spending the night on the street, she's in desperate need of some medical attention. She finally meets her estranged aunt and settles into Englisher life - training to become a nurse, falling in love with Martin, caring for her aged aunt...until she gets word from home that her life-long friend, Matthew is seriously injured in a fire.
Without giving too much away about each story, I have to say of all the Amish fiction I've read, this series is my All-Time favorite! There were just enough twists and turns throughout each individual story, that the ultimate outcome wasn't easy to predict, but I was happy at how it all turned out. I highly recommend this book series. Cindy Woodsmall is one of the best storytellers of Amish fiction I've come across! She doesn't just focus on her main characters, but her secondary characters are so well rounded and fit into the story in ways that sure don't keep them in the shadows. This was an incredible series! Bravo, Cindy Woodsmall!
Thanks to the wonderful folks at WaterBrook-Multnomah, through their Blogging for Books program for the complimentary copy of this book for my review.
The Sisters of the quilt books all center around a young Amish girl named Hannah and the Mennonite boy she loves named Paul. In book one, Hannah faces a tragic circumstance that not only devastates her entire family, but separates her from Paul just as they begin to dream of a future together. Book two picks up the story when Hannah is rejected by Paul and shunned by her family and friends. She flees her home and all she knows to go live with an estranged aunt and tries to put her life back together. Then book three shows us an older, more mature Hannah who has found peace with her circumstances and has settled into a satisfying life in the English world that includes a new love in her life. Just when Hannah thinks she has it all together she is thrown back into the path of her first love and must acknowledge that she still has deep feelings for him.
I was immediately drawn into these stories and amazed that these are the author's first books. The characters are very realistic and multi-faceted. I felt deeply for Hannah and her struggles as she tried to survive a horrible situation not of her making and without the support of her family. I have read a lot of Amish fiction as I am fascinated by the Amish lifestyle. What I like the most about Cindy Woodsmall's work is the fact that her books are entirely different from other Amish stories. Her characters are more involved with the Englischers instead of the story being exclusively centered on the Amish community. This adds another element to the plots of the stories as the characters interact with a way of life that is quite foreign to them. It also makes me think about what it would be like if I ever had the opportunity to be friends with an Amish person.
Cindy did a fantastic job in making Hannah a real person and that is the success of this trilogy. The fact that all three books now come in one compact volume is an added bonus. If you like Amish fiction you are sure to love these stories.
I received this complimentary copy from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group through their Blogging for Books program. A positive review was not required and the opinions expressed here are my own.