Tag Archives: Amish

Book Review: Ties That Bind

Ties That Bind
Cindy Woodsmall has done it again! She’s drawn me into her world so effectively, that I hardly noticed I had reached the end of the story. In fact, I was frustrated that the story was finished, as it had more to disclose.
Ties That Bind begins with a crisis and immediately pulls you into the story of an Amish family and an Englisch family whose lives intersect. Woodsmall is able to navigate the two worlds successfully, framing each with the language and idiosyncrasies that make them believable.
The mysteries continued throughout the book, and it made me feel valued as a reader, not having everything spelled out for me. I love the wisdom spattered throughout, such as when Quill realizes hardship is a sign of being alive (p. 71), or when he recognizes the shallowness of treating God as a star to wish upon (p. 175). Arianna’s world turns inside out as she considers the treachery of those leaving the Old Order, but clings to love’s virtue, “with its thriving desire to be kind, encouraging, and protective” (p. 193).
The audience of Amish readers will have no further to look to find a great story. Award-winning Cindy Woodsmall has added another family to her repertoire, with The Amish of Summer Grove series, and it left me hanging on the edge of my seat for book two!

Disclaimer: “I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Book Review: Hope Crossing

Hope Crossing

Lovers of Amish novels are in for a treat from Cindy Woodsmall; Hope Crossing includes three books in one. This Ada’s House Trilogy weaves a story that includes turmoil and triumph. It’s nice to have the trilogy bound into one volume, in order to continue the relationship built with characters. Indeed, it feels like they’ve become fast friends and I found myself almost blurting out at the supper table, “You won’t believe what Cara said now…” Realizing, of course, I was about to speak of them as real people. But, when we read good fiction, fiction that really works, we learn something of ourselves and our response to the world around us.

Here’s one: “It pained her to watch him struggle. If he could just let go of trying to make life fit inside his understanding, his hands would be free to grasp the richness around him.” (p. 105)

Don’t we all struggle to put life in a box, into our comfort zone, so that we can figure things out? And in the process, miss what is right under our noses?

Here’s another good one: “What had made her be someone who never trusted her own thoughts or desires or dreams? Why had she feared being wrong so much that she let others be wrong for her?” (p. 254)

Yep, that sounds like perfectionist tendencies to me.

How about this one? “No one… can decide what’s right for everyone else… But if everyone’s willing to listen, they can talk things out and find a compromise.” (p. 997)

I like to orchestrate things around me. Others might see it as manipulate. The last story in the trilogy points out how damaging it can be, no matter what you call it!

And fiction is a tool to teach us about faith:

”Feeling gratitude is much like a prayer all on its own. If you thank Him for those things, it becomes a prayer.” (p. 729)

“How can you talk to me as if we’re doomed because we may have serious problems to face? Life dishes out what only God can get us through.” (p. 850)

I love this phrase about Deborah’s grieving: “They’d taken the grandfather clock with them, so she didn’t know what time it was. But it didn’t matter. It was somewhere between yesterday and tomorrow.” (p. 297)

Anyone who has dealt with heartbreak can relate to the way all time comes to a stop.

Fiction is like that, though. It draws you into another world and then reveals something you hadn’t realized before.

Woodsmall skillfully develops believable characters with a storyline that caries momentum, then packs it with truth that nudges you in real life.

Come on, isn’t it time to escape into a good book?


 Disclaimer: “I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”