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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Book "When the Soul Mends"by Cindy Woodsmall



About the Book: Returning to the home she fled in disgrace, will Hannah find healing for the wounds of the past?
After receiving a desperate and confusing call from her sister, Hannah Lapp reluctantly returns to the Old Order Amish community of her Pennsylvania childhood.
Having fled in disgrace more than two years earlier, she finally has settled into a satisfying role in the Englischer world. She also has found love and a new family with the wealthy Martin Palmer and the children she is helping him raise. But almost immediately after her arrival in Owl’s Perch, the disapproval of those who ostracized her, including her headstrong father, reopens old wounds.
As Hannah is thrown together with former fiancĂ© Paul Waddell to work for her sister Sarah’s mental health, hidden truths surface about events during Hannah’s absence, and she faces an agonizing decision. Will she choose the Englischer world and the man who restored her hope, or will she heed the call to return to the Plain Life–and perhaps to her first love?
When the Soul Mends is the third and final book in the Sisters of the Quilt series.

About the Author: Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author whose connection with the Amish community has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
Her first novel released in 2006 to much acclaim and became a best seller. Cindy was a 2007 ECPA Christian Book Award finalist, along with Karen Kingsbury, Angela Hunt, and Charles Martin.
Her second book, When the Morning Comes, hit numerous best-sellers lists across the US, including edging into the extended list on the New York Times, coming in at number thirty-four.
Her third book, When the Soul Mends, hit the New York Times best-sellers list, coming in at number thirteen, as well as making the USA Today's best-sellers list.
Cindy continues to write and release best-selling works of fiction, and she's begun work on a nonfiction piece as well.
Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity.
Though she didn't realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and caped dresses. Her parents didn't allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy's house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them--afraid that if they didn't, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann's because her family didn't own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults' disapproval and the obstacles in each other's lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy's family moved to another region of the US.
As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children.
Cindy, her husband, their three sons and two daughters-in-law reside in Georgia.

My Review: I did not read the first two books of the series "Sisters of the Quilt", and that did not compromise at all the story. The development of the plot can hold on its own.
The author has a sensibility that is seldom found on dealing with emotions of her characters. This is probably due to her deep knowledge of the Amish culture and tradition.
Plot is simple and straight forward. A seventeen year old girl is wrongly accused of breaking the traditions and is virtually banished from her Amish community. She goes away to live with a relative and finally finds a meaning for her life, taking care of a couple of kids in custody of a decent man that she falls in love with. But two and half years after leaving the community, she is called back by her sister and finds out that her sister needs serious psychological help. Dealing with the emotions of meeting again with her father and the church leaders that had banished her in the past, she needs to confront them in order to provide her sister with proper treatment. And in her return, she also meets the man she once loved, and a new set of emotions take place. This is a wonderful well written story and we stay the whole book cheering for our heroine to find her path in life. The author shows that healing is a process and all the Christian subtle messages are well placed. The title is very appropriate and the book has a very beautiful and well chosen cover. I recommend this book to any serious reader that wants a very well written story for a couple of entertained afternoons and nights. It took me a total of less then 12 hours to finish reading this book.

This book was written by Cindy Woodsmall and was published in September 2008 by WaterBrook Multnomah Books and they were kind enough to provide me a copy for reviewing through their Blogging for Books Program. Thanks, Mrs. Cindy Woodsmall, for such an inspirational book!

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