Book Review and Giveaway

when-the-soul-mends-coverWhen the Soul Mends by Cindy Woodsmall is the third book in the Sisters of the Quilt series.    

Book Three opens with the protagonist, Hannah, returning to her Old Order Amish community in Pennsylvania.  She had left two years before in a cloud of disgrace, misunderstanding and hurt.  But Hannah is not the same woman who left.  Although she has held onto many of her simple Amish ways, she has blossomed and thrived with the love and acceptance she has received in the “Englischer” world to which she fled.  She has adapted to some of the modern ways and gained confidence, education, self-respect and a strong sense of who she is and how she should be treated. 

When the Heart Mends is Hannah’s crossroads story.  Will she return to her Amish community or stay in the Englischer world?  Will she marry the man with whom she has fallen in love in the Englischer world or can forgiveness and new understanding bring her back to her first love and former fiance when she lived in the Amish community? 

This is a great story and opens a mostly unknown world to us “Englischers”.  It’s a story of forgiveness, trusting God, and making a life for oneself that feels authentic and right.  Hannah needs to figure out what works for her from the Amish world and what works from the modern world.  She’s such a likeable character and she’s surprisingly strong; you will find yourself pulling for her every step of the way.

I will admit jumping into the story with the third book in the series is a little difficult, but the author kindly puts a summary of the characters and a snippet of what’s happened at the beginning of the book so you can catch up.  This “cheat sheet” is essential for the first several chapters.  After that, you’ll be so into the story, you won’t even notice you missed the first two books.  However, given the quality of When the Heart Mends, the other two books in the series, When the Heart Cries and When the Morning Comes are well worth taking the time to read as well.

Below is the summary of the book from the publisher and some information on the author.  I’m sorry I turned down the opportunity to interview the author; I’d love to know how she came to know so much about the Amish way of life. 

GIVEAWAY:  I have TWO copies of this book to give away.  Please e-mail your name and mailing address to seewhykinsman@yahoo.com to be entered in the random drawing this Friday, December 12th.  Good luck!  If you don’t win, this book is available at www.amazon.com and other booksellers.

Book Summary:

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 two years earlier, she finally has found a satisfying role in the Englischer world, as well as love with Martin Palmer, a man with whom she can safely entrust her heart. But almost immediately after her arrival in Owl’s Perch, the disapproval of those who ostracized her reopens old wounds.

As Hannah is thrown together with former fiancé Paul Waddell to work for her sister Sarah’s mental health, unexpected truths surface about the 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?

This intriguing final novel in the Sisters of the Quilt series is richly textured with authentic details drawn from the author’s real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families.

 when-the-soul-mends-authorAuthor Bio: Cindy Woodsmall is a best-selling author, who has garnered strong praise for the first two novels in the Sisters of the Quilt series. When the Heart Cries was a finalist for the ECPA Novel of the Year in 2007 and received the Reviewer’s Choice Award from the Road to Romance website. When the Morning Comes was named among the Best Books of 2007 for Crossings Book Club. Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of thirty years.

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