Tag Archives: Cindy Woodsmall

Book Review, “Gathering the Threads,” Cindy Woodsmall author

gathering the threads cover

Gathering the Threads, by Cindy Woodsmall, is the third book in the Amish of Summer Grove series. In this book, Ariana Brenneman returns to her Amish family after being forced to spend time with her English birth parents for several months.

Ariana’s simple world has been torn apart. Finding out she was not truly a Brenneman, but having been raised Amish only to be immersed in the English world, has been confusing and heartbreaking. When Ariana returns home, she finds that it is not as simple as she thought it would be. She begins to question Amish ways and beliefs that she previously followed blindly. She loves her family, but desperately needs some space from them. Her Amish family does not understand, and her English family wants her to return to them. Ariana’s friend, Quill Schlabach attempts to help her, but only Ariana can pick up the threads of both worlds and weave them together.

This was a wonderful book.  I did not want to put it down. I appreciated the way that each character’s situation was given ample attention in the book. I especially liked that Ariana’s brothers and sisters were involved in trying to help her navigate her new situation.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “The Angel of Forest Hill,” Cindy Woodsmall author

the-angel-of-forest-hill-cover

The Angel of Forest Hill, by Cindy Woodsmall, is An Amish Christmas Romance. It is a beautiful story filled with sacrifice, devotion, and love.

Rose Kurtz, Old Order Amish, is asked to leave her family in Pennsylvania—including all eleven brothers—and travel to West Virginia to help Joel Dienner with his three young children when his wife dies shortly after childbirth. For practical reasons, she agrees to marry Joel, in name only, and care for them. Years later, as Joel finally moves past grieving his first wife, the two of them begin to grow closer. But when those around them discover the state of their marriage, pressure comes to annul it and go their separate ways.  They must decide whether or not that’s what they truly want.

I enjoyed this book.  Rose’s sacrifice to stay with the children seems incredible, but it also helps her escape a difficult home life. Joel’s pain at his wife’s sudden death is unbearable, but he eventually works through it. I especially liked the way Rose and her mother death with their issues together toward the end of the story.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

 

 

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Book Review, “Fraying at the Edge,” Cindy Woodsmall author

fraying-at-the-edge-cover

Fraying at the Edge, by Cindy Woodsmall, is the second book in The Amish of Summer Grove series.  It continues the story of Ariana and Skylar, who were switched at birth twenty years prior.

Ariana Brenneman finds herself suddenly in the Englischer world, under the authority of her atheistic father, who wishes to expose her to every kind of worldly experience he can imagine. She is not allowed to have any contact with her family, only with Quill Schlabach, her childhood friend who has left the Amish world and helps others leave it when they need assistance. At the same time, Skylar Nash chooses to spend the time with her biological family, the Brennemans, over going to drug rehab. She finds the Amish world every bit as shocking as Ariana finds the Englischer world, no electricity and very little time for fun. She can’t imagine working so hard, not to imagine doing it without the drugs to which she has become addicted. Both young women struggle to find out if they truly belong in either family.

I enjoyed this book very much.  It honestly caused one to consider the reasons behind religious beliefs and traditions. It also emphasized the importance of family, no matter the blood relation. I especially liked Cameron, who helps Ariana to experience things such as Disney movies.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish fiction.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

 

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Book Review, “Amish Christmas at North Star,” Cindy Woodsmall, Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark, Amanda Flower, and Katie Ganshert authors

Amish Christmas at North Star cover 2Amish Christmas at North Star includes four stories in one book: Guiding Star, by Katie Ganshert; Mourning Star, by Amanda Flower; In the Stars, by Cindy Woodsmall; and Star of Grace, by Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark. All of the stories included center around four babies born during a snow storm one night and delivered by Amish midwife, Rebekah Schlabach, known ever since as Rebekah’s Babies.

Guiding Star tells the story of missing baby Anna. Chase Wellington, an English reporter, is determined to write a story on the four babies’ current lives. But finding Anna proves a challenge. When he finds her, adopted and named Elle, in Iowa, he must convince her to return to North Star to meet her birth family. Mourning Star, Eden’s story, tells of Eden’s quest to find the true story behind the death of her friend, Isaac. In the Stars tells of Savilla Beiler, who finds herself caring for three children whose parents are out of the county when her friend is in the hospital. Star of Grace presents Andy Danner, the only boy of the bunch, who has been deeply hurt by his fiancé’s choice to break off their engagement in a quest for education. But his younger brother knows that the fiancé regrets that choice and begins plans to bring him home.

All of these were sweet stories, well-written and coordinated amazingly. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction.

Kara
I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “Ties That Bind,” Cindy Woodsmall author

Ties That Bind cover

Ties That Bind, by Cindy Woodsmall, is the first book in The Amish of Summer Grove series. It is set in Summer Grove, Pennsylvania, in an Old Order Amish community and is a marvelous story.

Ariana Brenneman’s life is hectic but fulfilling. She works hard to help her family while earning enough money to open a café in Summer Grove to support them financially. She and her boyfriend, Rudy, are becoming serious. Her twin brother, Abram, is helping her raise money for the down payment on the café. Life is good, until she discovers that Quill Schlabach is back in town. When he disappeared five years before with her good friend and her heart, she never expected to see him again. But she discovers that he helps Amish to escape into the English world, and that he plans to help someone in her family, making her even angrier with him than before. Quill, however, loves Ariana, and he refuses to tell her his true reasons for leaving. When her parents ask him to investigate their suspicions of a switch the night of Ariana’s birth, he is devastated to learn that the truth could destroy her.

I loved this book. Although I am not fond of cliff hangers, I must admit that I eagerly await the next installment in this series. I admired Ariana’s hard work ethic and love for her family, as well as Abram’s generosity. The examples of Christian love in this story are truly inspiring.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “A Love Undone,” Cindy Woodsmall author

A Love Undone coverA Love Undone, by Cindy Woodsmall, is a wonderful book. It is the story of forbidden love, according to the rules of the Old Order Amish in one Pennsylvania district.

Jolene Keim’s parents died in a tragic accident two weeks before her wedding at age nineteen. She decided to raise her young siblings on her own, losing her fiancé in the process. Ten years later, she meets Andy Fisher and begins developing an attraction toward him. Andy believes that Jolene knows that he is a grass widower, a man whose wife has left him (and his son). According to the Amish, he cannot divorce her. When he learns of her attraction, it complicates both of their lives, especially because he reciprocates the attraction. Both are thrust into difficult situations due to the rules of their Amish districts.

I enjoyed this book very much. Cindy Woodsmall paints a lovely picture of a couple torn apart by their forbidden emotions. I especially like the side stories of Ray and Glen, and everyone could use a friend as supportive as Lester. I also appreciated the parts regarding Jolene’s siblings’ appreciation of her sacrifice so that they could remain together as a family.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “Seasons of Tomorrow,” Cindy Woodsmall author

Seasons of Tomorrow coverSeasons of Tomorrow, the fourth book in the Amish Vines and Orchards series by Cindy Woodsmall, is another incredible addition to this story. It continues telling the progress of the many characters involved in Orchard Bend Farms.

Rhoda and Samuel have finally admitted the depth of their love. Leah and Landon become separated when Leah’s father arrives for an unexpected visit. Jacob, having left to find some peace about his break-up with Rhoda, literally runs into Esther, discovering a friend that he dearly needs. Steven begins incredibly trying times when Phoebe collapses and must be put into an induced coma in order to save both her own life and that of their unborn son. When farm members must leave one by one for various reasons, Rhoda and Samuel struggle to continue their dream and end up marrying in order to allow the unmarried farm members to continue living there.

I have been eagerly awaiting this book and was not disappointed. This was the best installment of the story yet. The constant action drew me in until I did not want to put the novel down. I especially appreciated the emphasis on hard work and determination to real one’s goals in life. Phoebe’s part in the story in truly inspiring, showing the importance of not only prayer, but also action and assistance of other Christians in times of need.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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