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Saturday, March 3, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway: When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall

This has good characters and an engaging story.
When the Heart Cries, Sisters of the Quilt Series #1
by Cindy Woodsmall
Amazon Link
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook (September 19, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1400072921
Genre: Amish, Romance
My Rating: 4.5 0f 5.0

Hannah Lapp was raised in an Old Order Amish Family. Now seventeen, she is ready to get out and experience the world. She is thrilled to accept the proposal from her Mennonite boyfriend. If she were forced to live outside the community on her own, could she handle it? Will she turn to God for answers?

Hannah Lapp is a sweet, helpful young Amish woman who cares for her family and her community. Even so, she has developed a love for a young man of the Mennonite faith who works during the summers at a neighboring farm. They have been meeting secretly for the past three summers as their friendship grew. The day Paul is leaving to return to college she accepts his proposal of marriage. But as she is walking home her world is shattered. Her family chooses to minimize and hide the event and she is left to struggle with her trauma alone.

Hannah and Paul miss each other but have no way to communicate. Hannah has drawn into herself and rouses only when her brother and his hoped to be intended are severely injured in a buggy crash. Hannah devotes herself to caring for Mary at the hospital and at home she helps Mary rehabilitate making a past and future quilt for Mary's marriage. Meanwhile, Hannah’s younger sister becomes increasingly resentful and jealous of Hannah. She convinces herself she is doing the right thing to tell the Bishop of what she believes is wrongful behavior by Hannah.

Months go by and Hannah’s family relations continue to be strained and torn. Hannah suffers more tragedy with the community against her and a misunderstanding that makes her believe that Paul has abandoned her. Physically and mentally exhausted Hannah decides she must get away. She takes the train to a secret destination hoping to find help.

Can Hannah find peace away from her community? Will she look to God for healing and direction? The story continues in book two.

Ms. Woodsmall has created well developed characters and an engrossing storyline that tugs the heart strings. As much as I generally think fondly of the Amish faith, this story raises serious failings that result from the strictness, seclusion and limitations within this community. It was heart wrenching to follow Hannah’s trauma and suffering with no support, even – or especially – from her family. Just as in non-Amish communities some parents care more about their own reputations than the harm suffered by their child. The rules of law are more prevalent than the love of God.

Although our ladies’ book club did not get to discuss this fully, the feedback I got back from several who had finished it was very favorable. They were ready to follow Hannah’s journey in book two so I was glad I had that on hand to pass out. One member even asked me for book three after finishing the first two in two days!

I am a third of the way in book two and still fully engaged. I recommend this emotional and engaging story to readers who like Amish situations and personal growth.

Source: 2016; purchased on sale for Ladies Book Club. This qualifies for 2018TBR and Alphabet Challenge. .

Paperback Book (US Only)

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  1. I haven't tried the Amish genre yet. I will have to keep this in mind. Happy reading.

  2. Cindy is one of my favorite authors and I"m looking forward to this book! I always enjoy Amish books.


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