Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Ties That Bind - Cindy Woodsmall

A firm believer in the Old Ways, as well as loving her family with fierce devotion, twenty year old Ariana Bennenman has two things to accomplish. One is to open a café and the other, prevent other Amish from leaving with Quill Schlabach.

Still hurt from when he and Ariana's good friend Frieda ran off together, she's taken aback to meet him five years later - with the intent of helping someone leave - someone from her own family. Little does Ariana know that when Quill helps a family leave, he and his brothers ensure the person leaving does so with absolute certainty.

But unbeknown to the young girl, her world is about to turn upside down.

Quill confirms the suspicions of Ariana's 'mamm', Lovina, suspicions that she's had for a long time about what happened after Ariana (and her twin brother) was born and a possible mix-up. The hardworking mother was never sure if to pursue the matter until she studies a leaflet detailing a show to be put on by local (Englisch) students. Suddenly that day comes rushing to forefront of her family life. Now Quill finds himself in an unenviable position of helping. Will he and Ariana ever be able to re-establish their friendship?

All he's ever wanted and still wants, is to protect Ariana. He knows her devotion to God and her inner strength will carry her through the inevitable unbalancing of her world but how strong is she really? Quill knows he must do everything he can to safeguard her - even help her get her café - all without  ever expressing his true feelings.

The first in a series, the Amish of Summer Grove promises to be an outstanding set of stories. Woodsmall yet again has written a book filled with such likable, strong characters each with a story to tell that combine to make an intricate and absorbing plot.

As with all of the author's novels, they are easy to read and completely engrossing from the first page to the last. Her style and language pulls you into the Amish existence easily and with this particular novel focusing on the conflict met with the Englisch, it certainly does so sympathetically and thoughtfully.

Ariana's story is so inviting and so heartbreaking. I was actually disappointed when it came to the end! I can't wait to read what happens next and am looking forward to book two. A very highly recommended read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Water Press blogging program. The opinions expressed here are my own and I am not expected to give a positive critique.

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