Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Fraying the Edge (Book 2) – The Amish of Summer Grove - Cindy Woodsmall

Continuing the absorbing, heart wrenching story from Book 1, Ariana Brenneman's Amish life disappeared in a blink of an eye when it was discovered that she was not the biological daughter of Lovina and Isaac. Now the parents of Skylar Nash have asked that she spend a year with them.

Absorbed into an Englischer world with a dad keen to expand her views, especially questioning her deep faith, Ariana is alone. Well, almost. Quill Schlabach is a childhood friend who lives an Englisch life but past betrayals make Ariana wonder whether she can trust him. Yet in a new world with so many expectations thrown at her – learn to drive (a car), listen to music, watch movies – is she able to get through the next 12 months without some guidance from him?
Skylar’s choice is either rehab or staying with the large Brenneman family. A choice she feels that isn’t one. The prospect of living without her phone and modern comforts is one thing but she’s more hurt by the fact that her parents, especially her mother, seemed to have ‘dropped’ her off with zeal. Having the pure and perfect Ariana is an opportunity to start over. The bigger problem, perhaps, for the young woman is her addiction to prescription drugs and the fear that perhaps she doesn’t belong in either family.  
As the days roll into months, they are both learning how to adjust to their new lives. With one woman having little regard for God and the other with unwavering faith, will they be able to adjust to what is expected of them? For Ariana it's overwhelming but she knows she belongs back in Summer Grove. Skylar is wary of the devotion her new family show to her. But as she works in Ariana’s café she feels her attitude softening towards the hardworking family.
Very much a set up for the next in the series this story is still filled with deep, meaningful characters, descriptions and words. Woodsmall’s ability to create a fictional world where the reader is instantly interested in their lives is outstanding. Whilst the author hasn’t delved deeply into addiction and the stress of going clean, it’s still paramount that Skylar is suffering.

Questioning faith and questioning the merits of materialism is the main theme in the next chapter of this series and whilst I found the Nicholas (Skylar's dad) overbearing in his quest to 'modernize' his real daughter, it was obvious he had little knowledge of being in an Amish community and didn't seem to want to understand it. In turn, will Isaac appreciate that his daughter may have her own opinions?
A thoroughly enjoyable addition to the Summer Grove series. With a few subplots weaved in, this story will not disappoint. A highly recommended read especially fans of Amish and/or Christian Fiction.         
I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of the Blogging for Books program. The opinions expressed here are my own and I am not required to give a positive review.

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