Sunday, 23 July 2017

Gathering the Threads (The Amish of Summer Grove, Bk 3) – Cindy Woodsmall

Returning to her Amish home, was a joyful event for Ariana Brenneman. And then, sitting at the family table, listening to her father dictate what was to be done, triggered an unease in the young woman.

Forced to live in the ‘Englisch’ world, when it was discovered, she was unintentionally swapped, at her birth, along with Skylar Nash, was an eye-opening situation. Relying on Quill Schlabach wasn’t an ideal, but he was her friend, despite the strained relationship, and he helped her out when she needed it.
Isaac, Ariana’s Amish father, is in disbelief that his daughter, would defy him, his authority. At least her relationship with Rudy (the man she plans to marry) is still going strong. His wife, Lovina, is worried that the two won’t see eye-to-eye. After all, Ariana now knows what it is to live in the Englisch world. Can they truly expect her to be the same?
Now that Ariana is back in the Amish world, will the fact that she wishes to keep the phone and occasionally contact Quill be condoned by the Bishop? And, how much more understanding will Rudy be about that aspect of her life?
Finding her feet, and her place, in the Brenneman family, as well as the Amish community, Skylar is on the road to recovery from drug addiction. Just as she feels that she has control back in her life, in walks Ariana. What happened to spending a whole year outside of this community? And how come her Englisch father, Nicholas, seems so much more understanding of Ariana’s woes than he ever was of hers?
Will the two ‘sisters’ find common ground? To be able to grow together in the Amish way? Whilst Ariana questions her belief in an (almost) oligarchical system, she knows her faith in God is unwavering. How can she be a part of two different worlds, when neither seem to want to understand the other?
In the last part of theSummer Grove series, the story is focused more on Ariana, rather than Skylar, but doesn’t fail to impress. Whilst it would be easy to tie up loose ends, Woodsmall, spins a thoughtful, absorbing story, that is far from predictable. I really enjoyed how she pushed Ariana's thinking, yet being respectful of the Amish culture. There were so many emotions for the characters in this final installment - frustration, anger, disbelief, love, hope,  happiness - that, as a reader, I was experiencing them along the way. As always, Woodsmall's characters have depth, personality and traits, that make them all endearing.
An excellent series and a highly recommended read for, not only, all fans of Amish and Christian fiction, but those who enjoy a really good story.
I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from WaterBrookMultnomah as part of their blogging program. The opinions expressed are my own and I am not required to give a positive critique. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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    - El