She discovers that long-held secrets about her family history ripple beneath the surface of Dry Lake, Pennsylvania, and it's no place for an outsider. But one Amish man, Ephraim Mast, dares to fulfill the command he believes that he received from God - Be me to her - despite how it threatens his way of life.
Completely opposite of the hard, untrusting Cara, Ephraim's sister, Deborah, also finds her dreams crumbling when the man she has pledged to build a life with begins withdrawing from Deborah and his community, including his mother, Ada Stoltzfus.
Can the run-down house that Ada envisions transforming unite them toward a common purpose, or push Mahlon away forever? While Ephraim is trying to do what he believes is right, will he be shunned and lose everything, including the guarded single mother who simply longs for a better life?
©2009 Cindy Woodsmall; (P)2009 Random House
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"Cindy Woodsmall is more thoughtful than any others"
I have had an interest in Amish culture since I wrote a paper about this religious sect in college. I think many are drawn to a simpler lifestyle, and I am no exception.
Many books in the genre are superficial and a bit too syrupy. I also don't think the research is that good. Yet, after reading the three quilt titles by Woodsmall, I was interested in reading another series. I spent an extra credit on this, and it was worth it. Woodsmall writes of a young woman who is doing all she can to raise her daughter alone after the death of her husband out in the Englisher world. She knows nothing of her connection to the Amish, but for an address in her mother's journal. She flees there to escape a violent stalker.
The closed Amish community ostracizes her, except for one young man. He initially tells her to believe, but after seeing her more closely, remembers this same young woman as a child. He gradually brings the community around, while all the sad and sordid past is brought to the fore.
This is a book about betrayal, loss and redemption. It is not sappy or corny. Rather, it appears that Cindy Woodsmall has a real heart for the outcast who suffers. The Amish are often fearful of an outsider, and with good reason. There is a need to keep those adults who join the church close to the fold. Right or wrong, most who choose baptism stay happily in the faith. Yet, Woodsmall challenges the sect to be more forgiving, and not to rush to conclusions too soon.
The narrator was quite good; I think she liked the book. I am not certain, but do think some of her pronunciation was not correct. This bugged me only a bit. She had a pleasant voice, and read with compassion without being maudlin.
"this author is amazing"
I listened to this book to see if the author could re-create the magic of the Hannah Lapp trilogy. I really, really enjoyed this book, Cindy Woodsmall knows how to write a story that at least I'll enjoy. I look forward to more from her.
"one of my firsts love this story and series"
i first bought the paperback before i discovered audio now i have the whole series in audio this is still a favorite the discovery of secrets is always fun
Knowing absolutely nothing about the Amish culture. I thoroghly enjoyed this book! I felt every emotion from laughter to tears. I bought the second book half way through this one!
"Story is good"
The story was good but a little dry. The reader was dry and didn't have much fluxion in her voice and all of the characters sounded the same.
"Passible start to good series"
Hard to say. I really enjoyed Woodsmall's Sisters of the Quilt series, and am also reading "Amish Vines and Orchards." This novel and series does not appear to be as stron g.
Honestly? Pretty hokey. I can't picture a character like Cara trusting a charactger like Eframe... not to montion visions...?
On its own, I did not enjoy this book, but it sets up the two stronger books in the series - The Bridge of Peace and The Harvest of Grace - which are much betterdue to their debth.
If I were to introduce a friend to Amish fiction in general or Cindy Woodsmall in particular, I would definitely not use this book or series. There are too many coincidences that are unbelievable, and it is much more sappy than her other series.
"Well Done! A LOT of characters!"
Entertaining Inspiring Relaxing
Ephraim. He was the
No, but I was impressed that one Narrator could do such a nice job voicing so many different characters!
When the Bishop apologized to Cara.
Definitely recommend this read to anyone who is fascinated with Amish living.
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