Wednesday, February 3, 2010

When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall

This is book 1 of Woodsmall's Sisters of the Quilt series. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start another Amish series. I have read everything by Beverly Lewis and most of Wanda Brunstetter's books, but a couple of friends loved this series and recommended it so I decided to give it a try. While some parts of it seem to be typical of books based on the Amish (i.e. the struggle to decide between the Plain world and the English world), When the Heart Cries definitely has twists that are not expected. One thing I liked is the depth of the characters and the insight into their emotions and thoughts. It is difficult to give examples without giving away too much of the story, but one character is involved in a tragic accident and irrationally blames another. His reasoning is so flawed and yet so human and much as any one of us might create. This made the Amish seem more real and more like the rest of us.. not as different as they often seem. It is definitely a story of secrets and poor decisions and misunderstandings that lead to heart break. But it is also a story of hope and while the end leaves you hanging, there is a sense that thigns will come together one day.

The main characters are Hannah Lapp, a 17 year old Amish girl, and Paul Waddell, a college age Mennonite boy. No surprise the 2 are in love and struggle with how to be together and keep peace in their families. Secrets lead to untruths... people jump to conclusions... and tragedy leads to greater loss. While early on their are some fun parts, it is not a light-hearted story. It is a bit heavy and, again, leaves so much hanging. I have already picked up book 2 from the library and will start it soon (Once I finish the Macomber book I am reading!).

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