Tuesday, September 2, 2008

When the Soul Mends by Cindy Woodsmall

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
When The Soul Mends WaterBrook Press(September 16, 2008)
by Cindy Woodsmall
Cindy Woodsmall is a veteran homeschool mom. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.

Her first novel,
When The Heart Cries, released in 2006 to much acclaim and became a Christian Book Association best seller. Cindy was a 2007 ECPA Christian Book Award finalist, along with Karen Kingsbury, Angela Hunt, and Charles Martin.

Her last book,
When the Morning Comes, hit the New York Times best-sellers extended list and the Christian Book Association best-sellers list.

Cindy’s real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity.

Cindy, her husband, their three sons and daughter-in-law reside in Georgia. Her husband is a registered land surveyor and a vice president at an engineering firm. Their oldest son has a bachelor’s degree in nuclear medicine and works at a local hospital. Their second son and his wife are both students at the University of Georgia. Their teen-aged son keeps the household energized with his love of music, books, and writing.
Returning to the home she fled in disgrace, will Hannah find healing for the wounds of the past?

After receiving a desperate and confusing call from her sister, Hannah Lapp reluctantly returns to the Old Order Amish community of her Pennsylvania childhood.

Having fled in disgrace more than two years earlier, she finally has settled into a satisfying role in the Englischer world. She also has found love and a new family with the wealthy Martin Palmer and the children she is helping him raise. But almost immediately after her arrival in Owl’s Perch, the disapproval of those who ostracized her, including her headstrong father, reopens old wounds.

As Hannah is thrown together with former fianc√© Paul Waddell to work for her sister Sarah’s mental health, hidden truths surface about events during Hannah’s absence, and she faces an agonizing decision. Will she choose the Englischer world and the man who restored her hope, or will she heed the call to return to the Plain Life–and perhaps to her first love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of
When The Soul Mends, go HERE.
Heidi Says: I previously reviewed the first two books in this series – When the Heart Cries and When the Morning Comeshere.  I said, at that time, that I may very well be too tough of a critic when it comes to these books on the Amish.  Not only do I live among the Amish and have contact with them on a regular basis, but I was also born and raised in the county in which these books are set (and today live in a neighboring county).  Because of that, I probably pick up on things that stand out to me as questionable, where the normal person reading these books isn’t as aware of these things.
I was anxious to read this 3rd book, as the 2nd one left me with a lot of questions and a bad taste in my mouth.  I was hoping the 3rd book would bring some redemption.  In some ways, I felt much better ‘til I got to the end of this one – Hannah’s had some healing in her relationships and has done a good bit of growing up.  It ended the way I wanted it to – with Hannah returning to her first love.
I still tend to question some of the Amish ways.  I realize, from living around the Amish, that each sect of Amish is different and there are a lot of variations in their beliefs and their rules.  I just wouldn’t recommend these books to someone who is intrigued with the Amish lifestyle and wanting to learn more about the Amish.  If, however, you are simply looking for a good Christian fiction novel, with some romance, turmoil, and a happy ending, then Cindy Woodsmall may be just the author you are seeking.  I know I would be quicker to pick up her books if they were NOT Amish-centered.  The Christian fiction book market seems to be well-saturated with Amish stories nowadays – my suggestion to many authors would be to write about what you know.
But, don’t take my word for it!  Others have said:
“A skillfully written story of forgiveness and redemption. Woodsmall’s authentic characters illustrate beautifully how wounded souls can indeed be mended.”
Susan Meissner, author of The Shape of Mercy

“Like the stitches on a well-loved quilt, love and faith hold together Cindy Woodsmall's When the Soul Mends, the brilliantly written third story in the Sisters of the Quilt series. With deft plotting and characters that seem to jump off the page, this novel offers the timeless truth that forgiveness is the balm which heals all wounds and a blanket for the soul.”
Kathleen Y’Barbo, author of Beloved Castaway

“What a vibrant, strong, emotional story! When the Heart Cries will grip you and not let go, I promise. Highly recommended!”
Gayle Roper, author of Allah’s Fire and the Seaside Seasons series

“Reaching deep into the heart of the reader, Cindy Woodsmall pens a beautifully lyrical story in her debut novel When the Heart Cries.”
Tamera Alexander, bestselling author of Rekindled

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