Boy, has the last 3 weeks been a whirlwind. I started working as a nurse practitioner and well, that’s kept me pretty busy. That and the kids activities. My son’s soccer season just finished up and my daughter’s dance is picking-up as the Nutcracker approaches. I am deep in the trenches of mommiehood.
Despite everything I was able to read a fantastic read. Below is my review.
The Gift of Christmas Past by Cindy Woodsmall & Erin Woodsmall
Hadley is trying to get free of her past and at 27 is trying to finish her degree in speech therapy. Monroe owns a therapy company that helps children with speech needs. Hadley and Monroe dated while Hadley was in foster care. Unfortunately, Monroe being from a wealthy family is made to choose between Hadley’s future and the two having a future together.
Woodsmall and Woodsmall has written book that will touch your heart. This story is a story of overcoming life obstacles. The characters all must find ways to get beyond life circumstances. Even Monroe mush overcome his parents gifts in order to self actuate. I fell in love with the characters. I found myself cheering them on for success in both their relationships and their professional success.
This book is a good, fun read for the holidays. It has a heartwarming ending leaving which is perfect for the Christmas season.
I recommend this book for any young adult or adult who enjoys a romance with a hint of medical information. The content is wholesome and older teens could read and enjoy it.
I give this book a 5 out 5 bookends.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the author for an honest review.
I am very excited to have finished the last book in the Amish of Summer Grove series. It is a well-written fantastic story. To be honest, I want to get to my review quickly, so I won’t delay!
Gathering the threads by Cindy Woodsmall
This is the third and final book of the series. Ariana has returned to the Old Order Amish that she grew-up and loving. She finds herself feeling confused and uncertain of where she belongs. Skylar is also found struggling a bit figuring out how she fits in with the Brenneman family.
This book ties the entire series together and pulls everything into a wonderful ending. Woodsmall’s characters continue to grow. I grew to love all of them. I loved where they ended and the path we took along the way. The book is a coming age of sorts as both Skylar and Ariana must find thier path and define who they are.
This book is a Christian novel. There are multiple references to God. The story is so much more than a Christian Amish novel. It evaluates what it means to be a family and how to be true to yourself and honor God at the same time. There are many underlying Christian themes such as honesty, forgiveness, and love.
I honestly did not find anything negatives about this book. It was an absolute delite to read and a fitting conclusion to the series.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish or Christian novels. I also would recommend this to anyone who enjoys stories about family relationships. This book is an innocent story with no sexual contexts. There is the mention of past drug use and smoking. I would recommend this book to young adults.
On a scale of 1-5 book ends, I give this book a 5 out of 5.
Disclaimer: I did receive this book free from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
If you’d like to pre-order this book, click HERE. You can also pre-order it from Amazon.
What are you reading? I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to share a link to one of your recent book review.
Hello my friends! This summer has been flying by here in my house. I and the littles have gone on several fun adventures. I need to sit down at some point and share those with you all. All of the extra fun the last several weeks have decreased my time for reading. This is for a good cause of course, making memories with my littles.
None the less, I did finish the second book in the Amish of Summer Grove series. And what a great book it is! Here is my review.
Fraying at the Edge by Cindy Woodsmall
This is the second book in Woodsmall’s Amish of Summer Grove series. This book continues with Skylar and Ariana’s switched at birth story. Skylar a typical college student in the English world with a drug addiction finds herself in an Amish family that she doesn’t want or need. Ariana an Old Order Amish girl who loves her Amish life and has plans to marry Rudy is now forced to live in a world that goes against her morals. Both girls count down the days of returning to their old loves while struggling to get through each day. God is working in both their lives and in the end, they must choose which home is truly home.
This book is superbly written. It examines the pressures both girls face living in different worlds. Woodsmall does a wonderful job bouncing back and forth between the Amish and Englisch worlds. This seamless transition makes the story a quick and enjoyable read. Each girl has different struggles and I enjoyed reading the perspectives of each one as they adjusted to their lives.
This book not only looks at the differences between the two worlds, but it also briefly looks at drug dependence. Skylar is a drug addict and she is determined to get her drugs to help her feel better. It does talk about the feeling she gets when she uses. The character’s in the book have tremendous strength when confronting her about her addiction. To quote the book, “Decide that you, your family, your future are worth more than these stupid pills!”
This book is a Christian novel and it does a wonderful job weaving scripture and Christian themes into the book. Not only does it focus on the Amish viewpoint, but it also points out how others view Christianity. Through Nicholas we see debates and conversation on how Christians can be viewed. This is a good way to help us as the readers begin to evaluate how we could answer some of these very same questions.
I try to provide some cons to books. Its hard with this book to find something. Woodsmall’s talent and experience in writing is evident. The one thing, I think I would change is when Skylar saw her parents again after 3 months living with the Amish. I feel like this was rushed maybe or just didn’t go as I pictured. There was a lot of hurt from Skylar and although she stated it and the parents acknowledged it, it just seemed rushed. I don’t know. Just something about it didn’t seem 100% right. It was still quite good though.
Overall, this was a solid Christian book taking the atypical story one more step further. I look forward to reading book 3! Book 3 is now available for pre -order.
I give this book a 5 out of 5 bookends.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish stories and Christian novels. There is mention of drug use and addiction so I would recommend this book for 17 and older and/or with caution in younger ages.
Disclaimer: I did receive a copy of this book from the publisher for free in anticipation for the Book 3 launch.
What are you reading now? I’d love to hear about it. If you have a recent book you’d like to recommend, leave a link to your review in the comments.
Its a long weekend for the Fourth of July! Since I work part-time, I’m blessed with a 4-day weekend. We’ve used our time for both some obligatory things- grocery shopping, birthday planning, etc- and some leisure time- mostly reading and playing video games with the kids.
This weekend I finished a fantastic book. Here’s the review:
Ties That Bind by Cindy Woodsmall
Woodsmall tells a switched at birth story with a twist. What would happen if an Amish baby was switched with an Englisch baby? In this story, Ariana’s and Skylar are now in their 20’s and found out they were accidentally switched at birth. This is the first of three books.
This book takes Amish books to another level. This book contains a sweet love story and takes you into the Amish world. But it takes you to another level. It tells the story of complex characters and relationships. This book introduces the complexities in both the Amish and Englisch worlds. The characters are far from perfect. This story introduces some of the flaws in both worlds. The first in the series, Woodsmall focuses mainly on Ariana’s part of the story while introducing Skylar and her family later in the story.
As I read this story, it was easy for me to connect with the characters for different reasons. I could connect to Ariana’s drive and need to protect her family. She loves and embraces the Amish life. She has been protected from the downsides of Amish life and is somewhat naive to the issues within the community. I can connect to this love and passion for her family. Her goal driven attitude and the desire to fix things for everyone. Skylar is faced with failure in college and an uncertain future. She brought me back to life as a freshman and my own struggles. As a parent I could connect to both Ariana’s parents and her sister.
Not only are the characters and their situations relatable (to an extant- I wasn’t switched at birth), but the story is rich and full of detail without feeling long and congested. Woodsmall expertly provides enough detail to help you feel like you’re in the story. The story isn’t a straight lined book, girl is switched at birth and reunited with biological family and happily ever after. It is instead filled with twists and turns which truly make this book a page-turner.
This is a Christian book and there are many Christian themes folded into the story. The book stresses the importance of forgiveness, accepting God’s Grace, and recognizes the legalism which at times plagues the Christian world.
The really own downfall to this book, if you can call it a downfall, is the ending. She left the readers and Ariana in an unfortunate situation. I do own and will very soon be reading the second book. As I must find out what will become of the girls.
I give this book a 5 out of 5 bookends.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves Christian or Amish books. This book is beautifully written without any inappropriate language or sexual situations. There is mention of Drug and alcohol use. But it is minimal. I would say it would be appropriate for older teens.
Disclaimer: I did receive this book free from the publishers.
What are you reading? Have you read these books? If so what did you think of Ties that Bind? I would love to hear from you.