The third book in Cindy Woodsmall’s The Amish of Summer Grove series, “Gathering the Threads” continues the story of Skylar and Ariana as they come to terms with the fact that they were switched at birth and brought up in totally different ways. Ariana comes back to her Amish family, but with different ideas that cause discord with her Amish parents and siblings. She is trying to determine just who she is after knowing she comes from Englisher parents and brought up in an Amish home with their plain and strict ways. The bishop of her community is determined to make her knuckle under and conform to the way Amish women are treated. She is resisting and the subsequent dramas that follow make up the story.
I was in total agreement with Ariana throughout the book because I know that my stubbornness and independence would totally rebel at the condescending way women are treated as subjects, not individuals. I thought this book gave much to think about and I was glad that I read it.
I received a print copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers, but was under no obligation to post a review.
Elizabeth Byler Younts has written a wonderful book, “Promise to Return”. I am eagerly awaiting the next book, “Promise of Sunrise”.
Miriam Coblentz and Henry Mast have been a couple for a long time. Their story takes place in 1943 during the Second World War. When Henry is drafted, it turns their plans upside down. Because the Amish do not believe in war, Henry is sent to a Civilian Public Service camp (CPS) supposedly for the duration of the war. However, Henry is sure that God called him to enlist which he does. He wants Miriam to marry him before he is sent overseas. Because Henry is going against the Amish Ordnung, he is sure to be shunned upon returning from the war and Miriam is reluctant to cause her family more hurt. Miriam’s family has been shamed once before when her sister Kathryn left the community to marry an Englisher, who is also now a soldier. The story of Miriam and Henry shows just how the beliefs of this community can dictate the actions of its members.
I felt sorry for Henry most of the way through the book. I was sympathetic and irritated at the same time with Miriam because she seemed to let her parents and other members of the community dictate what she would do with her life…her, a grown woman. I was also quite frustrated for her that her siblings seemed to leave the care of their parents all in her hands. They seemed to think that she should give up her life to their patents’ care while they led the lives they wanted without thought to the welfare of their parents.
I always enjoy novels portraying the Amish and the kind of life that they lead, but this time I saw practices that I would have trouble living with myself. I think that this story will help me keep a better perspective when reading other Christian based novels. I’m sure that the fact that the author once lived as Amish helped make this book so believable.
I received a free copy of this book from Howard Books in return for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.