Cindy Woodsmall has written the third book in her series The Amish of Summer Grove and she has not disappointed her readers! Gathering the Threads finishes the story of Ariana and Skylar, young women switched at birth, one Amish and one Englisch. However it is more than that. It is the story of the love of parents who raise a child, even a child who is not biologically theirs. It is the story of parents who get to know the child who is biologically theirs but resents these circumstances. It the story of an innocent Amish girl who suddenly gleans knowledge outside of her close-knit community and begins to question the old ways. It is the story of a world-wise girl who comes to love the simplicity of the Amish ways. It is also the story of the love of an Amish man who is intertwined in all of their lives and hides his love for the Amish girl.
Cindy has such a special way of drawing her readers into the lives of her characters. You can almost imagine yourself being their neighbors. In Summer Grove, the Brennemans found out that the night their twins, Abram and Ariana, were born the midwife had switched their daughter with an Englischer’s daughter. The Englischer was now demanding that his biological daughter come live with him and the daughter that he had raised, who was spoiled and drug-addicted, go live with her Amish parents. As Ariana returns to the Old Order Amish community, you can feel her angst and confusion as she struggles with the new information she as learned and the Old Ways of her community. You can empathize with her as she is disciplined by the bishops and her Daed in front of the whole community. You understand her need to turn to her biological father for some fatherly advice. Your heart pains as she turns to her fiancé for support and he supports the bishops. Your heart might even feel torn as she is told to cut off all communication with the one friend who has helped her navigate both worlds.
On the other hand, Skylar, has schemed to keep Ariana out of “her” parents lives and the café that Ariana started. She contributed to the troubles that Ariana experienced out of jealousy that Ariana was able to get so close to her biological parents but also because she was shipped off to live in this community away from her access to drugs. As Skylar comes to view Ariana in a clearer light, she comes to not only love her, but the rest of her family.
There is so much more to the story…….but I can’t tell you everything! Get a cup of coffee, buy the trilogy, and settle into your easy chair and move into Summer Grove! Maybe you will be neighbors with the Brennemans or the Schlabachs or one of the other families but whoever you choose to be neighbors with, it will be well worth it! I received this book free for review from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing.