Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sisters of the Quilt the complete trilogy by Cindy Woodsmall

The Sister of the Quilt contains the trilogy series of Hannah Lapp.  The first book, When the Heart Cries has Hannah at age 17 being cruelly treated by her family and the Amish community in which she grew up.  Rumor containing true bits and pieces embellished by the exagerations of her sister and others who wanted to believe the stories and pass them on.  Hannah and Paul had a love that they were sure could last a lifetime but when she is raped by an outsider her Father wants to keep it quiet so that the family is not shamed by the community.  Hannah is not able get the help she needs for her physical injuries or the mental help that she needs to get past the emotional toll that this ordeal has taken on her.  She cannot even share her story with anyone outside of her parents.  The second book When the Morning Comes continues Hannah's life when  the church and her family turn on her and she has to escape to her long lost aunt whom she discovers was shunned when she was  younger.  Hannah finds her inner strength and learns to live within the English world but yet maintain the Plain ways and values she holds most dear to her.  She finds new love and becomes educated in the nursing field so that she can work among the Amish as well as the English.  The in final segment When the Soul Mends  Hannah's sister, Sarah, (the one who helped start the rumors) finds Hannah's phone number and calls Hannah to ask for help.  Sarah has been struggling with the guilt as well as sinking into mental health problems.  Hannah returns home for periodic visits to help her sister get help while reconnecting with her family and community.
I loved this book.  Cindy Woodsmall writes in an interesting way in which everything does not turn out as we would want but rather as life happens.  Cindy in her writing tells of normal Amish life without sugarcoating or making fun of their rituals and beliefs.  When bad things happen in Ms. Woodsmall's books sometimes people die.  Christians of all walks pray for their needs and sometimes they get them but sometimes God says no.  Much like life really happens.  I had a hard time with the rape but once I got past that the trilogy was a great read.  I would advise reading it.
This book was provided to me for this review by WaterBrook Press.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Then Sings My Soul (book 3) by Robert J. Morgan

Then Sings My Soul (book3) by Robert J. Morgan is the 3rd installment of the Then Sings My Soul series.  It is formatted differently than the first two books of the group because it goes more indepth with some of the hymn's history or of the author or composer.  This installment also has at the beginning of the book some history of singing in church as well as history of hymns themselves.  It is also subdivided into segments by types of hymns (ie ancient hymns, contemporary praise, gospel, ect) as well as has a chronological listing of the hymns.  Mr Morgan helps to find more meaning in the hymns sung throughout church history.  He promises to help the reader be soothed and inspired by knowing the heritage of our past.

I love this series and have used both of the first 2 books as background material for worship services.  At first I thought that I wasn't going to like the way that this 3rd book is formatted but after reading through the first chapter I found myself reading this one as a book.  I think for reading enjoyment this one is better but if using the series for background information the formatting of the first two probably is easier to find and get information from.  All in all well worth spending the time and money to get this book or better yet the whole series.  I am now eagerly awaiting the 4th installment.
I recieved this book from booksneeze for this review.