Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall is the third installment of the Amish of Summer Grove series. This series follows the story of the fire in the birthing center of an Amish community. When the fire occurred there were 2 women giving birth, an Amish woman a set of twins-a boy and a girl- and a young girl, Brandi, gave birth to a baby girl. All were rescued by the father of the twins, Isaac. In the 2nd installment the families find out that the girls were actually switched during the rescue and the Amish couple would like to get acquainted with their biological daughter and started the ball rolling to have their biological daughter returned to them, of course they wanted to keep the daughter that they raised also. That daughter, Ariana, is engaged to be married. Skylar is a drug addict who is living with her mother and causing trouble in her family. When Nicholas, Ariana's biological father, finds out about the switch he threatens a lawsuit on the birthing center and the only way he will not sue is to switch the girls back for a full year. Ariana willingly goes to avoid the midwife being sued but the only way that Skylar agrees to go is because she is threatened with either drug rehab or live with the Amish family, the Brennemans. The second installment is the first part of that year in which Ariana and her friend, Quill, who was Amish raised but left the family, convince Nicholas that Ariana needs to be returned and she will maintain contact with her biological family. This installment is Ariana's return to the home and getting acquainted with Skylar who decides to remain in the Brenneman home for the rest of her time. By this time Skylar has fought through her addiction and is helping the family keep Ariana's new restaurant take off in Ariana's absence.
Ariana has been "out in the world" long enough to question authority and this irritates the church fathers as well as her own father, Isaac. Ariana has also developed a friendship with Quill who has been rescuing women who are abused by their significant other and getting them into safe houses. Quill has managed to irritate the Amish further by helping Amish people escape into the "English" world. This installment is how Ariana and Skylar along with Abram the other twin become close family and all three learn to integrate into one family and maintain contact with Nicholas and Brandi also. The three began to call themselves triplets and work together to make the restaurant a success in the community as well as working with their parents to see that the powerful Amish leaders are treating Ariana as well as the entire Brenneman family unfairly. This book powerfully portrays how religious leaders can maintain their power to the detriment of the church and it's members.
I think this book is one of the authors best books. She takes a difficult subject, controlling leadership in a church, and tells how the church members suffer by it and learn to overcome it. I think that this book should be read by all though most enjoyed by older girls and women.
I received this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah for this review.