Finally back in the Old Order Amish world she loves, will Ariana’s new perspectives draw her family closer together—or completely rip them apart?
After months away in the Englisch world, Ariana Brenneman is overjoyed to be in the Old Order Amish home where she was raised. Yet her excitement is mixed with an unexpected apprehension as she reconciles all she’s learned from her biological parents with the uncompromising teachings of her Plain community. Although her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, hopes to help her navigate her new role amongst her people, Ariana’s Daed doesn’t understand why his sweet daughter is suddenly questioning his authority. What will happen if she sows seeds of unrest and rebellion in the entire family?
Meanwhile, Skylar Nash has finally found her place among the large Brenneman family, but Ariana’s arrival threatens to unravel Skylar’s new identity—and her sobriety. Both Ariana and Skylar must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart.
SERIES: Amish of Summer Grove #3
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Amish Fiction
RELEASE DATE: August 15, 2017
Other Books In This Series
“Just because people think they’re right doesn’t actually make them right…”
Gathering the Threads concludes the Amish of Summer Grove series, and it’s really best to read the first two books before starting this one. That’s because the compelling story of two babies switched at birth – one raised Amish, the other raised Englisch – begins in Ties that Bind and continues in Fraying at the Edge. And then this book, where the threads of their story are finally gathered into a finished piece of warmth, faith, and family.
Ariana is probably my favorite character, perhaps because of the way she finds her voice – and her faith – in Gathering the Threads. After sampling the world to which she ‘should’ have been born, she returns to her Amish family with fresh eyes newly keen to areas in which tradition has surpassed Scripture. The discussions that Ariana starts, as well as some long-held secrets coming to light within the community, bring about important topics for readers to debate as well. No matter what faith background we come from tradition works its way in so stealthily, doesn’t it? Not that tradition is bad… in fact, tradition is most often good and grounding. The problem occurs when we give those traditions the same level of power – or even more – that we give to God’s Word.
This is not an Amish utopia. These are human characters, after all. And as such, they are flawed and sinful by nature. And anytime tradition becomes law, the danger of abuse and shame tends to rise. To that aspect, I love Quill’s character and the role he plays in helping those Amish who just can’t live in the legalistic (and possibly even harmful) environments anymore.
Bottom Line: Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall is compelling and engaging, as is the entire Amish of Summer Grove series. Relatable characters just as flawed as the rest of us learn to adjust to life on the other side of the unthinkable and in so doing they teach us, the readers, about the true meaning of family and embracing a God who loves us no matter our circumstances.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars
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Cindy Woodsmall is the “New York Times” and CBA best-selling author of nineteen works of fiction and non-fiction with more than a million copies sold. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured in national media outlets such as ABC’s “Nightline,” the “Wall Street Journal,” and a National Geographic documentary on Amish life. Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains.
What about you? How do you think you would react to finding out you were switched at birth?