Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Cindy Woodsmall's When the Heart Cries ~ Reviewed
When the Heart Cries
Sisters of the Quilt Series, Book I
By Cindy Woodsmall
Published by WaterBrook Press, Sept. 19, 2006
When Hannah dares to love across the boundaries of tradition, will she lose everything? Despite being raised in a traditional Old Order Amish family, seventeen-year-old Hannah Lapp desires to break with custom and marry outside the cloistered community. She's been in love with Mennonite Paul Waddell fir three years, and before returning to college for his senior year, Paul asks Hannah to be his wife. Hannah accepts, aware that her choice will change her relationship with her family forever.
On the evening of their engagement, tragedy strikes, and in one unwelcome encounter, all Hannah has known and believed is destroyed. As she finds herself entangled in questions that the Old Ways of her people cannot answer, Hannah faces the possibility of losing her place in her family, in her community—and in the heart of the man she loves.
Cindy Woodsmall delivers up one of the best debut novels I've read to date. Her extensive research is evident in her characters and their daily lives. Her portrayal of the Amish is so well done I felt transported back in time, but then a moment of modernity would enter Hannah's world and stand out in stark contrast. The first time it happened I was startled. Then I realized that was exactly how the Amish would feel, and I found myself completely immersed in Hannah's world.
Neither one dimensional nor clichéd, these characters literally walked off the pages of this novel and into your heart. With the finesse of a symphony conductor, Woodsmall orchestrates every nuance of emotion from the heights of joy to the depths of despair. This is one of the most well written books I've ever read from a new author. A definite recommendation, I can't wait for the next book in the series.
Reviewed by Ane Mulligan