A Love Undone: An Amish Novel of Shattered Dreams and God's Unfailing Grace Paperback – September 9, 2014
by Cindy Woodsmall
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 9, 2014)
I really enjoyed A Love Undone by Cindy Woodsmall. A Love Undone is an Amish romance novel. Although it is much more than a romance novel. This book also deals with heartbreak from the loss of family members, the challenge of a child disabled from an injury, sacrifice, betrayal, the hope of new love, being misunderstood and I could go on. I don’t read lots of Amish fiction but I do read them occasionally. I think this is a very good one. I am not sure why readers are so fascinated with Amish fiction unless it is the attraction of examining a different culture. This book shows that even among the Amish there are those who rebel and make the same mistakes others do. This is a beautiful story about a young woman named Jolene who makes a tremendous sacrifice for the sake of those she cares about. Jolene is a woman who loves deeply and has the ability to do what needs to be done whatever the sacrifice. She also has some secrets that help keep her sane. As I read this novel, I was especially struck by the legalism that the Amish group in this story lives by. It is a legalism that comes from the decisions of a few and not from living by the Bible. It also shows how people get hurt because of this. It is sad because that is not how God intended for us to live. If nothing else, reading this story just confirmed for me what freedom we have in Christ. Not freedom to sin, but freedom to be what He created us to be. This is some of what Jolene is learning.
This is a heart-warming, touching love story on many levels. Love between parents and children, between siblings, between friends, between husband and wife, love for God, the hope of new love between a man and a woman and even love between man and animals. It also addresses facing fears, growing up, abuse, forgiveness and healing. One quote from the book which I love (and it is actually a quote from the book Black Beauty), “There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to man and beast, it is all a sham.” That quote might be the heart of this story. If you love Amish fiction, there is no doubt you will love this story. If you have never read a story about the Amish, this is a great one to start with since it is very well done and if you have no interest in things Amish then it might not be for you. In any case, Cindy Woodsmall is a gifted writer and I highly recommend it.
Reviewed by: Susan Aken