Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall
Book Three in Cindy's Ada's House series focuses on Sylvia Fisher and Aaron Blank but there are updates and continuations of the stories of the folks in the earlier books. So this is a series best read in order - and my review will include spoilers of the earlier books. I'll try not to give away anything from this current book.
Although Sylvia Fisher recognizes that most Old Order Amish women her age spend their hours managing a household and raising babies, she has just one focus—tending and nurturing the herd on her family’s dairy farm. But when a dangerous connection with an old beau forces her to move far from home, she decides to concentrate on a new start and pour her energy into reviving another family’s debt-ridden farm.
After months in rehab, Aaron Blank returns home to sell his Daed’s failing farm and move his parents into an easier lifestyle. Two things stand in his way: the father who stubbornly refuses to recognize that Aaron has changed and the determined new farmhand his parents love like a daughter. Her influence on Aaron’s parents could ruin his plans to escape the burdens of farming and build a new life.
Can Aaron and Sylvia find common ground? Or will their unflinching efforts toward opposite goals blur the bigger picture— a path to forgiveness, glimpses of grace, and the promise of love.
I didn't read the first book of this series but I did read the second. I found in the second and the third that you really don't have to have read the previous one to understand what's going on. There are enough details of the back story that you can keep the people straight and remember who went through what.
Aaron and Sylvia are front and center in this book but we also get the update on what's going on with Ephraim, Cara and Lori - the struggles as Cara prepares to join the Amish faith, including a face from her past that completely throws her for a loop - and what the Bishop requires she do with this person before joining the faith.
We also see Gray and Lena and follow Lena's journey to heal from the attack in the last book and their efforts to spend time together without causing pain for Michael and Dora as they grieve the loss of their daughter (Gray's deceased wife).
Israel and Ada and Deborah and Jonathan also move forward with their stories.
Well written, seamless continuation of the stories and evolving characters make this series a joy to read.
Many thanks to Waterbrook/Multnomah for my complimentary copy of this book.