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Review: Gathering the Threads
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Review: Gathering the Threads

11 Sep Posted by in Reviews | Comments
Review: Gathering the Threads

Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall
Reviewed by: Pam Graber
Genre: Amish Fiction
Publisher: Waterbrook
Publication Date: August 15, 2017

Gathering the Threads, Book 3 in the Amish of Summer Grove series by Cindy Woodsmall, draws the series to a very satisfying close for all of the featured characters. Ariana Brenneman has cut her “year of living Englisch” short and returned to the bosom of her Amish family but can anything be the same? Skylar Nash still rebels against the Amish life she’s been forced into but, when push comes to shove, will she leave the one place she’s found love, acceptance and friendship and the one place she’s managed to clean up her drug habit?

This was such a great story-line. Three babies, born the same night in an Amish birthing center – two girls-one boy and a fire at the birthing center necessitates a total evacuation of the rooms. In the hubbub, the two girls are switched. One is sent home and raised in a very liberal Englisch home surrounded by wealth. The other is raised as one of nine children of Isaac and Lovina Brenneman and half of a set of twins. The family’s poverty prompts Ariana to do everything in her power to bring in more money. She and her twin, Abram, work outside the home, scrimping and saving to purchase a café in town. With help from their no-longer-Amish friend, Quill Schlabach, the two finally have enough to make the purchase. Just as that happens, another brother sees Skylar in a play and sees her amazing resemblance to their older sister. He enlists Quill’s help and Quill discovers the possible switch.

When Ariana’s Englisch parents learn that their daughter isn’t really their daughter, they threaten to sue the elderly midwife unless Ariana comes to live with them for a year. She acquiesces to save the midwife from jail. Three months in, she finally convinces her birth father that he’s attempting to brainwash her just like he’s been accusing the Amish of doing. She’s read books, gone to movies, seen plays and seen more of America than she’s ever seen before. Contrite, he agrees to send her “home” to her family, her fiancé Rudy and her café. Now that her world has been expanded, will she be able to submit to the authority of the men in her life? Will doing what’s right cost her everything?

The ending of this series was very unexpected, but very necessary for the entire community that the Brenneman’s were a part of. It was a lesson in the adage, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I loved that, even though Ariana was a good, Amish girl, she was still willing to stand by her principles and not allow those in power over her to dictate her actions. In the end, her actions shone a light on many things that were wrong and that had been handled wrong for many years.

As I said before, “Gathering the Threads” is book 3 in the Amish of Summer Grove series. I do not recommend reading only this one. The books are meant to be read in order and build on one another. As such, none of them would be considered a “stand-alone” novel. That said, the books are too good not to read the whole series. By the end, I was wholly invested in the lives of each of the characters and would encourage any Amish fiction lover to start with Ties that Bind, move on to Fraying at the Edge and tie things up nicely at the end with Gathering the Threads. You won’t be sorry you did!

Rated G: I didn’t see any problems here.

Reviewer’s copy was personally purchased.

 


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