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Review: Ties That Bind

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Review: Ties That Bind

30 Sep Posted by in Reviews | Comments Off on Review: Ties That Bind
Review: Ties That Bind

Ties That Bind by Cindy Woodsmalltiesthatbind
Reviewed by: Pam Graber
Genre: Amish Fiction
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Publication Date: September 8, 2015

If you’ve read any Amish fiction, you know that in the Amish world God comes first and family second with a heavy emphasis on tradition and doing life the “old way.” “Ties That Bind” by Cindy Woodsmall asks the question, what if you were raised Amish, believed everything about the Amish lifestyle and faith were right for you then learned you weren’t who you believed you were?

Twenty years ago, Lovina Brenneman – an Amishwoman and Brandi Nash – an Englisch woman, gave birth on the same day at virtually the same time in the same Amish birthing center. Each had a baby girl and each baby girl was wrapped in a pink blanket. As Lovina labored to bring her second baby into the world, twin to her baby girl, a fire threatened everyone in the birthing center. The second her baby boy was born, all three babies and the two mothers were rushed out of the building minutes before the fire consumed it. Once clear of the building, each woman was handed a pink-wrapped bundle. The only question that arose was from Lovina, who wondered why her baby girl’s blanket didn’t have the tiny feet embroidered on it that she had put there herself. Remembering the chaos of the day, she passed it off as an honest error – a mix-up in the blankets.

Fast-forward twenty years to present day: Ariana Brenneman couldn’t be any more Amish. One of 9 children born to her parents, Isaac and Lovina, she grew up loved and cherished by her family. The only heartache in her perfect Amish life came when her former best friend and beau, Quill Schlabach, left the Amish taking another girl with him.

Quill never explained to Ariana his reasons for leaving. Even though his reason was a good one, he didn’t feel it was his story to tell. He has made a life in the Englisch world doing construction work with his brothers (who have also left) and he serves as a guide of sorts for Amish who want to leave the community. When one of Ariana’s sisters contacts him, he knows there will be a battle of wills if Ariana finds out.

In the meantime, Ariana’s younger brother, Mark, encounters a young actress as he is doing construction for a town play. He is startled by how much she looks like his oldest sister, Salome, and mentions her to his parents. When he gives her name as Skylar Nash, both Isaac and Lovina begin to wonder if their earliest suspicions have come true.

Woodsmall weaves a story around the Brenneman family that is so plausible it is scary. It’s a story of forgiveness. It’s a story of parental love. And, it’s a story of friendship. Is there a way to sort out this mess that doesn’t damage the hearts of both Ariana and Skylar? While this book is a bit of a slow starter, once I got into it I couldn’t put it down! I highly recommend it to Amish fiction fans and especially Cindy Woodsmall fans. You won’t be disappointed!

Rated G: No issues here.

Reviewer’s copy provided by Publisher. Thank you!


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