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Friday, September 08, 2006

My review of When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall

When the Heart Cries is a great title for this book because it sums up the gist of the story in one phrase. What happened to Hannah was a shame, but the reaction to what happened to her was even worse, which is often the case with abuse victims. I felt for Hannah, but not at first. I didn't know her well enough when the trauma occurred to feel connected to her, but as I read on I grew attached to the poor young lady. How awful it must be to be expected to be so compliant in so many ways or risk being shunned. On the brighter side...

That first kiss....WOW! Great writing there. Major kudos to Cindy! I was caught up in the action. I'm a really big fan of well-written kissing scenes. You want me to love a book? Put some tension between the couple and great kissing and you'll get big points from me. :) And the pain she felt when Paul didn't wait to listen to what happened to her just about ripped my heart in two. Great emotion there.

Overall, I'd say the author did a tremendous job illustrating how culture influences so many things. And the sprinkling in of Pennsylvania Dutch words and other Amish items like the buggies gave the story an authentic feel. Makes me want to visit Lancaster County again. The last time I'd toured the Amish homesteads was about 26 years ago, but I still remember them.

Without giving away the storyline, I'll just say that the ending was gripping, yet still provides hope. Some of Hannah's Amish friends exemplified true Christianity as demonstrated by their heart for her, and by their compassion. You know the scripture and song...They'll know we are Christians by our love. When the Heart Cries is a wonderful portrayal of this truth! When the story ended I was a bit sad because I wanted to read more, but overall, I felt more hope and excitement about the next book in the series. I can't wait to see what God does in Hannah's heart during the interim.

When the Heart Cries was published by Waterbrook Press and released September 2006.

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