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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My review of When the Soul Mends by Cindy Woodsmall


Returning to the home she fled in disgrace, will Hannah find healing for the wounds of the past?

After receiving a desperate and confusing call from her sister, Hannah Lapp reluctantly returns to the Old Order Amish community of her Pennsylvania childhood.

Having fled in disgrace more than two years earlier, she finally has settled into a satisfying role in the Englischer world. She also has found love and a new family with the wealthy Martin Palmer and the children she is helping him raise. But almost immediately after her arrival in Owl’s Perch, the disapproval of those who ostracized her, including her headstrong father, reopens old wounds.

As Hannah is thrown together with former fiancĂ© Paul Waddell to work for her sister Sarah’s mental health, hidden truths surface about events during Hannah’s absence, and she faces an agonizing decision. Will she choose the Englischer world and the man who restored her hope, or will she heed the call to return to the Plain Life–and perhaps to her first love?

My review:

What a fabulous conclusion to a strong series. When the Soul Mends is as deep an compulsively readable as the rest of the series. You could try reading it as a stand-alone but I think it's much more effective if it's read within the series. The author did a great job in regards to drawing me in. I was as confused as Hannah was about who I wanted her to end up with. But the author made such as great case for each situation that I changed my mind several times over the course of the series. I am ecstatic with how it ended, too. It seemed impossible, but Cindy pulled it off.

I loved the spiritual thread, which was subtle, yet effective. The part about forgiveness was very well done and portrayed the way life really is. It's one thing to say you should forgive someone and an entirely different thing to follow through with your intenstions. I also really enjoyed the roles the minor characters played in the story. It gave it a richer quality. I just wish the series didn't have to end. This is the kind of story that makes you want to pick up the phone when you turn the last page and talk to someone about it. I highly recommend When the Soul Mends.

When the Soul Mends
was published by Waterbrook and released in Sept 2008.

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