When the Soul Mends (Sisters of the Quilt Series #3)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/b>
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 fiancé 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?
When the Soul Mends is the third and final book in the Sisters of the Quilt series.
–Susan Meissner, author of The Shape of Mercy
“A heartwarming tale of love and forgiveness, Cindy Woodsmall’s novel, When the Soul Mends, offers believable characters and a page-turning plot in an Amish setting so real I could almost smell fresh-baked cinnamon rolls and hear the clip-clop of horses’ hooves. For a book that pulls you in from start to finish, this is a must read!”
–Diann Hunt, author of For Better or For Worse
“Like the stitches on a well-loved quilt, love and faith hold together Cindy Woodsmall's When the Soul Mends, the brilliantly written third story in the Sisters of the Quilt series. With deft plotting and characters that seem to jump off the page, this novel offers the timeless truth that forgiveness is the balm which heals all wounds and a blanket for the soul.”
–Kathleen Y’Barbo, author of Beloved Castaway
Praise for the Sisters of the Quilt Series
“Woodsmall’s fantastic second book in the Sisters of the Quilt series continues the story of Hannah Lapp. Keep the tissues nearby — Hannah’s tale will tug hard at the heartstrings. Readers will find themselves cheering Hannah on through her ordeals and hating to put the book down.”
“Cindy Woodsmall writes realreal people, real conflicts, real emotions. When you open her book, you enter her world and live the story with the characters.”
–Kim Vogel Sawyer, author of Where Willows Grow and Waiting for Summer’s Return
“When Morning Comes is a fine rendering of struggle and joy that resonates long after the last words are read.”
–Jane Kirkpatrick, award-winning author of the Change and Cherish Series, including A Tendering in the Storm
“Reaching deep into the heart of the reader, Cindy Woodsmall pens a beautifully lyrical story in her debut novel When the Heart Cries.”
–Tamera Alexander, bestselling author of Rekindled
“What a vibrant, strong, emotional story! When the Heart Cries will grip you and not let go, I promise. Highly recommended!”
–Gayle Roper, author of Allah’s Fire and the Seaside Seasons series
Read an ExcerptWhen the Soul Mends A Novel
By Cindy Woodsmall
WaterBrook Press Copyright © 2008 Cindy Woodsmall
All right reserved.
Hannah’s car faded into the distance of the paved horizon. The cold concrete chilling Martin’s bare feet and the lukewarm cup of coffee in his hand confirmed that this was no way to begin a Saturday morning. Watching the place where Hannah’s vehicle had disappeared, Kevin and Lissa slowly stopped waving. For the first time since Hannah had landed in Ohio–two and a half years ago and not yet eighteen–she was on her way back to her Pennsylvania home and the Old Order Amish family she’d left behind. Maybe he should have insisted on going with her.
Lissa tugged at the hem of his T-shirt. “She packed a lot of stuff.” His niece’s big brown eyes reflected fears she didn’t know how to voice at five years old. Martin tried to catch Kevin’s eye to see how he was doing, but he stared at the ground. Hannah really hadn’t packed very much, but this had to feel like a replay of when their mother ran off months ago. When Faye had packed a lot of things into her car, she dropped Kevin and Lissa off with Hannah while Martin was at work, and never returned.
Martin suppressed a sigh, tossed the brown liquid from his cup onto the green grass, and held out his hand to Lissa. “She’ll be back, guys.”
Lissa slid her hand into his. “Promise?”
“Yes. Absolutely.” Martin gave her hand a gentlesqueeze. “Her sister called to say that a good friend of Hannah’s had an accident and is in the hospital. She’ll probably be back in time for her classes on Monday. Wednesday at the latest.”
Kevin shoved his hands deep into his pockets. “I didn’t know she had a sister.”
Martin shrugged, unwilling to say too much about Hannah’s past. “She hasn’t been to see her family or friends in Pennsylvania for years.” With the coffee cup dangling from his fingers, he put his hand on Kevin’s shoulder. “Now they need her for a bit.” He headed for the house, leading the children. Earlier this morning, while Hannah called possible hospitals her friend might have been taken to, Martin found an Ohio-Pennsylvania map. Once she knew the name and address of the hospital, they studied the map together while he highlighted the route she’d need to take.
He didn’t know which caused her the most nervousness: her injured friend, having to see her family again, or driving in unfamiliar territory, but right now he wished he’d pushed a little harder to go with her.
He thought about the gifts he and Hannah had exchanged last night. He’d given her an honorary mother’s ring and had slid it onto the ring finger of her left hand. She hadn’t agreed yet to marry him, saying his proposal a few weeks back had been brazen and romance-free, which it had. But when he took her to Hawaii over Christmas, he’d find the most romantic way possible to propose.
A smile he couldn’t stop seemed to spread across the morning. Martin opened the front door. “How about some Cracklin’ Pops cereal and cartoons?”
The muscles across Hannah’s shoulders ached. With the toll roads and service plazas of the Ohio and Pennsylvania Turnpikes behind her, she pulled into the parking lot of the hospital and found a space for her car. Her frazzled nerves complained, but she was here now–whatever here held in store. Trying desperately to remember who she’d become over the last couple of years, not who she’d once been, she stopped at the information desk and waited for the woman to end her phone conversation.
Her sister Sarah had managed to get hold of her phone number and had called last night to tell her about Matthew being hurt in a fire. Hannah promised to come–a pledge she now regretted. In some ways it’d been a lifetime since she’d last faced her Amish community, yet the quaking of her insides said it’d been only yesterday.
The gray-haired woman hung up the phone. “Can I help you?” “Yes, I need the room numbers for Matthew and David Esh.”
The woman typed on the keyboard and studied the screen. She frowned and typed in more info. “We have a Matthew Esh, but there’s not a David Esh listed.” She jotted down the room number on a small piece of paper. “It’s possible he’s already been released or perhaps was taken to a different hospital.”
“Maybe so. I’ll ask Matthew.” Hannah took the paper from her. “Thank you.”
She went to the elevator, trying to mentally prepare to face Matthew’s visitors–people she knew, people she was related to, those who’d accused her of wrongdoing before they washed their hands of her.
Nonetheless, she’d come home.
Here. Not home. She corrected herself and felt a morsel of comfort in the thought. These people didn’t own her and had no power to control her, not anymore. She stepped off the elevator and headed toward Matthew’s room. Odd, but the place appeared empty of any Amish. She gave a sideways glance into the waiting room as she passed it. There were no Plain folk in there either.
Stopping outside the room, Hannah said a silent prayer. Ready or not, she pressed the palms of her hands against the door and eased it open. A man lay in the bed, but she couldn’t see his face for the bandages across his eyes. He turned his head toward the door.
“Hello?” His voice echoed through the room.
His forehead wrinkled above the bandages, and he clenched his jaw. “Just go home…or wherever it is you’re livin’ these days. I got no more use for you.”
She froze. If this is what awaited her from Matthew, one of her few friends, what would the community be like? But maybe the man wasn’t Matthew. His body was larger, shoulders thicker and rounded with muscle. His voice was raspy and deeper than she remembered. And Matthew would have visitors, wouldn’t he?
He shifted in the bed, angling his head.
Only the soft buzzing sound of electronics could be heard as she waited for his response. Wondering a thousand things–whether the eye damage was permanent, why he didn’t have a marriage beard, and where everyone was–she moved closer to the bed.
Finally he reached his hand toward her. “Hannah Lapp, at last back from the unknown world.” Ignoring his unsettling tone, she put her fingers around his outstretched hand and squeezed. “How are you?”
The stiltedness of their words said that a lot more than two and a half years had passed between them. He shrugged and then winced, reminding her of the pain he must be in. “I’ve lost David…and every part of my business. How do ya expect me to be?”
David is dead?
The news twisted her insides, making her fight to respond. “I’m so sorry, Matthew.”
He eased his hand away from hers. “I’m grateful you came all this way, but I’m too tired to talk right now.”
“Sure. I understand. Where is everyone?”
The door swooshed open, and a nurse walked in. “I’m sorry, miss. He’s not to have visitors.” She held up a laminated, printed sign that said No Visitors Allowed. “It’d slipped off his door.”
That explained why he didn’t have friends or relatives here, but he didn’t appear to be in bad enough shape for a doctor to give that order.
Hannah studied the nurse, but she just shook her head without saying more. The only reason he wouldn’t be allowed to have visitors was because he’d requested that of the staff. And clearly he didn’t want to make an exception for her.
“Okay.” She slid her hand into his once more, wishing she could at least know more about the condition of his eyes. But he seemed in no mood for questions. “I’ll come back when you’re feeling better.”
“There’s no sense in that. I’m goin’ home tomorrow. But…David’s funeral is Monday.” His voice cracked, and he took a ragged breath. “If you’re still here, we could meet up afterward while Mamm and everyone is distracted with the gatherin’ at the house.”
The words Matthew didn’t say weighed heavily. He didn’t want her going into the community to see anyone. He wanted to meet her alone, in secret.
Unable to respond, she grappled with the space separating them. She’d expected distance from her Daed and Mamm, the church leaders, and even Gram, but she hadn’t for one second thought Matthew would sidestep her. He’d understood, even disobeyed the bishop to help her. Built the coffin for her baby, dug the grave, and said the prayer. Taken her to the train station, bought her a ticket, and stayed with her until time for the train to depart the next day. Did he now regret that he’d stuck by her?
Unwilling to push for a specific plan, Hannah gave his hand a final squeeze before pulling away. “Sure. I…I’ll catch up with you then.”
Desperate to clear her mind, Hannah hurried out of the hospital and into her car. She pulled out of the hospital parking lot and drove–to where, she didn’t know. Old feelings of loneliness washed over her, but she kept driving, as if she could outrun the sting. By the time her emotions began to settle, she had no idea where she was. Glancing in the rearview mirror, she pulled her car onto the shoulder of the road. Fields of yet-uncut hay seemed to go on forever as cars whizzed past.
Unsure of the county or town she was in, she grabbed the map off the seat beside her and searched for her location. Nothing looked familiar. Realizing the stupid thing was upside down, she flipped it around.
At this moment all she wanted was to be at home with Martin, but the next few days had to be walked through first. She’d given Sarah her word. Even as that thought crossed her mind, she wondered if there was more to it. If maybe some deeply hidden part of her wanted to be here.
Desperate to hear Martin’s voice, to feel like she did when with him, she took her cell phone out of her purse.
“Hey, sweetheart, where are you?”
A sense of belonging washed over her the moment she heard his voice. “I was hoping you could tell me.”
He laughed. “Are you serious?”
“Yeah, sort of.”
“Do you know the name of the road you’re on?”
“No. All I know is I want to be there, not here.” In spite her effort to sound upbeat, she came across as pathetic and didn’t want to imagine what Martin must be thinking about now.
“Look at the directions I printed out, and tell me what point you got to before you became lost.”
“I turned left out of your driveway.”
His low chuckle was reassuring. “Very cute.”
Determined to show Martin she could handle this, she studied the map. “Yeah, you’ve told me that before, only then you could see me.”
She angled the map sideways. “Wait. I got it. I know where I am.” She pressed her fingertip against the map and followed the line before realizing she was wrong. “Lost without you.”
“Metaphorically, I love the sound of that, but you should have let me take you there. You’ve never driven anywhere outside a twenty-five mile radius of Winding Creek.”
“You’re not helping.”
“It’s a little hard to help from here with no”–he mockingly cleared his throat–“POB to work from.”
She heard the familiar beeps of his laptop starting up. “POB…ah, engineering lingo.”
“Yep. Point of beginning. I’m logging onto Google maps right now and will try the satellite visual. Tell me about your surroundings.”
“Oh yeah, that’s a great plan. I’m surrounded by cow pastures and no houses. Found the right spot yet? There’s a Holstein watching me.”
“On Google maps, no. The right spot for you? Yes, it’s right here in Ohio with us.”
She heard the rustle of fabric. “Did you go back to bed after I left?”
“I ate breakfast and watched cartoons with Lissa and Kevin. But then Laura arrived, so I let the nanny do her job while I took a nice long nap, until you became a damsel in distress. The Mary Jane to my Peter Parker.”
“What? Damsel in distress,” she muttered. “So what does that make you when you don’t know the difference between a skillet and a pot?”
“A typical male who just happens to be…” He paused. “Come on, work with me here, phone girl. Who just happens to be…”
“Charming and intelligent.” She mimicked his clearing of the throat. “According to him.”
He laughed. A loud crash echoed through her cell. Lissa screamed, and Hannah’s breath caught.
A bang, as if his door had been shoved open and hit the wall, filtered through the receiver. “Uncle Martin, Laura said you better come see this. Lissa might need stitches.”
“Phone girl, I’ll need to call you back in a few. Okay?”
The next sound she heard was the complete silence of a cell-phone disconnection. Wondering what she was doing here rather than being there to help Martin, she closed her phone. At sixty-two, Laura was a skilled nanny, but Hannah wanted to be the one with him going through whatever the day brought.
Looking at the map one last time, she thought about calling Dr. Lehman. He was more than just her boss, and he regularly visited relatives in Lancaster, some forty miles southeast of here, so he might be able to help her. But rather than chance disturbing him, she decided to continue driving until she found a landmark she recognized. She pulled back onto the road. After a solid hour and many times of turning around, she found the road that led to Owl’s Perch. Martin hadn’t called her back, and she hadn’t been able to reach him. His voice mail picked up immediately, which meant his phone was turned off. Whatever was going on, she bet his Saturday was tough, nanny’s help or not.
The oddest sensation slid up her back as she drove alongside the Susquehanna River. She’d been in this very spot three years ago, heading for Hershey Medical Center because Luke and Mary had been taken there by helicopter after their accident. She remembered the days that followed, months of hiding her rape from everyone but her parents and hoping against hope that she wouldn’t lose Paul.
“Brilliant, Hannah, you were afraid of losing a jerk.” She mumbled the words, then turned the radio up louder, trying to drown out the whispers of resentment against him. The familiar territory had to be the reason for the fresh edge of offense that cut against her insides. In all the time she’d known Paul, he’d lived on a college campus not far from here, except for the summers, when he stayed with his Gram. She’d only seen this area twice before, once on the way to the hospital to see Luke and
Mary and again about two weeks later on the way back home, but in each instance she’d been keenly aware that she was in Paul’s stomping grounds. At the time she felt connected to him, hopeful they could overcome the obstacles that stood between them and getting married. Silly, childish dreams.
Needing a stronger diversion than worship songs, she pushed the radio button, jumping through the stations until she found a familiar song by Rascal Flatts, “I’m Moving On.” She cranked up the sound full blast and sang along, assuring her anxieties that she would survive the oddity of being here as well as the misery of not being with Lissa throughout whatever ordeal she faced.
The waters of the Susquehanna weren’t brown and frothy this time. The river looked crystal clear as the afternoon sun rode across the ripples. In less than an hour she’d be in Owl’s Perch, and as badly as she wanted to arrive, she didn’t want to face her father. What was she going to say to him?
A dozen songs later, that question was still on her mind as she drove into her parents’ driveway. Her mouth dry and palms sweaty, she got out of her car. The cool September breeze played with her dress and loose strands of her pinned-up hair, but there wasn’t anyone in sight, and the wood doors on the house were shut. Without any sounds of voices or movement coming through the screened windows, she was pretty confident no one was home. She knocked loudly anyway. It was rare for everyone to be gone if it wasn’t a church day.
When no one answered, she made a complete circle, taking in the old place, its chicken coop, barns, lean-to, and smokehouse. A sense of nostalgia reverberated through her as she absorbed the homestead where she’d been born and her mother before her. The tops of the huge oaks rustled. She walked to the hand pump, pushed and pulled the handle until water poured forth, and filled a tin cup. Taking a sip of the cool water, Hannah sensed an odd connectedness to her ancestors. A great grandfather on her mother’s side had dug this well, and springs that fed it had been sustaining her family for generations.
The quiet peacefulness moved through her, making her realize how much she’d once cherished parts of the Plain life. She hadn’t expected this, and for the first time in a long time, she wished she understood herself better. Spotting the garden, she walked up the small hill to the edge of it. The last of the corn had been harvested weeks ago, and now all that remained were the cut-off brown stalks. The pea plants had been pulled up for the season. The cold-weather plants– broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage–were thriving. She’d loved gardening from the first time her Daed had placed seeds in the palms of her hands and helped her plant them. Daed and she had come to the garden every day, watching, weeding, and watering. In the end those seeds produced enough food for her family to eat well all year long. Suddenly missing who her Daed and she had once been, her eyes misted. How much easier it would be to sort through her feelings if she understood the magnitude of emotions that came out of nowhere and took her to places she didn’t know existed. Perhaps in that one thing, she and Sarah weren’t so very different. Her sister seemed to respond immediately to the emotions that marched through her, and Hannah stood against them, but either way they left a mark.
Her mind returned to the strange conversation she’d had with Sarah–the jumbled words and thoughts that circled with no destination. She needed to find out what was going on with her.
Deciding to go see Luke and Mary for answers, she went to her car. She backed out of the driveway and headed down the familiar dirt road she used to walk regularly when going to Gram’s. The hairs on her arms stood on end as the paved road turned into a gravel one, the one where the attack had taken place. She locked her car doors and turned the music up to blaring, trying not to think about it. A few minutes later she pulled into Luke’s driveway.
Getting out of the car, she noticed that his shop didn’t appear to be open. The windows, blinds, and doors were closed. It seemed like he’d have the place open on a Saturday. She knocked loudly before trying the door.
When it opened, she stepped inside. The shadowy place didn’t look anything like a usable shop. It looked like a storage room for buggy parts, not leather goods. Waiting at the foot of the stairs that led to the second-floor apartment, Hannah called, “Luke? Mary?”
The door at the top of the steps creaked open, and a half-dressed young man stepped out. “They don’t live here. Never have. We rent the place.”
He might be Amish, but she couldn’t tell for sure since he only had on a sleeveless T-shirt and pants. He descended a few steps.
Hannah backed up. “I’m sorry for interrupting you.”
“No interruption at all.”
Luke and Mary never lived in the home above the harness shop, both of which were built by the community just for them? Unwilling to ask any questions, Hannah went to her car.
Opening the door to the vehicle, she spotted Katie Waddell’s white clapboard home amid fenced pasturelands. The once-worn footpath from here to Gram’s was thick with grass. Hannah closed the door to her car. Maybe it was time to push beyond her fears. She headed for the old farmhouse. Except for a few fences that needed mending, the place looked good. Her heart pounded something fierce as she crossed Gram’s screened porch to the back door.
“Look at me, Hannah.” As if catapulted back in time, she could hear Paul’s voice and feel the soft rumble of his words against her soul. “I’ve been aching to talk to you before I return to college. There are some things I just can’t write in a letter.”
She shuddered, trying to dismiss the memory and ignore the feelings that washed over her as she knocked on the door. No one answered. She peered through the gape in the curtains that hung over the glass part of the door and knocked louder. After several minutes she gave up, left the porch, and moved to the side yard, thinking Gram might be in the garden. But one look at the garden said no one had been in it for quite a while. Paul’s old rattletrap of a truck sat under a pavilion near the garden, the hood up and the engine dangling above by a thick chain.
Eeriness crawled over her skin as if she were trapped in one of those Twilight Zone episodes Martin had told her about. Whatever was going on, life seemed to have changed for everyone else as much as it had for her. She headed for her car. It was time to find the hotel near Harrisburg where Martin had made reservations for her and settle in for the night. She could have stayed at a hotel closer to her community, but according to Martin, the one he’d chosen was nicer: very safe, with breakfast included, and a business center in case she needed Internet access. Unfortunately she’d be stuck there all day tomorrow since it was a church day. Visits by estranged Amish may not be tolerated any day, but especially on a Sunday. And Matthew had made it clear she needed to wait until after the funeral to be seen by the community as a whole and by his family in particular. If that’s how strongly Matthew felt, her father would magnify that sentiment a thousandfold.
Regardless of what it took, she’d get through the next few days with her dignity intact. They’d trampled her spirit once. She’d not give them another chance.
Excerpted from When the Soul Mends by Cindy Woodsmall Copyright © 2008 by Cindy Woodsmall. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries and When the Morning Comes, the first two novels in the best-selling Sisters of the Quilt series. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families. A mother of three sons and one daughter-in-law, Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of thirty years.
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Although I may have read pieces of the prior books in this series, I must say that the character description table in the front of the book was very helpful and made reading this book as a stand alone fairly easy. Cindy Woodsmall is to be commended for her threading the needle in synchronizing the old order plain sect with the Mennonite and modern life styles in a way that was balanced, instructive and frankly, very refreshing. I enjoyed the book as well as reconnected with some of my spiritual values that are always under attack by the ethos of materialism and amoralism that seem to prevail in our culture at large.
This book was a great summer read. So good that I also read #1 and #2 - in the correct order. They all were excellent and captivating.
Loved all three of these books This one was very hard to put down
Once you start this book, you wouldn't be able to put it down.
Warm, enjoyable, a very nice trilogy.
This book was a quick read. The writing is not overly sophisticated and the plots are plain. I have enjoyed the development of the stories as they have evolved since the first in this series.
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.
From the book: The capstone novel in Cindy Woodsmall's Sisters of the Quilt trilogy places Hannah Lapp at the most difficult crossroads in an Amish woman's life. She must choose between her new love and contented life in the Englischer community or the renewal of ties with her Old Order suitor, Paul. Called back to the congregation that ostracized her, she struggles to find her heart's desire as she attempts to ease her conscience. A romantic novel woven deep with strands of faith. My review: I actually started reading this book first but realized I was lost without reading the other two books and getting the history. This is a series where a terrible tragedy occurs to an young Amish girl. Instead of embracing her, her parents and community turn their backs on her. Throughout the series, Hannah is able to overcome her setbacks and move on to a happy and fruitful life. While she ends up leaving her faith, she finds a path that brings out her true calling of helping others. In this book she has to choose between returning to those who rejected her and staying with those who freely accepted her regardless of her "past." I rated this book high because I love these type of stories. While I enjoyed the storyline, I cannot honestly say there was a lot of depth. Once you get past the tragedy in the first book, the story loses it's steam. However, if you are looking for a book with and easy to follow story line and a happy ending, then this is the perfect book for you! Love and Blessings! Margaret
I recently finished reading When the Soul Mends, by Cindy Woodsmall. As seems to be my trend lately, I have been choosing books that are second and third in a series. This book is the third book in the Sisters of the Quilt series. The fortunate thing is that the author does a fine job of making sure that you get enough of the back story, that you are not lost even if you haven't read the earlier books. She even starts the book with a cast of characters from the earlier books, along with a little back ground on each. This story meets up with Hannah (Lapp) Lawson as she makes her first trip home to Owl's Perch, Pennsylvania. The home that she fled in disgrace two and a half years ago. Hannah is from an Old Order Amish family, but has been living more like an "Englisher" for the past couple of years - first with her shunned aunt and then in the cottage behind her boyfriend's house. As the story opens, we learn that her sister has reached out to her, as a good friend of hers has had a bad accident. As the story unfolds, the reader gets to learn more about Hannah and her life. Family issues cause her to return to Owl's Perch a few more times and as she spends more time there, she comes to recognize how she has changed and how much Owl's Perch and it's residents mean to her. Cindy Woodsmall does a great job sharing the story of her Old Order Amish and Mennonite characters in this book (and the others that I have read!). Part of her "secret" to really knowing about the Amish is that she has a friend that is Amish that helps her with details and with whom she visits regularly and experiences facets of Amish life. I enjoyed this book and think I might have to go back and read the first two books in this series, even though I already know what happens in the third book.
Hannah Lapp ran from her life of being Old Order Amish after a tragic rape, and the untrust of of everyone she once loved. After adjusting to Englischer life, going to nursing school, and helping to raise the niece and nephew of her new love, Martin Palmer, Hannah thinks she's finally moved on from the hurt of the past. But when an accident back home bids Hannah to return, she finds herself confronted with all the conflicting emotions she thought she put behind her. Circumstances force her to spend time with the man she thought she never wanted to see again. Her former fiance', Paul Waddell. Her father, who she holds responsible for ruining her used-to-be dreams, is back in her life and as stubborn as ever. Should Hannah forgive past mistakes? Is there more to the situation then meets the eye? Was Paul really in the wrong all those years? And if she does forgive him, what about her life with Martin? I was a little bored at the beginning of the book, but very quickly it caught my interest, just as Cindy Woodsmall is faithful in doing. I was on the edge of my seat many times, and I was pleased that the ending of the book wasn't so predictable like other books. I kept wondering What's going to happen? Who will she end up with? Will she ever learn to look past old mistakes? It was a good book, and sad story, but there was hope. And I think hope is what you need "When the Soul Mends". I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Just finished reading this book. It is outstanding. I enjoyed it very much. I've read When the Heart Cries and When the Morning Comes. Both were outstanding also.
Someone is setting mysterious fires around the Amish town of Owl's Perch. Only this time, someone is killed in the fire. When Hannah returns home after being ostracized by her community over something in her past, she wonders if time truly does heal all wounds. When she attends the funeral of a close friend who was killed in the fire, she finds even her father isn't willing to let the past go. Determined to help her sister Sarah, who seems to be having a mental breakdown, she tries to find a suitable Amish doctor who can help Sarah figure out the difference between reality and what she imagines is real. Seeing the only suitable doctor in town is Paul, Hannah's ex fiance', Hannah struggles with having to deal with him to provide the care Sarah needs in addition to dealing with Dorcas, his new love interest. Hannah didn't think it would be a problem since she has falling in love with Martin Palmer, a wealthy English man who accepts Hannah's lifestyle and doesn't wish for her to change anything she isn't comfortable with. Since his brother's death, Matthew is having difficulty knowing what to do. Caught between the love of two women, he must make a choice to live in the English world or return to his Amish one and begin rebuilding. In the latest novel, When The Soul Mends by Cindy Woodsmall, we see the stories of so many lives that are torn apart by things that have happened in the past, but will any of them be strong enough to move forward or will their past keep them bound forever. This is the story of what forgiveness means. Forgiveness isn't for the person who has hurt us, it's to allow us to heal and move forward instead of being held back by regrets. I received this book compliments of WaterBrook Multnomah for my honest review and give this story a full 5 out of 5 stars. This is the third book in the Sisters of the Quilt series. So if you love Amish stories, this one is a must have. This book is available in paperback, hardcover, CD, and eBook formats.
I did not read the first two books of the series "Sisters of the Quilt", and that did not compromise at all the story. The development of the plot can hold on its own. The author has a sensibility that is seldom found on dealing with emotions of her characters. This is probably due to her deep knowledge of the Amish culture and tradition. Plot is simple and straight forward. A seventeen year old girl is wrongly accused of breaking the traditions and is virtually banished from her Amish community. She goes away to live with a relative and finally finds a meaning for her life, taking care of a couple of kids in custody of a decent man that she falls in love with. But two and half years after leaving the community, she is called back by her sister and finds out that her sister needs serious psychological help. Dealing with the emotions of meeting again with her father and the church leaders that had banished her in the past, she needs to confront them in order to provide her sister with proper treatment. And in her return, she also meets the man she once loved, and a new set of emotions take place. This is a wonderful well written story and we stay the whole book cheering for our heroine to find her path in life. The author shows that healing is a process and all the Christian subtle messages are well placed. The title is very appropriate and the book has a very beautiful and well chosen cover. I recommend this book to any serious reader that wants a very well written story for a couple of entertained afternoons and nights. It took me a total of less then 12 hours to finish reading this book. This book was written by Cindy Woodsmall and was published in September 2008 by WaterBrook Multnomah Books and they were kind enough to provide me a copy for reviewing through their Blogging for Books Program. Thanks, Mrs. Cindy Woodsmall, for such an inspirational book!
Hannah Lapp thought she left the past behind her and intended to move on with her Englischer life. Then all things change when her sister Sarah calls her and begs her to come home again. Hannah can tell that Sarah is in desperate need of someone to talk to and she rushes home to deal with it. Hannah has to face her fears of seeing all the family and community that ridiculed her for so long and try to forgive the past and move forward. While she is there her soul does begin to mend and she finds some answers to her questions and begins forgiving herself and those that hurt her. She is now stuck between the new life she created with Martin and Amish community that she so dearly is drawn to! What an amazing conclusion to such a powerful story! When the Soul Mends was just as consuming and enjoyable as the first two books in the series. I could not get enough! I don't suggest reading this book as a stand-alone because there is just so much involved there with Hannah and her past that I feel it's important to know all the other things she went through. The author did a great job with connecting the reader to the story. I felt like I was almost Hannah's sister or best friend; I was feeling all the emotions that Hannah felt and my heart was torn in two with feelings that she was going through. There were times that I thought for sure I knew where the story would head and then I was surprised all over again, I never knew until the end who Hannah was going to end up with! I am so happy with the way the series ended, I couldn't have imagined it to end any better than it did, Cindy did a great job!! I loved the spiritual matter; it was mild but very affective! There was a lot in the book about forgiveness that just pulled on my heart strings. I talked about how forgiveness is a choice and that God takes it all very seriously and I was amazed with all the characters and their issues with forgiveness! This is the kind of book that once you start reading the series you really didn't want to stop. I had to wait weeks to read the last book and it about killed me. Once I picked up When the Soul Mends I couldn't put it down! Even when it ended I did not want it to, I could have kept reading for another 200 pages! I highly recommend When the Soul Mends! I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Hannah Lapp has moved on with her life. After leaving Owl's Perch, she moved in with her aunt, Zabeth, and began to heal. Hannah is almost finished with nursing school, is engaged, and is taking care of Martin's niece and nephew. Her life seems to be going along well until there is a fire in Owl's Perch. Returning to the Amish community is difficult for many reasons, but her sister's mental health deteriorates and she needs to find her professional help. While Hannah and Paul Waddell tried to stay away from each other, Sarah's needs cause them to work together. What will happen to Sarah when the community discovers the truth? Will Hannah and her family find true peace? What about Paul, Martin, and the children? What is the truth about the fires? "When the Soul Mends" puts the pieces together in this third installment of the Sister's of the Quilt series. I love Cindy Woodsmall's writing style. Not only does she do her research, but her characters and story have life and breath to them. This book is great for individuals and groups alike, with a Reader's Guide that is helpful in looking beyond the obvious topics of love, forgiveness, mental illness, and healing. Many thank you's to the Blogging for Books program for my copy of the book!