Fraying at the Edge (Amish of Summer Grove Series #2)

Fraying at the Edge (Amish of Summer Grove Series #2)

by Cindy Woodsmall

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Overview

Family, community, faith, and love.
These “quilt blocks” sewn together made Ariana’s beautiful life.
When they are pulled to pieces,
will anything familiar remain?

The Old Order Amish life Ariana Brenneman loved vanished virtually overnight with the discovery that she was switched at birth twenty years ago. Now she’s immersed in the Englischer world, getting to know her mother and under the authority of her biological father, an atheist intellectual with resolute plans to expand Ariana’s worldview. Only Quill Schlabach, a childhood friend living Englisch, can steady the tilting ground between Ariana’s two worlds, but can she trust him after so many betrayals?
 
At the same time, Skylar Nash is forced to choose rehab or spend several months with her true relatives, the large Brenneman family and their seemingly backward life—no electricity, no technology, no fun. What the young woman can’t leave behind is her addiction to illegal prescription drugs and a deep emptiness from the belief that she doesn’t belong in either family.
 
New ties are binding Ariana and Skylar to the lives they were meant to have. Can they find the wisdom and strength they’ll need to follow God’s threads into unexpected futures?
 
Fraying at the Edge is the second novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781601427014
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/16/2016
Series: Amish of Summer Grove Series , #2
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 201,233
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Cindy Woodsmall is the New York Times and CBA best-selling author of eighteen works of fiction and nonfiction with more than a million copies sold. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured in national media outlets such as ABC’s Nightline, the Wall Street Journal, and a National Geographic documentary on Amish life. Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains. She can be found online at cindywoodsmall.com

Read an Excerpt

Summer Grove, Pennsylvania

The dark shadows lying across the living room floor were eerie, seemingly coming out of hiding as Lovina remained kneeling in front of the couch, her Bible open. The pale moonlight only intensified the darkness that surrounded her, as if the blackness were a picture of what was happening to her family. To her daughters.

She tightened her interlaced fingers. Her knees ached from the hours she had quietly sought God for the kind of help only He could give.

The daughter she’d thought she had given birth to two decades ago was gone, spending her first night with strangers in an Englisch home that by all accounts was worldly and in disarray. From what little she knew, that home was dysfunctional at best. She was terrified for the daughter she’d raised, the one who had none of her DNA.

Until recently Lovina hadn’t realized that even God’s faithful ones endured the kind of terror that had now entrenched itself in her heart. But maybe the truth was Lovina hadn’t been faithful, not truly.

“God, please don’t let Ariana or Skylar pay the price for my sin.”

How would Ariana—Lovina’s sweet, wide-eyed girl—survive for a year outside the Amish community she loved with her whole heart?

The daughter Lovina had actually given birth to was upstairs, sharing a bedroom with her sisters for the first time in her twenty-year life. The image of meeting Skylar yesterday for the first time made Lovina break into fresh sobs. Her daughter had black nails that matched the dyed-black streak in her blond hair. And she wore jewelry, makeup, and revealing clothes. But none of that had twisted Lovina’s heart in a knot like the hard­ness she saw in Skylar, as if bitterness had already destroyed her belief in life and humanity. The young woman wasn’t hopeless. She had dreams but no apparent understanding that life and people were valuable. Even with all that, the most painful part of yesterday was when Skylar’s driver, Quill Schlabach, handed Lovina the luggage and suggested she thoroughly inspect it to verify Skylar hadn’t brought any drugs with her.

Lovina had set the luggage aside for a while and tried to connect with Skylar about little things—her hobbies, schooling, and such. Later, when the two of them were alone, Lovina went through the suitcase as Skylar sat on the bed, calmly and apathetically assuring her that she’d only popped a few pills on occasion and that a random drug test happened to catch her right after one such rare event. Lovina found no drugs, but Skylar’s calm, detached behavior toward meeting her family, having a twin, and the drug search was disconcerting.

“Father in heaven, please strengthen Skylar to overcome all desire for pills—occasional or otherwise.”

It was her fault Skylar was in this predicament. Just as it was her fault Ariana had been forced to leave here and go to a dysfunctional home. Would Lovina spend the rest of her life carrying this unbearable sense of blame?

When the floor creaked, Lovina lifted her forehead from her folded hands. Her husband stood in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room, bathed in shadows and dressed in yesterday’s pants with sus­penders pulled over a white T-shirt.

He eased toward her, knelt, and put an arm around her shoulders. “God, help my Lovina,” he whispered, and then he kissed her temple. “It’ll be okay. It will.”

Lovina didn’t need or want false words of hope, but maybe God had spoken to Isaac. Maybe He hadn’t. She wouldn’t ask.

Skylar had spent a lifetime being indoctrinated in ways Lovina had little knowledge of. In fact, she would be in rehab right now were it not for these crazy circumstances.

Lovina’s need to confess her sin to her husband weighed heavily. “The unbearable part is I did this.”

“Shh.” He held her tight, probably trying to ease her trembling. “No, my love. This isn’t—”

“But it is. Please, I have to say it aloud to someone . . . at least once.”

He nodded. “Then say it a thousand times if it will help.”

Lovina wiped her tears. “When I doubted that we had the right new­born, I didn’t push hard enough to get answers.”

“But Rachel dismissed your fears.”

“Rachel meant well, but as a midwife she didn’t have a mother’s heart. I should’ve pushed harder for answers then.” She sobbed. “And twenty years later when I discovered the truth about the girls being swapped, I pushed too hard, too fast. Quill tried to warn me, telling me I needed to slow down. But I forged ahead, thinking Skylar needed the faith we could offer her. But we’re in over our heads with that one. I see that now. I’ve upended both girls’ lives. Ariana is there, and . . .” She broke into fresh tears. “I’m a horrible person, Isaac.”

He wrapped her in his arms and held her tight. “God will forgive us.”

Even he couldn’t muster another denial of their guilt. This nightmare was Lovina’s fault, and no matter how it played out, her daughters—yes, she considered both of them her daughters—would pay the price. Who knew how high a price? All the regret of her past failures and all the fear of her daughters’ futures weighed on her mother’s heart, squeezing and press­ing until she didn’t think she could take any more.

As much as she believed in forgiveness and redemption, she wasn’t sure any existed for her. God could forgive her, and He could redeem her from eternal damnation. But that wouldn’t undo or erase two decades of planting and harvesting in Skylar’s life.

Clarity came to her like dawn dispelling night, and she knew why the burden of her sin was so very heavy tonight. Darkness was stretching to­ward Ariana, and Lovina needed to pray fervently, because her sweet girl would soon be in a fight for her sanity.

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Fraying at the Edge (Amish of Summer Grove Series #2) 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the first two book in this series. I hope there are more. Great author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seamlessly movea from one characters thoughts. Ican not wait for next book in this seriea.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hoping all clears up for Ariana
4Gazpacho More than 1 year ago
This is the second book of the Amish of Summer Grove series by Cindy Woodsmall. Because of their close relationship with each other, it's best to read book 1 before you read this second one. In the first book, An Amish mother has had nagging doubts about her child since she was born. There were small things that pointed to the possibility that her baby girl was switched accidentally at birth with another baby girl being born at the same time to an Englisch mother. Yet in spite of these feelings, she kept it to herself until her daughter was 20 years old. Ariana, growing up in a close-knit community suddenly learns she was born to non-Amish parents. In the discovery process, a DNA test was done and it was discovered the other girl, also a 20 year old college student, was not related to the parents she grew up with. A decision is made, mostly because of the stubborn belligerence of Ariana's birth father who insisted she come and spend a year with his family or he would sue the Amish midwife who delivered both babies. Skylar, the other daughter born to Amish parents but reared in the Englisch world, was also wrenched out of her comfortable world and into a very foreign Amish world where she must give up her phone, electricity, money, bank accounts her education (and unfortunately, her drugs) to live with the Brennemans. The key words in this book are turmoil, upheaval, confusion, unhappiness, and struggle. Skylar now has 9 brothers and sisters and countless nephews and nieces, and not a moment of quiet. She hates working, and her attitude is a major stumbling block to forming any relationship with her new family. In the meantime, Ariana is confused by a father who claims he does not believe in God, hates the Amish way of life, and thinks he can win her over through books and arguments. Angst is a mild term for what these two girls experience over a period of several months. I could barely put the book down since every page was full of unknowns and struggle. The parts I liked best were where both Skylar and Ariana have to dig deep into themselves to re-arrange who they thought they were and wanted to be. The process was gradual, painful, but there were turning points that were encouraging. This is a book that will make you think as well as feel. In my opinion, this series is the absolute best that this author has written so far. Her soap opera like writing style brings out uncertainties and helps us question life in the very best ways possible. I highly recommend this book as well as the entire series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
***** Five Stars! ***** Wow! The more I read this book, the more I fell in love with the characters and their story. If you enjoy Amish stories, then you will enjoy this one. While you don't need to read the first book in the series, it was very good and you would like it. Both books are well thought out and planned. The characters were full developed and you can see how each character grows and developes. I've already purchased the next book and cannot wait to start it! *****esk 09/2017*****
Laundry_Whispers More than 1 year ago
'Fraying at the Edge' picks up where 'Ties That Bind' left off with Ariana trying to figure out life in the English world while Skylar is feeling abandoned and disgruntled in the Amish one. If you haven't read the first book I highly suggest you do! I seriously can't imagine being in either girls shoes. And of course, not having to wait a year for the book to release is just a side benefit of the taking some time off. Gotta find the silver linings right? Finding out she was switched at birth and really doesn't belong to the big Amish family she's always known. Now that her biological dad has found out, made a few threats, and arranged for her to spend a year with her English family it's not going quite the way everyone hoped it had. Not by a long shot. The guy is a jerk to the nth degree and in all caps. He is so against every single thing that Ariana values that he frequently crosses the line from 'broadening her horizons'. She's 20 years old and her English bucket list' includes go to a bar and bonus points for have a drink. Seriously? 'I'm such a great dad (who helped sorta raise an addict mind you) and I'm gonna ask my new child to drink illegally.' I wanted to hate him. I really did, however... I don't like him but I grew a tiny soft spot for him. He is so desperate to redo Ari's life that he makes all the same mistakes he made with Skylar. I like that he took a step off his high horse and allowed for a give and take with Ariana. I think they both realized that they could have a conversation and that they didn't have to agree. He's still a jerk, but a more human jerk. Brandi and even Cameron were changed, for the better, by their time with Ariana as well. I feel like even Ariana was changed, for the better, by her time with the English. The Amish, may not agree once she's home. Skylar was the antithesis of Ariana in every single way. In the English world she was a pill popping rebellious entitled young adult that didn't care the consequences of her actions because it wasn't her fault right? In the Amish world she was withdrawn, withdrawing, and angry. So very angry. Her English family didn't want her anymore. Her Amish family was beyond the realm of understanding and loved Ariana so much that she didn't belong there either. And her boyfriend stopped sneaking her in pills. Consistency and love can go a long way. A lot of consistency. A LOT of love. A smidge of understanding and a boat load of patience. Somewhere along the way Skylar opened her heart just a tiny bit. She stepped into Ariana's dream (the cafe) and stepped up to help out the family. Her biological family. She learns a lot about love, and family and herself. She learns to actually take responsibility for life and others. And when she's given the opportunity to go back to the life she grew up with she's not ready. I loved this story. I need to read the next story to know where the girls end up. How their situation fills out. And thanks to the book hiatus I don't have to wait at all. Well, through the other other's in the TBR pile but that's not a year, it's like a week. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Cindy Woodsmall and WaterBrook & Multnomah Publishing. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
This sequel surpasses the first book! Fraying at the Edge By Cindy Woodsmall For 20 years Ariana knew she was a Brenneman. And she was as Amish as she could be with her certainty that whatever those in authority said was the truth. But in an unexpected twist, she discovered that what she knew to be true was not as black and white as she had always believed. Her parents weren't her birth parents and she had no siblings. And the beliefs she had always held in highest regard were being attacked to her face and she wasn't allowed to be who she had always been. And worse, another young woman, a Skylar Nash was supposed to be living the life she had had. But Ariana was willing to be separated from the people she knew and loved to protect them from the man she had discovered was her biological father. Meanwhile, Skylar is having issues of her own - no technology of any kind, banishment to the 18th century, sharing a bedroom, & no access to pills (to help her cope). To top it all off the Brenneman's aren't that happy to see her thanks to her not being their precious Ariana. And they expect her to work like the rest of the family. But the Brenneman's is better than her other option rehab. But Skylar's biggest issue is that her not parent parents were more than eager to throw her over for a chance at a better daughter. For both Ariana and Skylar life has just become so confusing as they struggle to make sense of who they are with their switched at birth identities revealed. And Ariana's siblings are having to find their new place without Ariana around to carry the load and make things better. The one hardest hit with the change is Abram - Ariana/Skylar's twin. And then there is Ariana's just purchased cafe that the Brenneman's are left with operating after 2 weeks of Ariana's guidance. Can we just say potential disaster in the making? As Ariana and Skylar both confront the changes that life has just thrown at them they both have choices to make. These choices could either make or break them. For Ariana, her only hope of holding onto what makes her who she is is if she can withstand the pressures that Nicholas is placing on her. And to do that she will need to reach out to the one person who knows what she is going through - Quill Schlabach. But can Ariana trust someone who left the faith and broke her heart five years ago? Can she hold firm to who she is while being made to take part in a world she never wanted to know? And can Skylar use this separation from the world to get her life straightened out and get clean? This the second book in the Amish of Summer Grove series continues the theme of family and familial ties. But this time it focuses more on what makes an individual a part of a family is it blood ties, the ties of rearing, or is it a decision made of the heart? The back and forth between Ariana and Nicholas on matters of faith and belief makes for some interesting exchanges and Quill's insights offer even greater insights. This book is both intriguing and thoughtful. But if you haven't read book 1 Ties that Bind you have to read it first! Much of this book would lose something without the backstory provided in book 1, though there is a The story so far synopsis to refresh the reader's memory. This is an excellent book that examines life & how circumstances play a part in our lives but the biggest influence on anyone is the choices they make. I highly recommend this book. I was given a copy w/no expectations of a positive review.
LucyMR1 More than 1 year ago
If possible I loved this second book in The Amish of Summer Grove series more than the first one. What an emotional roller coaster for Skylar and Ariana as they are thrown into worlds they have no idea how to navigate and the self discovery of just who they are. I get so emotionally involved that my husband wonders who I'm talking about. Definitely a different take on Amish beliefs and how religion isn't about rules and regulations but freedom in Christ. Ms. Woodsmall has a way of navigating a story like a sailor in a storm at sea. Lots of upheaval but well worth the end result. Make sure you read this series, as it is top Notch. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
tiggeruoSO More than 1 year ago
Ariana is given an ultimatum to spend a year with her bio parents or her dad will sue her amish parents. She is now doing everything they want but the pressure seems to much and she wonders how much more they can expect from her before she can go back to the simple way of living. Sky is given a choice live a year with her bio parents or rehab. She feel like her parents are just trying to dump her and her problems on someone else cause now the have the "perfect" daughter. They are both faced with a new life a new future and new way at looking at things and most of all they need to work through the pain that finding they were switched and now faced with everything. Can the work beyond it and learn to accept there new families or will it all be just to much? This amish series is completely different then some of the other amish books I have read. This book does not try to even make it seem like the amish live this certain "perfect' life, this book as well as the first one they seemed to be portrayed more as a cult. That being said it made for a very good and interesting read. This book was just as good if not better then the first one. You are all over the place with emotions, you find your self laughing, crying and getting mad. The author did an amazing job with each one of these characters, my heart broke for both girls and what they are faced with. I keep hoping that Quill and Ariana fall in love but I am sure there is so much more fun to come in the next book. Family is super important with amish and it really showed in this series. Hands down this book is worth the read. This book is part of a series and should be read as such.
lolly-pops More than 1 year ago
Wow. FRAYING AT THE EDGE was an emotional read that I so was not expecting. I mean I should have been, I read Ties that Bind earlier this month. It was so emotional, with Ariana missing her family, being forced into a world she wanted no part of and having everything stripped away except a friendship with Quill that she didn't want. Likewise, Skylar, going from being a not exactly only child, but one with everything handed to her -- and a drug addiction, to being one of like a dozen children in a small house with a family that is dirt poor. How would either girl survive the culture shock? Quill. Oh. My. Word. I am so in love with him. And Abram. They are both so wonderful, thoughtful, beyond awesome men. I am looking forward to reading Gathering the Threads (releasing next month, squeee!) so I can read more about them. And yes, I have my wants about how I want this series to end, but whether they go the way I want or not, I know I'll be engaged. This is a series you will want to read in one sitting, starting at the beginning with Ties that Bind, Fraying at the edge, and Gathering the Threads, so you might want to start now at the beginning. I absolutely loved the first two books in this series. There is a reason why Ms. Woodsmall is one of my favorite Amish authors. I was given a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
I can't imagine leaving behind my entire family and moving in with complete strangers, at least to you, but one's you've learned are now your biological parents. To go from living as an Amish young woman to know having to enter an English home is what some might label as culture shock. You're entire way of living is drastically changed and all your hopes and dreams for the future are now placed on a temporary hold for a year. That is what Ariana Brennerman and Skylar Nash are both having to endure. Ariana Brennerman believed she was the twin of her brother Abram only to learn that she was switched at birth by the midwife when she and Skylar were born in an Amish birthing center and thrust into the same carrier during a fire that same night in an effort to rescue them. For twenty years, they have both lived a life that now is about to be abruptly changed as both sets of parents have asked for time, a year, to spend time with their biological daughters. Ariana was set on preparing to marry Rudy, and now she learns that the entire large Brennerman family is not really her biological family and even worse that she isn't Abram's twin sister. For Skyler Nash, living in an English world dealing with a prescription drug addiction as a way of dealing with her set of parents who apparently want nothing to do with her, since learning that they have a daughter with a better track record than she has displayed. Both girls will be faced with the challenges of trying to fit into vastly different worlds with parents who want nothing more than to get to know them. Skyler just wants her next drug fix and finding out a way to leave the Amish family and run off with her boyfriend. For Ariana, she has to come to terms with learning that she was conceived out of wedlock when her mom had an affair with a married woman, something she doesn't believe the Amish community and elders will forgive her for. Now she is faced with learning more about the Amish faith from an outsider looking in and seeing God for who He really is. Is it possible the Amish have it all wrong and if so, can she ever go back to her Amish roots and the man she left waiting for her? I received Fraying At The Edge by Cindy Woodsmall compliments of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers. In the second novel of The Amish of Summer Grove series, I found myself really seeing things from both woman's perspective and seeing the difficulties in dealing with the choices they were faced with. Perhaps the one character I found myself truly admiring the most was Quill Schlabach, her childhood friend who had gotten stuck in the middle with keeping some things confidential to those he made agreements with. What a tough place to be. I don't think I could have kept those great of secrets especially if I knew I would hurt the person I was holding them from once they were revealed. Of course that would all come back to him and it does. Thankfully Ariana's faith is what gets her through some tough obstacles her English parents throw her way and now as in the first novel, this one ends with a bit of a cliff hanger ending, making me wish I had the third one, ready to read. The best part of this series, is the opening on this novel provided the reader with a short overview of what Book 1, Ties That Bind, was about for those who had to wait long months before this one was available. Now waiting on Gathering the Threads, and this will be a nail-biter for me. I just have to know how this will turn out.
SunnieReviews More than 1 year ago
Book 2 of Cindy Woodsmall's The Amish of Summer Grove Series was a good read, a story about two girls, one Amish and the other Englisch who were accidentally switched at birth and now found by their biological parents and finding themselves living in a culture that neither of them can relate to despite the fact they were born in that culture. The challenges they both face are realistic and sometimes very difficult to cope with. I liked this book a lot. I may have enjoyed book 1 a bit more, but it was a good read and I will probably quickly grab the next book in the series. The book was a definite cliff hanger. Can't stop with book 2! I received this book from NetGalley for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jensenh98 More than 1 year ago
Fraying at the Edge CINDY WOODSMALL back to book Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times, CBA, ECPA, and USA Today best-selling author who has written seventeen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal,and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as the one of the top three most popular authors of Amish fiction Pennyslvania. Lovina Brenneman is Amish and has a nonbiological daughter Ariana who was accidentally switched at birth with her real daugher Skylar who grew up in an English home. Now that they discovered the switch Ariana is leaving to spend a year with her biological parents who are atheists. Skylar has ongoing drug abuse problems. She takes pills that have been stolen from other people by her boyfriend. Ariana's four brothers live in the English world but are still finding ways to visit and look after their aging mother. Lovina's family must find a way to run Ariana's restaurant while she is away. Ariana got a few inches of her hair cut. She also got 4 new English style dresses as well as her drivers license. Her dad has a bucket list of things for her to do over the next year. Skylar is working at the cafe and has given them ideas like menu changes and buying a new expresso machine. Ariana is living with her dad and is getting to know both her real parents better. Will Ariana go back to living the Amish way of life and return to her fiance? Will Skylar give up her drug abuse habits to live with the Amish or will she return to the English world? A very interesting book. It raises a lot of life questions in one book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fraying on the Edge picks up after we discover that Ariana and Skylar were switched at birth due to the chaos when the birthing center where they were born caught fire. When it is discovered twenty years later that that mistake occurred, Ariana must abide by what her biological father, Nicholas Jenkins, dictates or Rachel, the Amish mid-wife could go to jail. Ariana must live in the English world with her biological family, Nicholas, an atheist and against all Ariana's family stands for and Brandi. Ariana has to leave her boyfriend, Rudy, her family, and her new cafe that she worked so hard to purchase. This means that Ariana will have to ask her family to run her new café while she is gone. Nicholas makes up a list of items for Ariana to accomplish before she is allowed to decided to return to her home or make a new life for herself in the English world. Ariana is in for a rough adjustment. Will Ariana be the same person when she returns home? Skylar Nash was given the choice of staying with her birth parents in Amish county or going to drug rehab. Skylar picks staying with the Brennemans and plans to sneak away as soon as her good-for-nothing boyfriend comes to get her. Isaac, her biological father, insists that Skylar has to contribute to the household. Skylar chooses to help in the cafe with her siblings. Can the Brenneman’s help Skylar or will she find a way to escape? Fraying at the Edge is well-written has good character development. You do need to read the first book in the series, The Ties That Bind, in order to understand everything or you might be left feeling confused. I was intrigued with this book from the beginning and found it hard to put down. I was somewhat disappointed to be left with so many questions at the end of the book, but it definitely leaves me knowing I will pick up book three in the series to find out what Arianna and Skylar's next decisions hold for them. I received a copy of Fraying at the Edge from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. What a wonderful story full of heartache and confusion. This is the second book and you could read this one without reading the first but honestly, reading the first gives this book so much more depth. My heart just broke throughout this book. I can’t even imagine all you know being ripped from you. I loved when Ariana went off on her step-sister! That was priceless and unexpected. Skylar needs a wake up call and I kept hoping she would get one and embrace this family that wants to love her. All of it was so confusing for the hearts of those involved in this story. But it is masterfully written and I so enjoyed picking up with these characters again and seeing what happened to them. A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own.
jacksonmomLV More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the Amish of Summer Grove series. The first book, Ties That Bind, was wonderful, but had (for me) as somewhat dissatisfying ending. And I have to admit, this next book had me equally frustrated as the "trade" of daughters switched at birth struggled to look good for anybody. Skylar resents the Brenneman family and fights withdrawal issues as her drug-providing boyfriend dumps her. Ariana is presented with a long "bucket-list" of Englisch accomplishments her biological father demands she achieve (in a new haircut and wardrobe, no less). But slowly, these young women start to look more human as Skylar forms relationships with her not-so-clueless siblings, and Ari realizes her faith was not as personal or sinless as she once imagined. Emotions boil over, and suddenly we have a real interesting book on our hands again! Cindy Woodmall is an expert at pulling our heartstrings, and I see now that she successfully made me feel just as hopeless as either of these daughters did facing their "new' lives. The rest of the book skillfully weaves in personal growth as each daughter and parent faces their own motives and goals. Cilla, Jackson and Cameron become interesting characters in their own right. And I love the unfolding of Ari's relationship with Quill. I suspect that in the third book, he will show himself a more fitting husband than Rudy. Hmmm, how can I get my hands on an advance copy of that novel?! I love how the Lord answered Lovina's prayer for both daughters at the unhappy beginning of this book: "God, please don't let Ariana or Skylar pay the price for my sin." By the time you put down this page-turner, both Skylar and Ariana have faced themselves honestly and willingly paid the price to start standing on their own feet. I can't wait for the conclusion of this series!
gccbookworm More than 1 year ago
Great Story Telling This is story telling at its best! Cindy Woodsmall's anticiapted second book in the Amish of Summer Grove Series, "Fraying at the Edge", is intense, fast-paced, and thrilling as a rollar coaster ride. Even Ariana Brenneman mentions how her life resembles a rollar coaster ride as she tries to learn to live in the English world after being up-rooted from her Old Order Amish life for a year after being told her biological parents, Brandi and Nicholas, are English. Meanwhile, Skylar Nash, has been told her biological parents are the Brennemans, not Brandi and Nicholas, where she must live for a year or go to rehab for her drug addiction. Skylar, desparate for drugs, decides to work at the Brenneman's cafe while she waits for her boyfriend to come. The emotions that these two go through is intense but each learn more about themselves and others around them. This is a great story you don't want to miss. I hope the third book comes out soon. I received this book for free to review from WaterBrook's Blogging for Books.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
Fraying at the Edge is a compelling story! Cindy Woodsmall skillfully intertwines the Amish life with the Englisch as Ariana’s and Skylar’s world unravels. “New ties are binding Ariana and Skylar to the lives they were meant to have. Can they pray for the wisdom and strength they'll need to follow God's threads into unexpected futures?” This second book in the Amish of Summer Grove series continues the story that began in Book 1, Ties That Bind. While these books can stand alone, I recommend reading them in order for a greater understanding of the characters and their stories. I have really enjoyed the emotional and spiritual journeys that are shared in this unique series and look forward to its next installment! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Fraying at the Edge is well-written (as are all of Cindy Woodsmall’s books) and has good characters. It is not a stand-alone novel. You do need to read the first book in the series in order to understand everything that is happening in Fraying at the Edge (or you will be very confused). I did find that the religious aspect is strong in this book. There are many theological “discussions” as Nicholas rants about the Amish culture and other religions. I have to admit that I did find it off-putting, and I started skimming through these sections (for me that means speed reading). I did, though, like his point about questioning things and not just following with blind obedience. It was interesting to see how Ariana adjusted to life in the Englisch world. Ms. Woodsmall did a very good job at showing us how our world (Englisch) looks through Arianna’s eyes. I give Fraying at the Edge 4 out of 5 stars. I was disappointed with the cliffhanger. We have to wait another year for the final book and answers (which I will be reading). I am curious to see what life Ariana will pick.
HelenM0 More than 1 year ago
Fraying at the Edge, book 2 in The Amish of Summer Grove, written by Cindy Woodsmall is a must read! Ariana and Abram Brenneman and Skylar Nash were born twenty years ago. Ariana and Skylar were accidentally switched after their births. Ariana was raised in the Old Order Amish life style and Skylar was raised in the English life style without any regards to the Christian life and split her time between the people thought to be her mother and step-father and father and step-mother. After one of the Brenneman's son saw Skylar and noticed the strong resemblance to his sister, the family started an investigation. When it was found out that the girls were switched at birth, Nicholas, Ariana's biological father insisted Ariana spend a year with them. If she didn't he was going to file charges against the persons involved in the babies' births. Skylar was given the option to go into rehab for drug abuse or go live with her Amish biological parents. This is such a good book. I have not read book 1 and will be getting it right away to read as this one is so good! I can not wait for the third book in the series to come out to see how this all ends for Ariana and Skylar. It is so sad to see how the girls have been forced to leave the lives they grew up with and are now forced into new lifestyles that they know nothing about. And how will they feel after adjusting to their new lives, will they be able to go back to the life they grew up with? This is not the ordinary “simple” story that so many Amish stories are. We are given a glimpse into the feelings that some non-Christians have toward the Amish and their life style. This book is so well written it actually feels like two stories in one. I appreciate the strong faith Ariana clings to during this difficult time. Her strength comes out when she discusses religion with Nicholas, who does not believe in God. I also appreciate the love the Brenneman family gives to Skylar during her struggles. I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.