When The Heart Cries, by Cindy Woodsmall

book coverWhen Hannah dares to love across the boundaries of tradition, will she lose everything?

Seventeen year old Amish Hannah Lapp has been seeing twenty one year old Mennonite Paul Waddell behind her parents’ backs. On the eve of his return to college for his senior year, Paul asks Hannah to marry him and she agrees. Unfortunately, it all goes downhill from there.

When the Heart Cries is not a happy, breezy Amish novel. I’ve read a LOT of fiction about the Amish and this is definitely different to the majority of them. If you’re looking for a positive Amish read, this isn’t it. I actually found it difficult to read at times.

Why? First up, Hannah’s family is extremely strict. The ‘running around’ time is considered a time for an Amish son or daughter to find their spouse, not for experiencing Englisch ways. Secondly, after Hannah experiences a severe trauma, her father demands that she look after her mother who is shocked at what’s happened. To our culture, he comes across as very unfeeling. Thirdly, while the Amish actively practice forgiveness, no one in Hannah’s community is willing to forgive her for events that unfold after her ordeal. In fact, very few people actually believe her story. Even Paul has doubts that are serious enough to upset their relationship.

Does that mean this is a bad book? Not at all. In fact, it’s well written for a first published novel. I’ve also read other books by Woodsmall and enjoyed them. But it does portray a different kind of Amish to the hard-working, peaceful loving Amish we are used to reading about. If Amish novels have made you think you wouldn’t mind being Amish, I can guarantee this will make you think differently! I also have to say that this is the first of the Sisters of the Quilt series, and I’ve not read the other two books that come after this. For all I know, things could change completely by book three!

Publisher: Waterbrook Press

Pages: 336

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I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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