★ ☆★ ☆ – 4 Stars
This Christmas, experience learning to trust alongside the Plain folk of Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania in this heart-warming tale of second chances.
Sadie enjoys her freedom away from home and her mission trips to Peru, but after four years, her Old Order Amish family insists it’s time to come home and settle down. Levi, a bachelor who distrusts women after a family heartbreak, also has no desire for romance. To keep their families from meddling in their lives, Sadie and Levi devise a plan—but soon discover that the walls around their hearts are breaking down. Can they let go of their prejudices, learn to trust each other, and embrace a future together?
Sadie sees with her eyes that her fiancé may not be as perfect as she thought, and isn’t the man she wants to marry. People close to her think she has lied, or have been “seeing” things that wasn’t there between her future husband, and the other girl. Sadie was crushed, and thought marriage would never be something to think about again.
Sadie meets Levi when she found his horse, and later found him. Levi was hurt badly, and Sadie saved his life. Sadie and Levi become friends, they decided they would “date” to keep their families quiet about the dating/ courtship life.
Sadie wants to go into Mission work, but her family wants her to marry into the Amish faith, get married and raise a family of her own.
I recommend you grab this easy, fun read. Find out for yourself what happens, and how the story plays out. You won’t be disappointed, and neither was I.
About the Author
Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author who has written six novels, three novellas, and Plain Wisdom, a work of nonfiction coauthored with her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud. She’s been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life.
She’s won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings’ Best Books of the Year. She’s been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.
Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. Though she didn’t realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and cape dresses. Her parents didn’t allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy’s house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them—afraid that if they didn’t, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann’s because her family didn’t own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults’ disapproval and the obstacles in each other’s lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy’s family moved to another region of the US.
As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children. Over the years Cindy has continued to make wonderful friendships with those inside the Amish and Mennonite communities—from the most conservative ones to the most liberal.
Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband, three sons, two daughters-in-law, a new granddaughter, and a dog named Jersey who wants to dominate the world, starting with the Woodsmall household.
Disclosure: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group/Blogging For Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.