|the book on a Christmas quilt of ours!|
Woodsmall has a great talent for conveying injustice and the quiet anguish of suffering alone. She really did well drawing my heart into the story of Hannah Lapp, an Amish girl who undergoes a great injustice which compounded through miscommunication, secrecy, snap judgments, and tragedy in the first book When the Heart Cries. The rest of the trilogy follows her and her loved ones through the adjustments and drama of the next several years. I'd tell you more, but I don't want to spoil it (and I'd recommend not reading the back right away; I did and wished I hadn't!)
I was impressed with the depth Woodsmall conveyed, not only in character building but in cultural intricacies as we visit Old Order Amish, Plain Mennonite and "Englischers" (typical Americans). I liked how while keeping the story dramatic enough to keep our attention, most of it is kept to things that could effect us all: crime, medical issues, miscommunication, death. Despite the drama of the events, Woodsmall keeps it from becoming melodrama. She doesn't romanticize any of the cultures or events, while still keeping the magic of each alive. There is a reason why people live typical American lives; there's also a reason the Amish choose their way. She doesn't villainize or promote either choice and shows how God can be found anywhere by hearts seeking Him.
I received this book free from the publishers in exchange for my unbiased review.