I put off reading this series even as it climbed on to the NYTimes Bestseller list. I don’t know if it was the kapp on the cover of the first two, but I kept walking past them. When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and When the Soul Mends tell the story of Hannah Lapp and Paul Waddell as well as members of Hannah’s Amish community.
Hannah and Paul share a love that neither of their families will support. Hannah is Amish and Paul is Mennonite. They secretly become engaged, and then the unmentionable happens. In that moment, and the moments that follow to keep it all a secret, their lives are changed. The series flows seamlessly through their journeys.
But it’s not just their journeys. The series is filled with the stories of Hannah’s best friend and brother. Hannah’s younger sister also plays a key role.
And lacing all three books is the reality that the cost of secrets can be high, but there is the hope of restoration if we are willing to lay down our rights and hurts and offer and accept forgiveness. However, the books also portray in very real ways that life is not perfect. Even for those who strive to keep life simple, it is often far from that.
The best part about waiting to read these books was I could wander from one straight to the next. In fact I read the three in about a five day span the week of Thanksgiving. I simply couldn’t put them down. And it was wonderful to literally close one and pick up the next. The characters were so compelling that I had to know how their stories would end. Even though I hoped the end would be the way it was, the ending was not guaranteed. And some relationships remained damaged even though initial healing had taken place.
Cindy Woodsmall is a beautiful writer, and it’s easy to understand why this series has topped the CBA bestsellers list and entered the New York Times Bestseller list. So if you’re looking for a Christmas gift for the reader in your life who doesn’t care for suspense, but wants a read that addresses real world issues even through the simple lens of the Amish, this series would be a great gift.
The publisher has been gracious enough to provide a copy of When the Soul Mends for a giveaway. Leave a comment about how you are simplifying your life. I’ll pick a winner before Christmas.