Book Review: Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall, The Amish of Summer Grove Book 3

". . . the Thread Gatherer. . . life was like an heirloom quilt that life ripped at the seams, and gatherers. . . took the frayed pieces and worked with them until the quilt could fulfill its purpose once again." (19)

Title:  Gathering the Threads
Series: The Amish of Summer Grove, Book 3
Author: Cindy Woodsmall
Publisher: Waterbrook & Multnomah Fiction
Release Date:  August 15, 2017
Genre: Amish Contemporary Fiction

Finally back in the Old Order Amish world she loves, will Ariana’s new perspectives draw her family closer together—or completely rip them apart?

After months away in the Englisch world, Ariana Brenneman is overjoyed to be in the Old Order Amish home where she was raised. Yet her excitement is mixed with an unexpected apprehension as she reconciles all she’s learned from her biological parents with the uncompromising teachings of her Plain community. Although her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, hopes to help her navigate her new role amongst her people, Ariana’s Daed doesn’t understand why his sweet daughter is suddenly questioning his authority. What will happen if she sows seeds of unrest and rebellion in the entire family?

Meanwhile, Skylar Nash has finally found her place among the large Brenneman family, but Ariana’s arrival threatens to unravel Skylar’s new identity—and her sobriety. Both Ariana and Skylar must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart.

Gathering the Threads is the third and final novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.

Gathering the Threads is the third and conclusion to Cindy Woodsmall's The Amish of Summer Grove series. Unfortunate for me, I've not the pleasure of reading the first two installments of the series, and therefore did felt a little disconnected with the characters. Despite that, the author did a great job in providing readers with a summary of both books prior to the start of this one. As to events, I was up-to-date, so to speak.

I've always wanted to pick up one of Cindy Woodsmall's stories, since I've heard such good things, and that I'm a big Amish fiction fan. Though I wished I would've known Gathering the Threads was a continuation, I'd would've read the first two. However, I'm not disappointed at all. The author crafted a great story with many intricacies in plots and character developments that interest me as a reader, and kept me guessing.

"You knew I need you. . . the day came when my world crashed around me. . . I need you in order to survive in that chaos. . ." (329)

I enjoyed the theme set forth, as well as the underlying premise of "switched at birth" and cultural nurture versus innate being. The emotional angst and confusion continues as a theme through the series, I'm sure, but additional messages of self-reflection to understanding, bullying and faith took its turn in Gathering the Threads. I did find the process a little on the slow side. However, the ending came rather abruptly, but concise.
"People's ability to understand and navigate their own minds and emotions are the same either way. Neither side is better at it than the other - just different. " (224)

In all, Gathering the Threads was an emotional journey for the characters for sure, and I'd imagine for readers that followed this series from beginning to end.  

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.





Cindy Woodsmall is the "New York Times" and CBA best-selling author of nineteen works of fiction and non-fiction 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.

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