Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Hope of Refuge by Cindy Woodsmall

The Hope of Refuge

by Cindy Woodsmall

I'd like to start my review by thanking Liz at Multnomah Books for making this copy available to me.


Raised in foster care and now the widowed mother of a little girl, Cara Moore struggles against poverty, fear, and a relentless stalker. When a trail of memories leads Cara and Lori out of New York City toward an Amish community, she follows every lead, eager for answers and a fresh start. She discovers that long-held secrets about her family history ripple beneath the surface of Dry Lake, Pennsylvania, and it’s no place for an outsider. But one Amish man, Ephraim Mast, dares to fulfill the command he believes that he received from God–“Be me to her”– despite how it threatens his way of life.

Completely opposite of the hard, untrusting Cara, Ephraim’s sister Deborah also finds her dreams crumbling when the man she has pledged to build a life with begins withdrawing from Deborah and his community, including his mother, Ada Stoltzfus. Can the run-down house that Ada envisions transforming unite them toward a common purpose–or push Mahlon away forever? While Ephraim is trying to do what he believes is right, will he be shunned and lose everything–including the guarded single mother who simply longs for a better life?

About the author:

Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and The New York Times Best-Seller When the Soul Mends. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families. A mother of three sons and two daughters-in-law, Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of thirty-one years.

Do you think you know what all the hubbub is about Amish fiction? Can you put your finger on why millions of copies of novels about the Amish are selling?

Cindy was recently covered on ABC Nightline. These are questions that ABC Nightline, Time magazine, and other media outlets are asking. But really the only way to understand the appeal is to read a fantastic book. Enter The Hope of Refuge by New York Times bestselling author Cindy Woodsmall. In the start of a brand new series, Cindy offers rich characters and insights into this often cloaked world, which you’re sure to enjoy. If you'd like to watch the piece by ABC's Nighline click on the picture of the video below:

If you're interested in purchasing The Hope of Refuge, you can visit Random House & see all of the different options where you can purchase the book online.

I'd have to say that The Hope of Refuge is probably one of my favorite Amish stories I've read. I've read several different authors who write Amish novels, and while I've enjoyed their books, for some reason Cara's character really resonated with me.

I also was happy that Cindy Woodsmall had Ephraim follow the Lord's voice, which is above the law of man. I don't want to give anything away, he's willing to take a shunning because he knows that what he's doing is right. To me, that's a sign of true character.

Another very important element to Cindy's The Hope of Refuge is that she didn't portray the bishop as someone evil or sinister. It seems to me that in many Amish novels, the bishop and other leaders are uncaring and controlling. Yes, the bishop put the bann on Ephraim, but it was because he was following their ways. Cindy shows in the story that he's concerned for Ephraim and that they are shunning him out of love.

Now, I realize that those not of the Amish community have a hard time dealing with shunnings. That's because we don't live under the same rules they live by. If we grew up with those rules in place we'd understand them and they would make sense to our way of life. As we've learned through psychology, children like boundries even when they cross them. I think we as adults like to know the rules and we feel safe living within those rules (or laws). The same goes for the Amish and their rules.

Cindy has made this story completely believable. The supporting characters draw you in and help you to understand how the Amish live and feel about each other and Englischers. As with all of us, we have formed opinions of people and that heavily comes in to play in this story.

If you have enjoyed Amish stories before, then this will be a fantastic addition to your reading!

New York Times bestselling author Cindy Woodsmall is on tour, and she may be coming to a city near you! Don’t miss your opportunity to meet Cindy and have her sign her newest title The Hope of Refuge at one of the following events.

Tuesday, August 11 7 – 8:30pm
Barnes & Noble
5141 Peachtree Parkway, The Forum
Norcross, Georgia 30092
(770) 209-4244

Wednesday, August 12 7 – 8pm
Barnes & Noble Opry Mills
515 Opry Mills Drive
Nashville, Tennessee 37214
(615) 514-5000

Thursday, August 13 6 – 8pm
Barnes & Noble
2540 Futura Pkwy. #135
Plainfield, Indiana 46168
(317) 838-7941

Friday, August 14 6 – 8pm
Barnes & Noble
1550 West 75th
Downers Grove, Illinois 60516
(630) 663-0181

Saturday, August 15 1 – 3pm
Baker Books
2768 East Paris Ave SE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546-6139
(616) 957-3110

Sunday, August 16 2 – 4pm
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
3700 Rivertown Parkway Ste. 2058
Grandville, Michigan 49418
(616) 531-1825

Monday, August 17 7 – 8:00pm
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
1739 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, Ohio 43212
(614) 298-9516

Tuesday, August 18 7– 8:30pm
Joseph Beth Booksellers
2705 E. Carson Street
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15203
(412) 381-3600

Wednesday, August 19 6 – 8pm
Hackman’s Bible Book Store
1341 Mickley Road
Whitehall, Pennsylvania 18052-4610
(610) 264-8600

Thursday, August 20 1 – 3pm
Rachel’s Country Store (Amish dry goods store)
6352 McClays Mill Road
Newburg, Pennsylvania 17240
(717) 530-9452

Can’t make the tour? You can still follow Cindy’s adventures on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter. See you there!


Carmen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mimi N said...

remnant reminscences left a comment under a different post for this review...

Very interesting review. I like your honestly. I personally don't enjoy Amish fiction much. The reason being is that many of the practices, like the shunning, hit a little to close to home and I don't like reading about them, especially knowing that to many people it's just viewed as plain foolishness.

I also appreciate how you explained how the Bishops just do what is expected of him, what he believes is right and good and even Biblical. I'm not saying that all Bishops are godly, I know there are a lot of rotten apples in the barrel, but growing up in a ministers home, in an Anabaptist setting, where my dad had to make so many decision I won't even pretend I understand gives you a perspective into the life of a minister where decisions aren't made lightly...where they bring tears, fervent prayer, and most of all an life lived for God by demonstrating a Christlike example.

I enjoy your reviews. Keep up the good work!

Mimi N said...

Thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate it. Thanks for visiting my blog.


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