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 among her people, Ariana’s Daed doesn’t understand why his sweet daughter is suddenly questioning his authority. Will she sow 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 book in Cindy Woodsmall’s Amish of Summer Grove series, coming after Ties That Bind and Fraying at the Edge. Although I didn’t get the chance to read Fraying at the Edge, I did read Ties That Bind and I really enjoyed it! However, I am unfortunately not as pleased with this final book in the series. While I did like the story and was glad to finally know how everything was going to end, there were just a few things that really bothered me about this novel. There were some minor plotlines that were somewhat glossed over and I felt like were never fully resolved, and that is something that really bothers me. Along with that, some interactions between the characters felt a little forced, and I felt that some of the other minor plotlines were somewhat unnecessary.
Despite all of that, I still loved Ariana. Although her now-constant feministic attitudes grated on my nerves quite a bit, I have noticed throughout the years of reading Amish novels that it does seem as if Amish women are very held back by their fathers and then eventually their husbands. While I do agree that this issue is something that needed to be addressed, it felt a little bit forced coming from sweet, obedient Ariana, though she did undergo some changes after spending time with her Englisch family. I also wasn’t really pleased with the way that things played out with her and Rudy, because it just made him seem a little like he had two different personalities.
As for Quill, I have finally decided that I do in fact like him. Before I wrote this review, I went back and read my review for Ties That Bind, and I had to laugh at my original opinion of Quill. While I do still believe he tends to unintentionally hurt Ariana far too often, I did realize he really is just a sweetheart. He has such a heart for people and genuinely loves helping them escape injustice, and I did love the way he constantly proved he was happy for Rudy and Ariana even though he was in love with her himself.
All in all, I did enjoy reading this novel, even though there were those few things that bothered me. I was so glad to finally know the rest of the story, especially with regards to Frieda, and I was also desperate to find out what would happen with the bishop, whom I definitely hated. So, I think I can confidently give this story four out of five bookshelves, and I am looking forward to hopefully reading more of Cindy’s books in the future!
I received a copy of this book through the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for only my honest review.
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All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Cindy Woodsmall and Waterbrook Publishing.