When the Morning Comes (Waterbrook Press) by Cindy Woodsmall

Cindy Woodsmall and her husband have three sons, whom Cindy home schooled for a number of years. With two children grown and attending college and the youngest entering public high school, she began pursuing her desire to write. The first chapter of When the Heart Cries, what became the first book in the SISTERS OF THE QUILT series, won second place in the Noble Theme Contest – now called the Genesis Contest – a contest for unpublished authors sponsored by the American Christian Fiction Writers. Woodsmall and her family live in Georgia.

In When the Heart Cries, the wildly successful debut novel by author Cindy Woodsmall, readers were granted access to one of the most mysterious places remaining in America – an Old Order Amish Community. In the latest release from her SISTERS OF THE QUILT series, When the Morning Comes, Woodsmall continues the story of young Amish girl Hannah Lapp.
Life changes very quickly, and, in an instant, Hannah finds herself in a shocking, unfortunate situation that takes her away from the man she loves and relocates her to a new world — a world that is home to her shunned aunt and the very confusing ways of the Englischers. Back in Owl’s Perch, her true love Paul is unable to forsake her memory and is tormented by guilt for his response to her in her greatest time of need. Paul is convinced he must find a way to get her back to the safety of home, but Hannah’s father remains convinced that she must be punished for her sins. Must Hannah accept her role in life, or can she follow her heart home to reconcile the past?

This novel follows the lives of characters living according to strict Amish rules, more “relaxed” Mennonite conventions, and contemporary customs. There is a great chasm between these lifestyles, but all three are melded together in this throughly thought-provoking story.
Cindy’s descriptions of harness shops, prayer Kapps and authentic Amish terminology plunged me into the Plain life so deeply that it almost felt like time-travel. I grieved with Hannah as I read how she escaped her community’s disapproval and found herself in the odd world of the Englischer (that’s us, for those unfamiliar with Amish-speak. Yes, there is a glossary in the back – but you won’t need it). Looking through Hannah’s eyes, I completely understood her fear and confusion at our world’s sense of entitlement and it’s acceptance of sin.
But, this story is not a condemnation of our modern society; there are villians in all three circles. Nor is it sugared lightweight; When the Morning Comes plunges into difficult subjects (rape, mental illness, and drug use, among others) and tackles them honestly.
CAVEAT: Even though When the Morning Comes is Book Two in the SISTERS OF THE QUILT series, it can be read as a stand-alone book. But, when I finished it, I wanted to read the first one and I couldn’t wait for the third!

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