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Ties That Bind: A Novel (The Amish of Summer…

Ties That Bind: A Novel (The Amish of Summer Grove)

by Cindy Woodsmall

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Title: Ties that Bind (The Amish of Summer Grove #1)
Author: Cindy Woodsmall
Pages: 352
Year: 2015
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
My rating 5 out of 5 stars.
In Ties That Bind, readers meet with a surprising start that ends up entwining two families. One family is the Brennemans who are Amish and at the midwife’s clinic giving birth to a set of twins, a boy and a girl. Also, there at the clinic is a woman named Brandi who is an English woman who unexpectedly went into labor and needed help, eventually ending up at the local hospital. Sounds like a quiet beginning to the tale until you learn other details such as they were giving birth at the time the clinic caught on fire!
Twenty years go by and the Amish mother, Lovina, who has had some doubts whether her daughter was hers or Brandi’s finds herself caught up in a mystery due to the blanket she was working on when her babies were born. What follows is an ever-deepening story not just of Ariana or Skylar’s possible mix up, but the ripple effects that bring about surprising changes and challenges!
What has been happening besides this mystery is that Amish families are quietly leaving the community without notice to anyone. No one is sure who is helping the families leave or if there is someone helping them gain a new identity and foundation in the English world. I am really drawn into the series as the mystery widens, characters are finding that they need to truly search their heart and just how strong the ties of family and faith are or aren’t.
The tale really gripped my heart and kept me turning pages because I wanted to see how the families were handling their challenges and how the Amish community was coping with a person or persons they named the Nightcrawler. Currently, I am reading the sequel, Fraying at the Edge, which is even more exciting than book one! Then, I will read the third and final novel of the series, Gathering Threads and share my views of these two books with you as well! ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Oct 10, 2017 |
Cindy Woodsmall is one of my book club’s very favorite authors. We actually won her first two books and an author call from Cindy (back before Skype, so you know that was a long time ago!). The hour we spent listening to her talk about her writing and inspiration was wonderful. We have read every full length novel she has written and usually do so as soon as they come out. I’m not sure what happened with Ties That Bind, but I am glad we waited to read it, otherwise, we would have had some very anxious readers awaiting book 2 in this series. Fraying at The Edges, book 2 in the Summer Grove series is out now and will be making an appearance very soon. In the meantime, here are some of my thoughts on Ties That Bind.

Cindy Woodsmall writes Amish fiction, but it is more than sweet romance and simple living. In fact there is nothing simple in the lives of the characters, both Plain and English. Ties That Bind takes its characters on an emotional journey of faith, family and culture. The English and Amish worlds collide despite the attempts of many of the characters to keep things separate and secret. This novel explores the influence of nature and nurture on two young women. As the story unfolds, the reader knows more of what’s going on than the characters and the tension and suspense is palpable, making the pages fly. There is also the contrast of the human free will, God’s grace and the legalism that often dominates our religious practices. You don’t have to be Amish to be legalistic! Ties That Bind really makes you think about that. As with any novel by Cindy, the characters soon find a place in your heart. I really came to care about them and felt their anguish, fears and sense of lost dreams. A glimmer of hope is seen at the end, and I will be really glad when I can begin Fraying at The Edges in just a few days.

Have you read Ties That Bind? What did you think about it? We are meeting tonight and I am looking forward to some wonderful and lively conversation.

Highly Recommended. ( )
  vintagebeckie | Sep 16, 2016 |
Ties That Bind by Cindy Woodsmall is a wonderful beginning to her new series, The Amish of Summer Grove!

This book is engaging; it captured my attention and didn't let me put it down till I had finished the book.
The characters are wonderfully complex and the story/plot very well written. At times I basked in the warmth of the story and a other times I found it to be heart-breakingly sad.

I enjoyed this book so much it has left me wondering how I am going to be able to hold on and wait till this series' book 2 is released!

Thank you to Waterbrook Press and Blogging for Books for the gift of this book in exchange of an honest review. ( )
  mrsrenee | Mar 9, 2016 |
Another great read by Cindy Woodsmall, I quickly got caught up in this story, and there are a lot of twists and turns, and when we are finished you won’t have all of the answers.
Quill wanted to be Amish, unlike his older brothers who left the faith, but a dark happening compelled him to honor his father and he left with a young Amish woman. You will be shocked when you find out why, but that is only part of the story.
The book begins with three babies being born in an Amish birthing place, with a fire raging inside. Fast-forward twenty years, and the world that all of them have know is about to be shattered.
I really had mixed feelings on how this should all end, these people are now really adults and yet the Amish remain loyal to their families, but what about the English child? Her life doesn’t appear so rosy, and I wanted her to go to her roots, but what is the cost of straightening out an old error.
Can’t wait for the next book to get some answers here, and although what I want to happen probably won’t, we will just have to wait.
I received this book through Blogging For Books, and was not required go give a positive review. ( )
  alekee | Sep 28, 2015 |
This was such a fantastic story. It was so different than most of the other Amish stories I have read. What would anyone do if they found out their child was switched with another child at birth. This is so well done. It is going to be hard waiting for the next book in this series. I love all the characters. How will Ariana and Skylar handle trading places for a while. This would be hard for anyone. I received this book from Blogging for Books for a fair and honest opinion. ( )
  Virginia51 | Sep 23, 2015 |
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"An Old Order Amish young woman and an unsuspecting college student are on a collision course that neither could have foreseen"--

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