Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Harvest of Grace, by Cindy Woodsmall

Sylvia has experienced a deep betrayal that makes it hard to remain at home with her family, or within her small Amish community.  She decides to seek work as a farm hand to help assist a family in another Amish community that is having financial difficulties.  When her employer's son returns to the family farm, Sylvia finds his motives at odds with her own, and plenty of reasons to dislike him.  Instead, she finds herself drawn to him, and they develop a bond to which neither cares to admit.  Will Sylvia ever heal from her past hurts enough to let him in?

My frequent concern with Amish fiction is eventually, there will cease to be any new, orignial, engaging storylines.  So, I always approach Amish fiction with caution.  However, I really enjoyed this book a lot.  Unlike many of the Amish books I have read, this book focused less on the interation between the Amish and English, and more on relationships within and between different Amish communities.  We also see, in Sylvia's character, the fact that while Amish women have typical roles to play, some certainly do branch out into more traditionally male oriented tasks.

To me, this book highlights the similarities between Amish people and their English counterparts.  We are dealing with marital infidelity, substance abuse, and strained parental relationships, not to mention the overwhelming theme of forgiveness.  Because of these univeral themes and topics, I found the book really relatable, and because of that, I found myself getting pulled into the story.

This book is part of a series, and I have not read the first two books in the series.  A short recap was given at the beginning, but you do not seem to necessarily need to read them to fully appreciate this book.  All in all, a nice, enjoyable story.

I received a review copy courtesy of the publisher.

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