A wonderfully crafted story about a young Amish woman and a young “Englisch” woman who have a very strange connection.
Ariana, a loving Amish woman, is happy with her life. Everything was going well. She had a loving boyfriend. An amazing family. A new café. But then she found out that her biological parents weren’t the ones she had been living with for the past twenty years.
Skylar’s world is slowly crashing. Her world and dream of acting has been ripped from her because of a failing grade. She’s struggling. Her family is a mismatched one. Her mother and father weren’t married when she was conceived. Her father didn’t want anything to with her for years. He remarried. Her mother married someone who already had a daughter. So much confusion and emotional stress caused her to be a little unstable. She turned to drugs. If an Amish couple and an ex-Amish young man hadn’t come digging up the past, she would have been able to live out her relatively comfortable miserable life without interruption. But an unexpected blood test leaves her with a choice: go to rehab for a year or live with her ‘real’ parents (who happen to be Amish) for a year.
Ariana and Skylar both struggle to get used to the new worlds they’ve entered. Ariana struggles to follow her parents’ wishes while trying to follow her own conscience, while Skylar struggles to get past her anger towards her parents and her prejudice against her new family.
This story is an incredible one. I love the way Cindy Woodsmall has woven this story. In this series, I have been delighted to find a very original story. At every turn in the plot, it seems, I am surprised. I expect the story to go one way because so many stories follow a certain plot, but it takes a different turn. The unexpected twists don’t annoy as some might, rather they add a certain sense of reality and freshness to the story.
This novel, like the first, deals with many mature themes. Drugs, adultery, etc. I really do recommend using caution when recommending or reading this book. For an older teen, I think the themes are perfectly acceptable (if the teen is mature and understanding), because the topics are presented in a good light. Nothing is presented as good that should not be. (Exception: I will mention one part when *spoiler alert* Abram is speaking to Cilla and it almost seems as though they are implying asking the Bishops’ to use contraceptives.)
Ratings (# out of 5)
Romance: 2.5 (There were a few kisses, but this story really wasn’t centered around romance. It was the story of two girls coming to grips with their new surroundings. There was a scene in which Ariana sees a prostitute receiving money from a man (nothing further), but she knows that the girl is selling herself. This is why I gave this category such a low rating. It was presented in the right way, but it was weighty and would be/could be very disturbing to those of more innocent or sensitive natures.)
Violence: 4 (I don’t remember any instances of violence.)
Language: 5 (I don’t remember any instances of vulgar language.)
Substance Abuse: 3 (I give this such a high rating even though this novel has a lot of substance discussion because the presentation is so delicate. It’s presented as what it is, something that shouldn’t be used.)
I thank Mrs. Woodsmall for writing such an interesting, well-written book. She truly is a master writer in this modern era. I am looking forward to reading the third and concluding book of “The Amish of Summer Grove” series.
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed above are completely my own.