After three months of draus in da Welt, Ariana has returned to Summer Grove, the Old Order Amish community where she was raised for twenty years, and life with her Brenneman family. Skylar Nash, the Englisch-raised young woman is working in Ariana s cafe while getting to know her birth family and their Plain way of life. Skylar’s time in Summer Grove has changed her outlook, just as Ariana has grown to see her personal faith in God in a different light than the manner she was taught while growing up. Both women will have to make decisions about their paths and Ariana must decide what role her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, will play in her life.
‘Gathering the Threads’ ends where ‘Fraying at the Edge’ left off as the third book in the Amish of Summer Grove series. If you have not yet read the first two books then I must insist that you do. The story builds on each beginning book. It might be doable as a standalone but I highly discourage it! Seriously, read the series! Ariana is back in Summer Grove where she always thought she wanted to be and Skylar, for now has decided to remain as well. But, it’s not all sunshine and roses as Ariana tries to navigate the life she thought she always wanted with her newfound understanding of life from the outside world.
I truly grew to love Skylar, until about page 226. She dog-eared a book. The love was over. I still liked her but who does that?!? I like that she knows herself enough to know that she doesn’t know herself at all. I respect that she finally finds herself and knows that while she will never be Amish she also can never go back to who she was and then finds the perfect way to blend those together. The trips, as Skylar has come to refer to herself along with Ariana and Abram, have all grown through this experience. The entire family has grown and that spills over to their community. Abram found his voice, literally and figuratively. He’s no longer the retiring shy young man he started as. He found his voice and he found his future. Honestly he is one of favorites and I’d love to see the rest of his life sometime.
Ariana however, she tries my patience. At first I was clueless as to why she was so dang attached to that phone but I get it. It wasn’t the phone but what it represented. She put herself, her family, her community and me through a lot of trouble for a stinkin’ phone. Seriously, I’d decided she was Skylar in reverse and I really couldn’t stand her. She was petulant and whiny and I was over it. Eventually it all made sense but geez she was still a bit over the top. This book, this entire journey, did not end how I anticipated and at first I wasn’t certain I was OK with how it turned out. I had to sit and stew it for a bit. Eventually I came to terms with how it all turned out and actually respected and appreciated that sometimes hard choices aren’t as hard as them seem, nor as easy as they appear. I came to be OK with the conclusion though obviously want no need more. I’d like to see the stories of the supporting characters to continue on another time in another book. Or even another series.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Cindy Woodsmall and WaterBrook & Multnomah Publishing. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
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About Cindy Woodsmall
Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author who has written nineteen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy’s been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as one of the top three Amish fiction writers.