Monday, August 3, 2009

The Hope of Refuge Review & Giveaway

In late 2006, I stumbled across a book by a brand-new author. I had not read Amish fiction before, but the cover and the summary on the back caught my interest. And then the book captured my heart. Cindy Woodsmall quickly became one of my "must-read" authors. Her Sisters of the Quilt series was delightful; the only thing I didn't like was how long I had to wait between books!

The Amish fiction genre has mushroomed. Books 2 and 3 of the above series landed on the New York Times Bestseller Lists as well as Christian fiction bestseller lists. And ABC Nightline, Time magazine, and other media outlets are exploring the hubbub and trying to determine why millions of copies of novels about the Amish are selling.

In May Cindy was featured on Nightline in a fascinating interview which you can view below. She speaks as eloquently as she writes!

I've been eagerly anticipating her newest book, The Hope of Refuge, and it is now available. The first book in the new Ada's House series did not disapoint. Once again, she has done a masterful job of capturing authentic human emotions, juxtaposing the Amish lifestyle and beliefs against that of an Englischer who appears in their midst. The result is a beautiful story of compassion, grace and redemption interwoven with responsibility, accountability, and commitment. As she mentions in the Nightline interview, the Amish are no more perfect than the rest of us, and in this book the community as a whole learns a lesson about the fine line between separation from the world and ministering to the world. The struggles experienced by the characters, whether interpersonal or within themselves, are portrayed to perfection, and the tension between following a religion and its rules vs. following God's leadership is expertly depicted as well. I could not put it down and turned the last page with regret. I highly recommend this book and look forward to the next one in the series!

Raised in foster care and now the widowed mother of a little girl, Cara Moore struggles against poverty, fear, and a relentless stalker. When a trail of memories leads Cara and Lori out of New York City toward an Amish community, she follows every lead, eager for answers and a fresh start. She discovers that long-held secrets about her family history ripple beneath the surface of Dry Lake, Pennsylvania, and it’s no place for an outsider. But one Amish man, Ephraim Mast, dares to fulfill the command he believes that he received from God–“Be me to her”– despite how it threatens his way of life.

Completely opposite of the hard, untrusting Cara, Ephraim’s sister Deborah also finds her dreams crumbling when the man she has pledged to build a life with begins withdrawing from Deborah and his community, including his mother, Ada Stoltzfus. Can the run-down house that Ada envisions transforming unite them toward a common purpose–or push Mahlon away forever? While Ephraim is trying to do what he believes is right, will he be shunned and lose everything–including the guarded single mother who simply longs for a better life?

Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and The New York Times Best-Seller When the Soul Mends. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families. A mother of three sons and two daughters-in-law, Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of thirty-one years.

Cindy has a wonderful website - stop by and visit!

I have an extra copy of this book to give away to one of you! To enter, leave a comment on this post by 12:00 noon CDT Friday (8/7/09) and I will choose a winner. Continental US residents only, please.

You can purchase this book directly from the publisher, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.


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sara said...

I have always wanted to read her books, but for some reason never got started. I lived by several Amish communities in IN and so I think I would enjoy this book!

Katherine said...

I love novels about the Amish lifestyle. This one looks very GOOD!
Please enter me for this drawing.


TCKK said...

This sounds like an excellent book. I've read many Amish books, but I haven't read this author. I really enjoyed the video. Thanks for sharing.

Also, wanted to let you know I received my book Saturday. I can't wait to start it. Thank you again. -Cathy

mez said...

The Hope of Refuge sounds intriguing. Please include me, thanks!

skoots1mom said...

add me in too...this sounds good!

Carole said...

I really enjoy Amish fiction, and Cindy is an excellent author in this genre, so I would love to read this book.

I don't like to wait between books either, Linda, so I've learned to wait until the whole series is released before I begin.

Thanks, as always, for the giveaway.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Beverlydru said...

I would like to read this. As I've mentioned I'm not wild about the OTHER Beverly Lewis' books but this sounds great.

Anonymous said...

I love the Amish lifestyle. This book sounds like a winner. Please add my name to your giveaway. thanks.

karen k

cpullum said...

Count me in this is a must read!

Emma said...

The Hope of Refuge sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

windycindy said...

Hello! I adore reading Amish fiction. Cindy Woodsmall is a favorite of mine. I have not read this book, yet. Please count me in!
Many thanks, Cindi