Friday, August 26, 2011

The Bridge of Peace by Cindy Woodsmall

Book Blurb:

Love alone isn’t enough to overcome the obstacles between a man and a woman.

From New York Times best-selling author Cindy Woodsmall, comes an invitation into Amish country

Lena Kauffman is a young Old Order Amish schoolteacher who has dealt all her life with attention raised by a noticeable birthmark on her cheek. Having learned to move past the stares and whispers, Lena channels her zest for living into her love of teaching. But tensions mount as she is challenged to work with a rebellious young man and deal with several crises at the schoolhouse that threaten her other students. Her lack of submission and the use of ideas that don’t line up with the Old Ways strengthen the school board’s case as they begin to believe that Lena is behind all the trouble.

One member of the school board, Grey Graber, feels trapped by his own stifling circumstances. His wife Elsie has shut him out of her life, and he doesn’t know how long he can continue to live as if nothing is wrong. As the two finally come to a place of working toward a better marriage, tragedy befalls their family.

Lena and Grey have been life-long friends but their relationship begins to crumble amidst unsettling deceptions, propelling each of them to finally face their own secrets. Can they both find a way past their losses and discover the strength to build a new bridge?   

My Review:

I have enjoyed reading all of Cindy Woodsmalls books that I can get my hands on and The Bridge of Peace is no exception. This book is the second book in the Ada’s House series; it follows The Hope of Refuge, which I also read. I personally think this book would be hard to read as a stand-alone because throughout the book the author re-visits the characters from the previous book to let us know what is going on with them to and mix them together with the current characters!! Plus I think that book one was amazing so there is no reason not read it first!

The Bridge of Peace is a wonderful story about discovering who you are and what you believe and not defining yourself by the world. There is Lena, a young spunky Amish teacher who is in love with her job and her children even though there is often days when she goes home saddened by the words of one child specifically. She faces all kinds of obstacles as a teacher and she becomes in danger of losing her job. Her old friend Gray seems to be the only one on the school board who understands Lena and tries to defend her. However, Gray faces some enormous tragedy and is suddenly dealing with his own struggles.

I really liked Lena’s character!! She is such a strong and passionate young woman. Through all the obstacles in her life she never lets that discourage her from what she believes is right for the people in her life, especially the children. She has strong faith that she will survive anything and that she can make a difference in the world, both are attributes I highly admire!

One of my favorite things about Cindy Woodsmalls writing is that she has this amazing ability to write stories that completely absorb you, you are 100% invested in these characters and their lives and you are still thinking of them days after you finish the book. I love that she has woven in the main characters from book one of this series in to this story so we can keep updated with their lives!

If you love Amish fiction you will love this series and this book! Anyone who enjoys Amish or romance with a bit of suspense and mystery will enjoy The Bridge of Peace. 

About Cindy Woodsmall:

Cindy Woodsmall is a veteran homeschool mom. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.

Her first novel released in 2006 to much acclaim and became a Christian Book Association best seller. Cindy was a 2007 ECPA Christian Book Award finalist, along with Karen Kingsbury, Angela Hunt, and Charles Martin.

Her lastest book, When the Morning Comes, hit the New York Times best-sellers extended list and the Christian Book Association best-sellers list.

Cindy’s real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity.

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