Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Hope of Refuge by Cindy Woodsmall

Book Blurb:

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?

My Review:

Cindy Woodsmall is one amazing author that leaves you thinking about the characters in her stories days after you finish the books. The Hope of Refuge was wonderful!! A young widow named Cara who has no family besides her daughter Lori is being harassed by a stalker and when things get dangerously scary she takes her daughter and makes a run for it. They end up at a bus or train station trying to decide where to hide from stalker Mike when she discovers an old address in her mother's journal. It is an address in Dry Lake Pennsylvania, an Amish community, and she decides right then and there that is the best place for Lori and her to hide from Mike.

When they finally arrive in Dry Lake they are wet, cold and homeless. They end up hiding out in a barn on someone's land. The owner of the barn turns out to be handsome young Amish man Ephraim and he isn't too thrilled to find Cara and Lori hiding out on his property especially when Cara is accused of being a drunken thief. Despite his struggles with the rumors he is hearing about her Ephraim is feeling called by God to help her and be Jesus to her! His community is not supportive of this idea and thus begins his struggle with trying to do what's right in Gods eyes and in the eyes of his Amish community.

I LOVE Cindy Woodsmall's writing!! The first Amish book I ever read was a book by Cindy and since then I've tried other Amish authors but have never enjoyed any of them. There is just something about the way Cindy writes that keeps you interested.

Her stories are full of engaging and dynamic characters. I always love the way the characters pull at my heart strings and that was no exception with The Hope of Refuge. I especially enjoyed the two main characters Cara and Ephraim. Cara has such a passion and love to take care of her daughter in a safe environment and to find the roots of her mother. Ephraim is amazing also. I love the way that he chooses to follow the call God has placed on his heart despite the troubles he encounters! I'm not sure that I could have done what Ephraim did if it meant the kind of problems he faced. That fact alone made him admirable and I was rooting for things to work out with him the whole way through the story!

Another point that makes Cindy Woodsmall an amazing author is her ability to keep a story flowing without any dull and dragging moments. I never once felt like it was a good time to stop reading the book and go to bed. I was engaged from chapter one and couldn't read it fast enough! I've found this to be true with all of Cindy's writing that I've read so far! Her books are entertaining, thought-provoking and emotional!! I am anxiously awaiting the second book in the Ada's House Series and will be devouring that book as fast as I can also! Thank you Cindy Woodsmall for your delightful Amish books!!

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.

Buy the Hope of Refuge on Amazon:


  1. I've really enjoyed this series. I can't wait for the third one to come out!
    2 Kids and Tired Books

  2. I'm reading The Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall right now. Just found it at the bookstore today and I thought it wasn't coming out until September! Cindy Woodsmall was the first Amish author I read as well.

  3. Hi Courtney! Great review! I'm a new GFC follower (I would really appreciate it if you followed my blog) and I rated your review (please rate my reviews)