Finally, the third and final book in Cindy Woodsmall’s “The Amish of Summer Grove” trilogy has arrived! If you have followed her other two books in the series (Ties That Bind and Fraying at the Edge), then Gathering the Threads is the book you have been waiting for to fill in all the gaps. My grandma and I have been following this series and both of us were thrilled to learn that the new book was being released. Being that she is not a blogger, she had to wait a little longer than I to read it, but she was glad to know that all the threads have been gathered in this final book.
If you remember from the other two books, Ariana Brenneman and Skylar Nash find out that they were accidentally switched at birth. The one who should have gone to the English world went to the Amish world and the one who should have gone to the Amish world went to the English world. Ariana is content with her life in the Amish world and is reluctant to spend time getting to know her Englisch family with limited contact to her Amish world and per the hopes of her Englisch father, to expand her thinking beyond what she knew all her life. The tradeoff, Skylar would go spend time with her Amish birth parents in hopes that she would be able to cut her addiction with prescription drugs. The original plan was for a year, but due to some prayers and talking on Ariana’s part, she is able to return home after 3 months.
The third book starts off where the second book left off. Ariana just comes home from spending time with the Englisch and Skylar is just starting to feel some security in her Amish home. Things have been running great at Ariana’s café with Skylar in the lead and she has finally found her place in with her birth siblings. Ariana comes back and finds herself overwhelmed with the closed minds of the Amish she grew up with and the pressure that comes from her Daed, Bishop, and her boyfriend, Rudy, to reconform to the old ways and have limited contact with her Englisch family. But most of all, she is to cut off all ties with Quill Schlabach who left the Amish community years ago to help her best friend get proper medical treatment and escape the abuse of her father. Overwhelmed, Ariana decides to get away for a few days to a bed and breakfast, that unbeknownst to her, helps the cause of people trying to escape the Amish lifestyle. The only person who she feels fully understands her is the one who she is forbidden to see, and so out of desperation, she reaches out to Quill to help her get her head wrapped around everything.
Skylar, in the meantime, is trying everything she can to ruin Ariana’s good standing with her family. From planting Ariana’s forbidden cell phone in places her Daed will find it, to finding a way to keep her out of the café Ariana started so that way she can remain in her place of security, Skylar is willing to stop at nothing to make sure her security is not pulled from her. She also finds herself falling for one of her twin brother’s old coworkers, Jax. Being that Skylar was not raised Amish, she is not forced to attend any Amish Sunday gatherings or observe their rules.
As Skylar struggles for control and Ariana fumbles to find exactly what her new identity is in life after her world has been shaken to the core, both ladies must learn to work together to achieve a common good for their families and café and life and learn to lean on God for support through the messy situations in their lives. In a sudden twist, Ariana figures out what she was meant to do in her life and Skylar learns to live in a world without a prescription drug addiction.
This book is very good overall and answers a lot of lingering questions I had as a reader. I feel that some of the “voices” of the characters changed, but a lot of it probably is to artistically distinguish who the characters are now from who they were in the past. If you read the other two books and are just itching to know what happens to these characters, this is the book you will want to read! I would suggest reading the other two books before starting on this one. As with most of Cindy Woodsmall’s books, this is a book that would be suitable for any age.
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WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.