Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sisters of the Quilt Series & Giveaway

I put off reading this series even as it climbed on to the NYTimes Bestseller list. I don't know if it was the kapp on the cover of the first two, but I kept walking past them. When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and When the Soul Mends tell the story of Hannah Lapp and Paul Waddell as well as members of Hannah's Amish community.

Hannah and Paul share a love that neither of their families will support. Hannah is Amish and Paul is Mennonite. They secretly become engaged, and then the unmentionable happens. In that moment, and the moments that follow to keep it all a secret, their lives are changed. The series flows seamlessly through their journeys.

But it's not just their journeys. The series is filled with the stories of Hannah's best friend and brother. Hannah's younger sister also plays a key role.

And lacing all three books is the reality that the cost of secrets can be high, but there is the hope of restoration if we are willing to lay down our rights and hurts and offer and accept forgiveness. However, the books also portray in very real ways that life is not perfect. Even for those who strive to keep life simple, it is often far from that.

The best part about waiting to read these books was I could wander from one straight to the next. In fact I read the three in about a five day span the week of Thanksgiving. I simply couldn't put them down. And it was wonderful to literally close one and pick up the next. The characters were so compelling that I had to know how their stories would end. Even though I hoped the end would be the way it was, the ending was not guaranteed. And some relationships remained damaged even though initial healing had taken place.

Cindy Woodsmall is a beautiful writer, and it's easy to understand why this series has topped the CBA bestsellers list and entered the New York Times Bestseller list. So if you're looking for a Christmas gift for the reader in your life who doesn't care for suspense, but wants a read that addresses real world issues even through the simple lens of the Amish, this series would be a great gift.

The publisher has been gracious enough to provide a copy of When the Soul Mends for a giveaway. Leave a comment about how you are simplifying your life. I'll pick a winner before Christmas.


Pam Meyers said...

Please don't include me in the drawing. I have my own copy of Cindy's book :-).
I appreciate the pleasure of waiting to read all three at the same time because when I read the last words in books 1 and 2, it was distressed to know I had to wait an entire year to read the next book! It was awful. About every three months between book 2 and book 3 I begged Cindy to hurry because Hannah was on that road way too long. Of course she couldn't speed up the process LOL. Then it arrived in my mailbox a day before the ACFW conference and I knew better than to try reading it then. So I waited until I returned home from Minneapolis and then inhaled it.

This time, although the ending was very satisfying, when I closed the book it was a bittersweet moment. I hated saying good-bye to Hannah, Paul, and Martin for the last time. It's a wonderful story.

I do advise people who are intrigued by this to please try and read all three books in order. Each can stand on their own, but you will miss so much if you don't.

And, you will be able to do as Cara did. Spend the next several days in the wonderful world Cindy Woodsmall created in this story. A world you won't want to leave!

More than Survival said...

I would love to read this book! I am all about living a "Simple" Life!! Our newest adventure was BUTCHERING a pig ourselves!!! We were given a pig and decided that since we butcher the deer Chris hunts we can do a pig! SUCCESS! I did a post about this on my blog... I know I am a "Country Girl" and LOVE it! The simple, country life! I know I am a rare breed... but you love me anyway! LOL!!
PS... we are going to be using "Love as a Way of Life" as the next book my "Mom's Group" goes through together... THANK YOU!!

Avily Jerome said...

Thanks for the contest! I would love to be entered!

These books sound charming!

Hmmm... how am I trying to simplify my life?

Does ignoring the laundry count?

Seriously, though, with three kids five and under, life is never simple, but I try to preempt chaos by teaching my kids to do things for themselves, such as clean their room, put away their laundry, and help with other chores. And I don't stress when things don't get done. It's not the most important thing to have a clean kitchen, but it is the most important thing for my kids to know that I'm never too busy to read them a book.

Anonymous said...

This year were are going simple for the Holidays. We drastically shrunk our tree and have probably a tenth of the ornaments on it. Those are mainly focused on Christ with a few of our favorite ornaments(that won't knock the tree over!)
I'd love to read this book!

The Giveaway Diva said...

i would love to read this!! i'm doing something different in cutting back spending for my family's presents and instead volunteering in their honour

Traveling J said...

I'm with you. Once a series is out there, I love it when I can read right from book to book. Count me in for the drawing. Janet Klein

Cathy S. said...


I'd love to read this book.

One way I'm simplifying and also helping others is by purchasing food through the Angel Food ministry program at a nearby church. (

They put together a batch of food at an affordable price and I pick it up. It's taught me that I don't have to roam the aisles and hand select food. I can use what they've provided, for some of our food needs, anyway. It's very freeing and makes me count my blessings at the variety of food we have available in stores :)


Lora Lease said...

I am planning on cooking up 2 weeks worth of meals, and freezing them. I've done the Once A Month Cooking thing, and that's a bit too much for me, but half a month... I can do. :) Hopefully this will help simplify our lives.

Carole said...

In searching for Christmas illustrations for our minister a few years ago, I came across a story about a wife whose gift for her husband was a special donation in his honor - like sending a group of disabled children to a holiday event, contributing to a family whose home had burned down, etc. This was communicated to her husband in a plain white envelope placed on their tree, and became the highlight of their Christmas. This tradition was continued by their children after the father's death.

I thought this made so much more sense than frantically shopping for shirts, ties, and things he didn't really need. So I started this tradition for our family by contributing in my husband's honor to a mission that he really cared about. After that first Christmas, he has started doing the same for me. Last Christmas he contributed in my honor to a juvenile prison ministry that I had been working with.

This has been a great way to not only simplfy our Christmas, but brings so much more meaning into it.

And I would love to read Cindy's book!

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Cara Putman said...

These are great comments, gals. Thanks and keep them coming! I haven't got all out with Christmas decorations this year, and am only making three or four kinds of Christmas cookies instead of the zillion I usually make. I'm also having someone come help me with some cleaning next week to tackle those projects I notice but can't get to with 3 kids.

Carolyn said...

Cara, I would love to read any of these books as would my teenage daughter, she really loved our trip to PA and Lancaster County and says she wished she had been born a hundred years ago.

I have been trying to declutter my home and making most of my gifts this year, some in my craft area and some from my kitchen. Life is so much better when you simplify it.

thanks for sharing

ceashark at aol dot com

carolyn s

Jennifer said...

These look like great books to read. I would love to win a copy. We have simplified our life, by having me stay home with our kids. I like being in a traditional homemaker role and focusing on the 4 most important people in my life. (my immediate family)

lukenlarry At yahoo dot com


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