Friday, October 21, 2011

review: the harvest of grace by cindy woodsmall

The Harvest of Grace introduces a new character to Dry Lake, but also continues the stories of the others from the Ada’s House series. Sylvia comes to Dry Lake three years after the man who asked her to marry him married her sister instead when Sylvia said she wasn’t ready. She finds work on the Blank farm; they need help after the death of their daughter (which happened in The Bridge of Peace) and son’s subsequent entering rehab. That son soon returns home and meets Sylvia in an amusing scene that provided a bit of relief in a novel that’s otherwise about heavy subject matter regarding the scandals surrounding both Sylvia and her new friend, Aaron Blank.

The original story from The Hope of Refuge gets its conclusion here as Cara continues her studies of the Amish ways and their language while also working on forgiving her father. Her successes bring happiness, but she also struggles, especially when part of her past resurfaces. The main character from The Bridge of Peace also gets her story wrapped up as Lena and Grey are finally completely honest about their feelings. All of the conclusions are satisfactory, but with Sylvia being a completely new character from a different community it was a stretch to tie her into the previous plots. For much of the novel Sylvia was isolated to the Blank family without any interaction with the other Ada’s House characters. It took far too long for Sylvia to make some friends.
Review copy provided by the publisher, WaterBrook Press.

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