Gathering The Threads by Cindy Woodsmall is a delightful Amish romance with a wonderful, warm, welcoming feel to it. It is the third book in the Amish Of Summer Grove series but can be read as a stand-alone as I hadn’t read the first two books.
The main themes are the search for identity and to belong. “She needed to understand who she was.” Being raised Amish, spending time with the Englisch and then returning to the Amish community certainly creates mind confusion. Some things such as mobile phones which bring freedom are not easily surrendered. However, the Englisch love of money contrasts with the value the Amish put on family. “Spending money was the… answer for a lot of emotional upsets.”
Family matters. Family is blood ties, those who have raised you and anyone you feel a connection with. Family love you, support you and discipline you.
There are also the topics of bullying versus exerting authority. Where does one end and the other begin? A misuse of power raises its ugly head in the novel. “Just because people think they’re right doesn’t actually make them right, and that’s true whether they are a minister or a Daed.”
Conflict between the Word of God and the Ordnung arises. The Ordnung was written by men. It is their rules. The Bible is God’s instruction manual to us. We all have access to God’s Word. We do not need a Bishop to put his interpretation onto God’s Words. The reader is reminded of the truths in Revelation, that we are to add nothing to nor take anything from God’s Word.
Helping the weak and vulnerable is key in the novel. We are all charged to ‘look after the widows and orphans.’ A community should be the responsibility of all. Aiding others is a priority, sometimes even at the threat of personal safety.
Grace covers us all. “We are made worthy by grace… not judgment or expectations from the church. God never intended us to stand in judgment over one another. Abuse by those in areas of influence rears its head in the story.
I really enjoyed Gathering The Threads. It was a great read and my first by Cindy Woodsmall. I shall be hunting out many more by her.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.