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When the Heart Cries (Sisters of the Quilt, Book 1) Paperback – September 19, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 217 customer reviews

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Return to Paradise: The Coming Home Series - Book 1 by Barbara Cameron
"Return to Paradise" by Barbara Cameron
Barbara Cameron launches The Coming Home Series with Return to Paradise. David leaves his Amish community to escape an overly stern, abusive father, also leaving behind his fiance', Lavina. Forgiveness is the lesson for everyone when David's father is diagnosed with cancer. Will David return and make peace with his father and the woman he abandoned? Learn more | See author page
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this debut inspirational novel, Woodsmall takes readers inside a contemporary Amish family where the eldest daughter, Hannah, has fallen in love with her neighbor Paul. The trouble is that he's a Mennonite, and if those two faiths look similar to outsiders, they don't to Hannah's father, who would never permit his daughter to marry outside the Amish community. Yes, this is a familiar setup, with shades of the movie Witness. But the star-crossed romance is only the backdrop to the central events of the novel: in the very first chapter, Hannah experiences a trauma, setting in motion a chain of events that sometimes seems incredible. Woodsmall's prose is undistinguished; she too often flatly describes emotions ("Disappointment and anger formed a knot in Luke's chest"), and the Pennsylvania Dutch sprinkled throughout the book can be distracting. Still, this novel shows potential. Most of the characters are likable, and Woodsmall depicts both the appeal and the potential myopia of secluded Amish life. An emotionally subtle subplot involving Hannah's younger sister's envy adds some depth. Better yet, the surprising conclusion sets Woodsmall up for a sequel—but she'll need some fine-tuning if she wants a truly lasting series. (Sept. 19)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Woodsmall's Amish heroine is naive Hannah Lapp, who, as the novel begins, accepts the marriage proposal of her childhood friend, Paul Waddell. But Paul is a Mennonite--and, almost worse, a college man. He embraces such corrupt modernisms as gasoline engines and the Internet. To outsiders, the differences between Amish and Mennonites may seem subtle, but that's not the case for Hannah's Old Order father, and all hell breaks loose. Woodsmall's first novel, which will more than likely beget a series, seems a worthy successor--or companion--to Beverly Lewis' popular stories of the Pennsylvania Amish.

John Mort
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


More from Cindy Woodsmall
Cindy Woodsmall's writing is filled with life-like characters and real emotions, focused on discovering and enriching faith. Visit Amazon's Cindy Woodsmall Page.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400072921
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400072927
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #756,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times, CBA, ECPA, and USA Today best-selling author who has written seventeen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal,and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as the one of the top three most popular authors of Amish fiction.

She's won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer's Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader's Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings' Best Books of the Year. She's been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.

Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. Though she didn't realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and cape dresses. Her parents didn't allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy's house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them--afraid that if they didn't, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann's because her family didn't own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults' disapproval and the obstacles in each other's lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy's family moved to another region of the US.

As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children. Over the years Cindy has continued to make wonderful friendships with those inside the Amish and Mennonite communities--from the most conservative ones to the most liberal.

Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in their now empty nest.

If you'd like more information or to contact her, you can go to her website: http://www.cindywoodsmall.com or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/authorcindywoodsmall

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Cindy Woodsmall's past and present ties to the Plain Mennonite and Amish community are evident throughout the novel. She presents a lifestyle beautiful and sweet in its simplicity, but sometimes legalistic to the point of lacking compassion. So when Hannah Lapp, a young Amish woman, falls in love with a young Mennonite man and the problems begin, I was convinced.

Hannah's youthful exuberance, impulsiveness and rebellion against the rather stifling lifestyle lead to a few innocent indiscretions. These cause further problems later, when "the unthinkable" happens, an event hardly mentionable for those that follow the Old Ways. Her parents love and support her, but they are too loyal to the traditions of men, to the letter of their law without the spirit.

They allow their daughter, a victim, to be villified.

With excellent prose and occasional Pennsylvania Dutch terms for flavor, Cindy Woodsmall has given us a charming and powerful coming-of-age novel filled with humor and pathos. After watching the heroine's loves and losses, we are left not with a happy, contrived ending, but a realistic one of hope for the future for the courageous young woman--and for an excellent sequel to this sterling debut novel.
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Format: Paperback
Move over, Beverly Lewis and Wanda Brunstetter. Cindy Woodsmall's debut novel, WHEN THE HEART CRIES, gets the Sisters of the Quilt series off to a promising start, with plenty of Amish intrigue, romance and tragedy.

Hannah Lapp is the 17-year-old daughter of an Old Order Amish family who is in love with the older and more worldly Paul Waddell. She lives on a farm in Owl's Perch in Perry County, Pennsylvania, where life is lived in old-fashioned ways. Paul is Mennonite and, even worse, a college student, which is anathema to Hannah's strict Amish parents. Loving and enjoying time with Paul has shown Hannah the welcome conveniences of electricity and cars, as well as the value of an education (many Amish girls' educations end at eighth grade). Hannah longs for modern accouterments like personal computers and the Internet. Despite her parents' misgivings and the upheaval in her life that loving Paul will bring about, Hannah accepts Paul's marriage proposal.

Then, tragedy strikes when Hannah's stroll along a deserted road leads to a disastrous assault. Her family and Amish community --- rather than consoling and helping her as a victim --- casts her in the role of a promiscuous sinner. They demand she repent of her wrongdoing. Hannah's younger, envious and troubled sister Sarah adds fuel to the fire by misrepresenting Hannah's activities. Worse yet for Hannah, her fiancé is slow to understand the truth, and only a few friends stand by her. Heartbroken and disillusioned, Hannah flees the community to find a long-lost relative, leaving plenty of loose ends dangling to be picked up in the sequel, WHEN THE MORNING COMES.

Some nice subplots abound, leaving room for fleshing them out in future installments in the series.
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Format: Paperback
Having grown up in neighboring Berks County in Pa, I was very familiar with the Amish and Mennonites. I enjoy reading stories about them and agree with other reviewers that this "new" author has done much research. She is very accurate with the traditions, the faith as well as Pa.Dutch which my family also spoke. It was an enjoyable story in spite of the trauma which happened to Hannah, the main character. I also look forward to the sequel and will be eager to read about Hannah's future (or not) with Paul and will enjoy watching her grow and mature in her new life.

This is a wonderful new author who definitely will be added to my list of "must read" authors. Her story is easy to read, keeps you interested throughout the entire book and makes you want more----all great elements in a good book. She's a contender-----and will be enjoyed in the future, I am sure.

I hope she write the sequel soon----------I'm ready to read it.
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Format: Paperback
Hannah has a secret that would shock her Old Order Amish family; she is in love with a Mennonite boy, and is considering leaving the Amish faith to marry him. But when she is attacked by an English man, her world, her faith, and her family are rocked. Her parents choose to not report the attack, but the consequences prove to be devastating to Hannah.

Call me a sap, but I typically prefer Amish novels to be a tiny bit lighter, and have a happier ending than this one. I was actually a bit depressed reading this book. I have read other Amish books that deal with heavy, serious topics, but still have a peaceful feeling to them. I found no peace at all within this book.

From a character and plot standpoint, the book is solid and leaves me no room to criticize. The characters are very well developed, particularly Hannah, and the scenes are written quite well. Hannah's pain is palpable throughout the progression of the story. And I like that the story touches on the differences between the Amish and Mennonite communities. So, from a writing standpoint the book is excellent. I personally just did not care for the story.
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