As the Tide Comes In by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

My Review

WOW!

There are so many things about this story that are amazing. There are also some very, very sad aspects, so be prepared to need a lot of tissues. Trust me, though the story has sad, nay tragic, moments, there is so much depth, insight and truth to it, that you are drawn in and aren’t let go, even upon finishing the book.

Cindy Woodsmall and her daughter-in-law Erin have written a novel very different from Cindy Woodsmall’s standard fare of Amish life. Set in contemporary, secular communities, As the Tide Comes In opens near Ashville, North Carolina, then the plot moves to Georgia’s St. Simon’s Island.

Tara Abbott has been a foster child and well knows foster care life is fraught with nerve-wracking instability and heart-breaking insecurity. With great misgiving, at age eighteen, she agrees to care for her two newly orphaned half-brothers, becoming their adored “T-Mom.”

Around Tara’s thirty-first birthday, her little family’s cabin is demolished by a tornado.  She is severely injured and hospitalized. After her release, and still reeling from trauma, she decides to visit St. Simon’s Island, where she and her brothers had once planned to meet.  On the island, the effects of her injury resurface. She becomes confused and peregrinates aimlessly.

In her confusion, Tara’s fear, angst and her sense of God having disappeared are palpable. The Woodsmalls had me walking in Tara’s very shoes as she wandered the island and her soul wandered through despair. I marveled at the strength, resourcefulness and resilience that inched her forward, literally and spiritually.

God sends friends for Tara to encounter on the island, such as the “Glynn Girls,” best friends and occasionally friendly enemies. The Woodsmalls flesh out these secondary characters as zany, unconventional women, whose antics and sometimes hilarious escapades warm our hearts and penetrate Tara’s.

I know I can’t do justice to this book, no matter how or what I write in this review. The depth of tragedy, the transformative spiritual journey and the emotional intensity found in As the Tide Comes In are rarely experienced by absorbing a novel. The story skillfully moved me from tears to laughter to thoughtful reverie. All of us, at some time in our life, will experience distraught, terrible times in our lives, and the book’s impactful message is best expressed in the words of one of its characters, who admonishes that “God is love, and anything we think He did outside of how love would behave, we’re mistaken….”

I received this book from WaterBrook Publishers and the authors. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

When an unthinkable loss sends Tara Abbott’s life spiraling out of control, she journeys from North Carolina to Georgia’s St. Simons Island. Although confused and scared, she hopes to find answers about her past – her life before the years of foster care and raising her two half-brothers as a young adult. Will she find steady ground on the island, surrounded by an eccentric-but-kindhearted group of older women called The Glynn Girls and a determined firefighter? Or will the truth splinter what’s left of her identity into pieces?

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The First of a Small Peek at What’s Coming Soon!!!!

I am introducing a new element to my blog. There will be teasers of upcoming book reviews (those not on tour or already published) with memes, blurbs or other catchy ways to introduce the upcoming books and reviews!

The first of these is starting today!!

I was privileged to have received an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of Cindy Woodsmall and (her daughter-in-law) Erin Woodsmall’s newest collaboration, As the Tide Comes In. The book, published by Waterbrook, releases August 21st.

I love this meme, in fact, all the memes created for this book are so pretty.

Look for the review on August 20th!!

Wednesday’s Words

Today’s Words Come from As the Tide Comes in by Cindy Woodsmall and her daughter-in-law Erin Woodsmall.

 

The book is scheduled to be released August 21st. I am honored to have been able to read an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) and will be publishing a review soon!

Monday’s Mention

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Amish Christmas at North Star by Cindy Woodsmall, Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark, Amanda Fowler and Katie Ganshert

One night four lives entered the world by the hands of an Amish midwife, just outside North Star, Pennsylvania.
Rebekah’s Babies, as they are called, are now grown adults and in four heartwarming novellas each young person experiences a journey of discovery, a possibility of love, and the wonder of Christmas.

Guiding Star by Katie Ganshert

Curiosity gets the best of Englischer Chase Wellington when he investigates the twenty-five-year-old disappearance of an Amish baby. When he finds adventurous Elle McAllister in Iowa will his discoveries upend her world?

Mourning Star by Amanda Flower

Eden Hochstetler slips from her parents’ fudge shop to investigate the death of her friend Isaac. Who is guilty? Isaac’s handsome great nephew Jesse, an angry Englischer, or someone else?
In the Stars by Cindy Woodsmall

Heartbroken Kore Detweiler avoids North Star after Savilla Beiler rejects his love. But when he is unexpectedly called to return home, he and Savilla must join forces to keep a family together.
Star of Grace by Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark

Andy Danner left North Star to join a new Amish settlement in Mississippi. His little brother devises a scheme to bring Andy home for Christmas and unwittingly unleashes the power of forgiveness in a reclusive widower’s life.

One eventful night in late November, at her home, Rebekah Schlabach helps four young mothers deliver their babies: Anna, Eden Hochstetler, Savilla Beiler and Andy Danner.

Chase Wellington works as a construction manager but is a reporter for the North Star Tribune as a side job. One day while helping his mother move he sees an article about four babies born during a record- setting blizzard in his hometown of North Star.

Intrigued, he decides to find out who and where they are.

Guiding Star by Katie Ganshert is the story of little Anna. Anna’s mother, Ruth, left Rebekah’s home before anyone – her husband or parents – were able to come for her. In the 25 years since she disappeared, no one has known where Anna went.

Eden Hochstetler is understandably upset when her good friend, Isaac, dies. Even though she should be helping her family with their fudge shop, she can’t let go of the feeling that there is more to her friend’s death than meets the eye. Mourning Star, by Amanda Flower, is a romantic mystery full of twists and turns that keep you guessing. (I love the play on words in the title, too!)

Cindy Woodsmall introduces us to Kore Detweiler and Savilla (Savvy) Beiler in her story In The Stars. Savvy broke up with Kore and broke both their hearts. However, she won’t tell him why. Kore left North Star vowing never to return, but when his grandmother is injured, he does. While there Savvy needs his help with a neighbor’s children and he can’t bring himself to turn her down, even though she hurt him.

The mother and daughter team of Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark wrote Star of Grace, about Andy Danner and his ex-girlfriend Nellie Umble. Nellie left North Star, and the Amish way of life shortly before she and Andy were to be married. Heartbroken, Andy leaves North Star for a job in Mississippi. However, his baby brother keeps pestering him to come home, something he emphatically does not want to do.

The epilogue written by Katie Ganshert completes the four stories in a wonderful and satisfying way.

Amish Christmas at North Star is an intriguing set of stories filled with forgiveness and acceptance for the individuals in the stories, even when under difficult circumstances.

I received this book from NetGalley and Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

The Harvest of Grace

The Harvest of Grace is book three of the Ada’s House novels, but don’t let that stop you from reading this engaging book.  Author Cindy Woodsmall briefly summarizes the backstory at the beginning.  Sprinkled throughout the book are details that enable the reader to jump right into the plot and not feel lost.

The book centers around Sylvia Fisher, a nontraditional Amish woman, no great surprise as she is the oldest of nine children, all girls.  Her greatest comfort and peace come from assisting her father in running their dairy farm.

Because of a cruel decision her husband to be makes and apparent lack of understanding and collusion on her father’s part,  Sylvia feels she must leave her home.  She moves several miles from home and hires on to assist another dairy farmer, Michael Blank.

Many of Sylvia’s dreams are being fulfilled as she assumes almost total control of Michael and Dora Blank’s nearly bankrupt farm.  Until Aaron, their wayward son, returns, life is almost perfect for Sylvia.

Aaron is determined to prevail upon his mother and invalid father to give up the farm. He’s convinced a move to the city with him is in their best interest. Disregarding everyone’s wishes, he plows on with his own agenda.

As Aaron and his father clash, Sylvia is caught in the middle.  An unexpected visitor and an agonizing confession throw her life into a tailspin.  As she allows God to give her peace in her life, she learns more about His love, forgiveness and mercy for all. But most of all, she learns to trust and rest in His “harvest of grace.”

I’ve not read the other two in Ada’s House but I have read other Cindy Woodsmall books and this one, like those, is a  winner.

To read an excerpt go to:

http://www.cindywoodsmall.com/books/adas-house-series/the-harvest-of-grace/excerpt/

I was provided this book free of charge by Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an unbiased opinion.
2012/06/26

The Harvest of Grace By Cindy Woodsmall

The Harvest of Grace is book three of the Ada’s House novels, but don’t let that stop you from reading this engaging book.  Author Cindy Woodsmall briefly summarizes the backstory at the beginning.  Sprinkled throughout the book are details that enable the reader to jump right into the plot and not feel lost.
The book centers around Sylvia Fisher, a nontraditional Amish woman, no great surprise as she is the oldest of nine children, all girls.  Her greatest comfort and peace come from assisting her father in running their dairy farm.
Because of a cruel decision her husband to be makes and apparent lack of understanding and collusion on her father’s part,  Sylvia feels she must leave her home.  She moves several miles from home and hires on to assist another dairy farmer, Michael Blank.
Many of Sylvia’s dreams are being fulfilled as she assumes almost total control of Michael and Dora Blank’s nearly bankrupt farm.  Until Aaron, their wayward son, returns, life is almost perfect for Sylvia.
Aaron is determined to prevail upon his mother and invalid father to give up the farm. He’s convinced a move to the city with him is in their best interest. Disregarding everyone’s wishes, he plows on with his own agenda.
As Aaron and his father clash, Sylvia is caught in the middle.  An unexpected visitor and an agonizing confession throw her life into a tailspin.  As she allows God to give her peace in her life, she learns more about His love, forgiveness and mercy for all. But most of all, she learns to trust and rest in His “harvest of grace.”
I’ve not read the other two in Ada’s House but I have read other Cindy Woodsmall books and this one, like those, is a  winner.
To read an excerpt go to:
I was provided this book free of charge by Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an unbiased opinion.