Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book Review: "Hope Crossing"

I’m so glad I waited, well, unintentionally, to read the complete Ada’s House Trilogy by Cindy Woodsmall compiled into one book. Hope Crossing contains The Hope of Refuge, The Bridge of Peace, and The Harvest of Grace—three separate but connected stories. They build on each other in a unique and just-right way.

In The Hope of Refuge, readers meet Cara and Deborah and Ada. Their stories, especially Cara’s begin to unfold. The book ends on a satisfying note, but the story picks up again in The Bridge of Peace. In this book, however, we get to know Lena. Her story joins with the others; the community grows. In The Harvest of Grace, we meet Sylvia and read her story as the stories of the first four women continue to a perfect ending for all.

As in all of Woodsmall’s books, her characters experience some seriously intense moments which can cause high anxiety in the reader. Yet Woodsmall has a gift for gently turning each situation around, unexpectedly and at just the right time. Characters in this trilogy must deal with grief, addiction, homelessness, abandonment, abuse, stalkers, infidelity, birth defects, low self-esteem, and more. They must learn who they are, how to overcome their circumstances, trust in God, and how to forgive. Woodsmall also puts a strong emphasis on equality and teamwork among men and women. All of her characters are (or become) independent and strong, yet faithful contributors to their community.

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers sent me a complimentary copy of Hope Crossing in exchange for this honest review. I enjoyed reading the trilogy and recommend it to Amish fiction fans.

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