Thursday, November 4, 2010

Book Review: "The Hope of Refuge" by Cindy Woodsmall

Ada's House Book 1
The Hope of Refuge (Ada's House, Bk 1)
Book Description:

Can an Amish man help Cara find safety in a strange community with complex, unspoken ties to her family history?

Raised in foster care and now a widowed single parent, New Yorker Cara Moore struggles against poverty, fear, and a relentless stalker. When a trail of memories leads Cara and her daughter, Lori, away from the city toward an Amish community, she follows every lead, eager for answers to mysteries from her past and a fresh start. She quickly discovers that Dry Lake, Pennsylvania, is no place for an outsider. But one Amish man, Ephraim Mast, dares to fulfill the command he believes that he received from God -- "Be me to her" -- even though doing so threatens his way of life.

Fearful of the strange Englischer woman causing turmoil for her family, Ephraim's sister Deborah tries to focus ont he marriage and home she longs to begin with Mahlon Stoltzfus. Her dreams are threatened when her fiance begins behaving oddly, withdrawing, causing concern for both Deborah and Mahlon's mother, Ada. Will Ada's vison for transforming a run-down house unite them all in a common purpose -- or push Mahlon away forever?

Torn between the requirements of his community and trying to do what he believes is right, Ephraim risks losing everything, including a developing friendship with the guarded single mother. And only he knows that long-held secrets about her family history ripple beneath the surface of Dry Lake -- secrets with the power to tear apart the home Cara is desperately trying to create.

My Thoughts:

I loved this book!  It was everything I like about an Amish book.  It had a mixture of English and Amish to show the contrast of the two different ways of life.

The "coming home" feeling this story had was so compelling.  I longed for Cara to find a safe place and loving people to call home.

Ephraim was a great hero.  He was loyal to his family but when doing right differed from their opinion he stuck to his convictions and did what was God led him to do despite the consequences he would have to face from those in the Amish faith.  He let God rule over tradition.

I enjoyed getting to know the characters and the setting and am looking forward to reading more about them in rest of the series.

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