Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall

Reeling from an unexpected betrayal, can Sylvia find relief from the echoes of her past…or will they shape her future forever? 

Although Sylvia Fisher recognizes that most Old Order Amish women her age spend their hours managing a household and raising babies, she has just one focus—tending and nurturing the herd on her family’s dairy farm. But when a dangerous connection with an old beau forces her to move far from home, she decides to concentrate on a new start and pour her energy into reviving another family’s debt-ridden farm.
After months in rehab, Aaron Blank returns home to sell his Daed’s failing farm and move his parents into an easier lifestyle. Two things stand in his way: the father who stubbornly refuses to recognize that Aaron has changed and the determined new farmhand his parents love like a daughter. Her influence on Aaron’s parents could ruin his plans to escape the burdens of farming and build a new life.

Can Aaron and Sylvia find common ground? Or will their unflinching efforts toward opposite goals blur the bigger picture— a path to forgiveness, glimpses of grace, and the promise of love.

The Review:
My Ranking: 8 out of 10
Ages 14 & up

The Harvest of Grace is the third book in the Ada's House series. As you can tell from my review of The Bridge of Peace, I absolutely fell in love with Woodsmall's stories and love the subtle lessons in them. While I liked The Bridge of Peace more than it's sequel, The Harvest of Grace was immensely enjoyable and I couldn't put it down.

I really liked Sylvia's personality. Sweet with a nice bit of spunk and a love for doing things her way -- the right way. In tune with nature and quite the busy body, she reminded me of myself and I often found myself relating things I do to those she does.
Aaron was also very like able. I never really connected with him, but I still was able to enjoy his character and found him to be quite cute with Sylvia.

One thing that I had mix feelings about were the side characters, like Cara, Ada, Deborah, Ephraim, Jonathan, and Issac. While I loved each of these characters and their part of the story, it did seem to take away from Sylvi and Aaron's story a bit and I felt that I lost the feeling of the moment with Aaron and Sylvia because of having to jump from character to character. But this, perhaps, was just a personal preference and may not hold any bearing on other readers.

As for content, this book was pretty clean and dealt with only mild things, such as a past couple, one of whom is now married, kiss and immediately regret it and are horrified. The unmarried one leaves to help avoid temptation and has trouble forgiving herself and accepting that God forgives her actions.
There is a scene where a man mistakenly enters a house when a woman is bathing. It says he sees her "shoulders and head" and later when the story is retold the woman insures that she was covered in bubbles and he didn't see anything. She got out and chased him out of her house(though he was already running) but with a long jacket on.
Brief, only mildly described kisses.

All in all, this was a great book that I really enjoyed! Can't wait for the next book in the Ada's House series!

I received this free book in return for an honest review from Waterbrook Multnomah. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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Diana Flowers said...

Hey, sweetie! How is everything going for you since you graduated? I wanted to call your attention to something you said in your review. Harvest of Grace is actually the third book in the Ada's House series, not the second. First there was The Hope of Refuge in which Cara and Deborah were the main characters, and then The Bridge of Peace, and lastly Harvest of Grace. I guess that's why C. Woodsmall keeps bringing Cara back, since she was the central character in the series.

Anyway, I thought I would let you may want to read the first was great!

Diana Flowers said...

Oh, and BTW I haven't read Harvest of Grace yet so thank you for the review! I rated your review 5 stars because you are so refreshingly candid and honest, and there isn't anything about the book that is left out...even the sexuality which alot of reviewers ignore. You do a great job!

Jane said...

Ms. Diana,

OH! Wow I wonder how I missed that. Thank you SO much for bringing it to my attention. I will definitely have to look out for The Hope of Refuge.

Life as a graduate has been surprisingly...uneventful. Haha at sixteen, I'm not quite ready to get a job yet, so it has been interesting trying to find things to do to fill my spare time. Once school starts here it will be a bit better, as I now teach my brothers their main subjects.
Thanks for asking!

And once again, thank you! I am so glad that my reviews are useful for my readers. It's great hearing it! :)

Thanks for all of your encouraging comments!

- Kaity-Jane

Charity U said...

Love your reviews, Jane! This book is coming in the mail to me, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

Diana Flowers said...

I know how you missed that...there's only a zillion Amish series and 1/2 that many Amish authors. LOL! I'm getting so behind! I wonder how they can write them faster than I can read them.:) I, too, get them mixed up and have to search CBD. My 4 yr. old grandson is staying with us, so I guess that's why...doesn't leave alot of time for reading. I have managed to read and review at least 5 since he's been here, so I'm plodding along! Your brothers are blessed to be having such a lovely teacher, although they may not think so. haha I have 3 brothers so I know all about that! Blessings!

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