Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"When the Heart Cries" Review

When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall was sent to me as a review copy by WaterBrook Press through their Blogging for Books program. It is the first book in the “Sisters of the Quilt” series by this author.
Seventeen-year-old Hannah Lapp, raised in an Old Order Amish family, has done the unthinkable:  she has fallen in love with a Mennonite. Paul Waddell is in love with her as well, and he has asked Hannah to marry him as soon as he finishes his final year in college.
But everything comes crashing down after a traumatic event, and all Hannah thought she knew is destroyed. This event leads to questions that the Old Order ways cannot answer, and Hannah risks losing her family and even her one true love.

Read an excerpt from this book here.
This first book in the “Sister of the Quilt” series by Cindy Woodsmall was published several years ago, but it became available again for review at Blogging for Books. Since I have read a couple of other books by this author, I thought I would see how I liked this Amish series.
I thought this book was written well because, even though I didn’t exactly relate to the characters, I was still able to feel their emotions and their experiences. This can be seen as a positive (and I do think it is a positive thing to be able to feel what the characters feel), but this can also be a negative. Because this book deals with some difficult subjects, it was sometimes really hard to read. It was depressing at times, and I was extremely frustrated with the way this Amish community related to each other.
Even though I thought this book was written well, there was just an overall feel to it that bothered me. The community and Hannah’s family were extremely harsh, and this decreased my enjoyment of the book. There was no spirit of forgiveness among this community, especially for something that wasn’t even Hannah’s fault.
There were a few characters that I did enjoy. Paul, Mary, and Matthew seemed to be the only characters in the book that had any compassion at all. I was also interested in the story, even though the characters (especially Hannah's father) sometimes frustrated me to no end.  
It’s hard for me to say for sure whether I liked this book or not. Is it fair for me to say that I didn’t like a book because I disliked some of the characters? To me, that is the sign of a well-written book – the author has crafted a story that makes me empathize with the main character and feel her frustrations. But, at the same time, the book was sometimes difficult to read because of the harshness of the characters.
Although I had mixed feelings about this book, the story (even the parts that were harsh) is compelling, and I am interested to see where the next books in the series take us.
I will give When the Heart Cries … 3 BookWorms.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Press through their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. This sounds like an interesting book. Great review!

    Hugs and have a Happy New Year!!! :O)

  2. I have this book on my TBR, planning to read it sometime this year. I know what you mean about sometimes dislikable characters making a book all the more realistic and other times just making it difficult to enjoy a book. It's interesting which way it works out in that respect sometimes.