Sisters of the Quilt follows the heart wrenching journey of Hannah Lapp. Secretly engaged to a Mennonite, attacked by a stranger, and finding herself suddenly pregnant, Hannah struggles to find God in an Old Order Amish community. What unfolds is a series of unfortunate events, some resulting from her own mistakes and some a consequence of the world beyond her control. Along the way, she finds friendship in those who dare defy the bishop: a childhood friend, a midwife, and her ex-financee's grandmother to name a few.
Finally pushed to the brink, Hannah leaves her community in search of an aunt she never knew. Her life takes several twists, each leading her further and further into the Englisher world. She learns to drive, finds work at a local clinic, and even continues her education. But when tragedy strikes, she finds herself alone once again and forging a new path.
Just when her place in the world seems certain, a mysterious phone call from her sister calls her home. Caught between two very different worlds, Hannah feels pulled. As she struggles to help her family, an old flame is ignited while old rumors threaten to her identity. Hannah must decide where her life is: back with the Old Order Amish or living the life of an Englisher.
Cindy Woodsmall does it again, delving deep into her characters. Although these books center around Hannah Lapp, Woodsmall creates a full community of well-rounded characters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The story pulls you in until you find yourself struggling alongside these individuals. I found myself swinging from anger and frustration one minute to resolution the next, and back to empathy quickly thereafter.
The author also steers clear of defined "good guys" and "bad guys." Instead the entire community of both the Old Order Amish and the modern world displays both admirable qualities and character flaws. Even Hannah's father who turns his back on her for an attack she couldn't prevent reveals himself to be very human and struggling with his own limitations.
I reviewed this book as a complete trilogy and couldn't put it down. The three books read more like a whole and held my attention to the very end. A story of fighting back from life, falling into the arms of grace, and realizing the Lord is with us through it all. If you enjoy reading in the Amish genre, you'll love this one. A great addition to any library!
*I was supplied with a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books. All opinions are my own.