In Ties That Bind, Arianna is a young Amish woman struggling to find the down payment for her first business. By purchasing the cafe, she can make a livelihood for herself and her family, enjoying what she does. Helping her is her twin brother, Abram, who is also wondering about his future as the girl he's been pursuing suddenly seems to shut him down. Things start to unravel when an old beau, Quill, returns to town. Known for helping the Amish leave the Old Order, Quill's presence sets Arianna to wondering who in her family could be leaving. But the mystery goes deeper than that as her parents begin to suspect she was switched at birth. Will she convince her family to continue in the Amish tradition? Or will it be Arianna who will find herself living among the English?
Cindy Woodsmall starts a new trilogy, The Amish of Summer Grove, with this book. Being book #1, it's a great set up of characters. Woodsmall's strength really is in character development and that shines in this book. Though over 300 pages, Ties that Bind sets up a thorough cast of characters without feeling slow or belabored. There is quite a few to keep track of with Arianna coming from a large family, courting, and being involved in an Amish community, but each character feels important, thought out, and identifiable.
As the story began to emerge, I wondered how just the first book could be so long without being redundant. However, once reading, I found that I still longed for more at the end of the book. I look forward to reading more in this series and discovering how Woodsmall will carry out this unique storyline. Definitely worth the read!
*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.