One of my favorite things to do in my spare time is read. I love reading books, magazines, blogs, news articles, curriculum designs…I just love reading and learning new information. While I mostly read non-fiction material these days if I do take the opportunity to read some light-hearted fiction it is invariably Amish inspired Christian fiction. I’m not sure exactly why. Maybe it’s the wonder of a simpler culture or a desire for a more focused, less materialist lifestyle. For whatever the reason I recently found myself sucked into the latest by Cindy Woodsmall titled, The Harvest of Grace.
The Harvest of Grace is the 3rd book in Woodsmall’s “Ada’s House” Series. While you may miss a little of the story line getting into this book from the git-go, the author does a fantastic job preparing the reader for this book without prior series reading by including a summary of books one and two at the beginning and a description of the main characters at the back of the book. I have to say even I found myself wandering to the back of the book occasionally to get a character or two straight in my mind as there are several story lines to keep track of in this 3rd book.
Overall the book centers around one particular young Amish woman by the name of Sylvia Fisher. Sylvia is the youngest of an Amish farmer’s nine daughters. While the other daughters maintain the household etiquette and demeanor typical of that found in Amish society, Sylvia prefers the life of a dairy farmer, milking the family’s cows in the mornings and making sure they are fed and properly cared for. As the story begins, Sylvia is heavily involved in her father’s farm and even has hopes of inheriting a portion of it for her own one day. She also is contemplated a relationship with a certain Amish man by the name of Elam with whom she finds irresistibly handsome.
As the story unfolds, Sylvia finds herself needing to leave her family farm and escaping to a failing dairy farm in another Amish community some 70 miles away. When she lands at this dairy farm she puts her heart and soul into restoring it while the farmer’s son puts his heart and soul into trying to sale it so he can better provide for his parents by doing something he thinks he would better enjoy.
Without giving much more of the plot away, I will say there are lots of heartfelt sensative topics covered in this story that some often avoid discussing–everything from adultery to abandonment, foster care and stalkers, alcoholism and rejection of a loved one, birth defects and fertility testing, and more. I very much appreciate the way Woodsmall presents these topics in a non-threatening and life-changing way…a way that draws the eyes upward.
If I had to summarize this book in one sentence I would have to say, “my God is a God of second chances” (<-Tweet This) because in nearly every plot found in this book, couples and individuals are being given second chances to live again. If you are in need of a little light-hearted reading that can uplift your soul or some spiritual encouragement that God is a God of second chances then I highly recommend you pick up a copy of The Harvest of Grace. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
Note: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review although the opinions therein are purely my own.