After receiving a desperate and confusing call from her sister, Hannah Lapp reluctantly returns to the Old Order Amish community of her Pennsylvania childhood. Read more...
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After receiving a desperate and confusing call from her sister, Hannah Lapp reluctantly returns to the Old Order Amish community of her Pennsylvania childhood.
Having fled in disgrace more than two years earlier, she finally has settled into a satisfying role in the "Englischer" world. She also has found love and a new family with the wealthy Martin Palmer and the children she is helping him raise. But almost immediately after her arrival in Owl s Perch, the disapproval of those who ostracized her, including her headstrong father, reopens old wounds.
As Hannah is thrown together with former fiance Paul Waddell to work for her sister Sarah s mental health, hidden truths surface about events during Hannah s absence, and she faces an agonizing decision. Will she choose the "Englischer" world and the man who restored her hope, or will she heed the call to return to the Plain Life and perhaps to her first love?
"When the Soul Mends" is the third and final book in the Sisters of the Quilt series."
Glance at any inspirational fiction shelf these days, and you're sure to run across at least one Amish-themed book. Series from authors like Beverly Lewis, Wanda E. Brunstetter and Lauraine Snelling are all regulars on Christian fiction bestseller lists. The books are easily recognizable: series titles include the words "sister" or "daughter"; covers almost always bear the image of a woman in an old-fashioned white bonnet, staring wistfully into the distance. Every Christian publisher has at least one Amish series to its credit. Thomas Nelson chimed in last month with Plain Perfect from debut novelist Beth Wiseman. Her editor, Natalie Hanemann, says the genre "provides an environment that is centered on God, making it a perfect landscape for Christian fiction."
Other aspects of the Amish lifestyle make it intriguing to readers. "Everyone loves a good romance story, but the perceived simplicity of the Amish community moves it away from the common stresses of our everyday life," says Shannon Marchese, an editor at WaterBrook who works with Cindy Woodsmall on the Sisters of the Quilt series, including her recent release When the Soul Mends. "We can imagine a 'loftier' romantic story for these people who still travel by buggy."
Both editors say the future of the genre is bright, and see it diversifying (secular publishers like MIRA Books have also had success with Amish stories). "Amish is beginning to mix with other genressuspense and mystery, for example," says Hanemann. "I personally love these books and would be thrilled to bring on more authors who write well . . . the competition is stiff, but the readers' appetites seem to be insatiable!"