Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Hope of Refuge by Cindy Woodsmall REVIEWED and GIVE AWAY!!

“They were trained to shut out the world and all its trappings, but sometimes, in trying to avoid ungodliness, they shut out the wrong things.” (p.195)

I think it is not so uncommon for Christians to judge others too quickly, based on little more than appearances or a few unrighteous acts, and forever miss the blessings they would have received had they taken the time to look a little deeper into a situation. My husband has often reminded me: “Don’t be so quick to judge, because you don’t know what God is doing in their life.” I have found that there are indeed many blessings to be received, as well as opportunities to bless others, if I love others as Christ commanded rather than judge them unfairly.

Cindy Woodsmall’s latest novel The Hope of Refuge explores this idea not only from the Amish viewpoint but that of an unsaved Englischer as well. Cara Moore arrives in Dry Lake, Pennsylvania with nothing but the clothes on her back and a daughter that carries part of an address in her backpack. Trying to survive the best way she can, Cara winds up with nothing between herself and losing her child except the kindness of a total stranger.

Ephriam Mast is struggling beneath the load of caring for his ailing father’s large family. He has never found someone to share his life with, and it looks as if he may always live beneath another man’s responsibilities. When he finds Cara and her daughter Lori living hand to mouth in his barn his spirit is given an unusual but clear directive from God to show Christ’s love to this broken woman and her daughter no matter the cost. Knowing that the decisions he must make will forever alter his standing within the Amish community, Ephriam chooses to obey the Lord and face the elders of his community with only the assurance in his heart that he is doing what is right.

Ephriam’s sister Deborah is also struggling to do what is best for the relationship she shares with her fiancé, Mahlon Stoltzfus. As the only child, Mahlon is also bound with family responsibilities that first belonged to his father. He loves Deborah desperately, but he has become restless and unsure of what the future holds and what his role in the Amish community should be. Deborah’s love for Mahlon is strong enough to let him explore his feelings, but she is afraid that it may cost her heart a price greater than she can bear.

Throughout this tightly woven story of these three families, the reader begins to see a beautiful picture of what it means to love others as Christ first loved us. Sometimes there is pain involved in loving someone that way, and instead of hiding the pain amid rules and quick judgements, and each character must honestly face themselves and their own heart’s desires as they make choices that will forever alter the path of their life. There are a few secrets that emerge along the way, and they only serve to make the story richer and the ending more satisfying.

Cindy Woodsmall is by far my favorite Amish story teller. The Hope of Refuge is the beginning of her new Ada’s House series, and it will engage your heart and soul from the very first page. The ending is fabulous, because it satisfies the reader while leaving a myriad of possibilities open for exploration in books to follow. Cindy doesn’t neatly resolve all of the conflicts in her stories, and that makes me appreciate her writing all the more. As Christians, we all have a Refuge in the storms of life, and Cindy allows that hope to shine brightly and realistically in her latest novel. The Hope of Refuge gets only my highest recommendation!

I have an extra copy of this terrific book to give away!! So please leave your name and contact information on this post to be entered to WIN a FREE copy of this book!!

To learn more about this award winning author, please go HERE or click on the picture to watch a great interview!

New York Times bestselling author Cindy Woodsmall is on tour, and she may be coming to a city near you! Don’t miss your opportunity to meet Cindy and have her sign her newest title The Hope of Refuge at one of the following events.

Tuesday, August 11 7 – 8:30pm

Barnes & Noble

5141 Peachtree Parkway, The Forum
Norcross, Georgia 30092
(770) 209-4244

Wednesday, August 12 7 – 8pm

Barnes & Noble Opry Mills

515 Opry Mills Drive
Nashville, Tennessee 37214
(615) 514-5000

Thursday, August 13 6 – 8pm

Barnes & Noble

2540 Futura Pkwy. #135
Plainfield, Indiana 46168
(317) 838-7941

Friday, August 14 6 – 8pm

Barnes & Noble

1550 West 75th
Downers Grove, Illinois 60516
(630) 663-0181

Saturday, August 15 1 – 3pm

Baker Books

2768 East Paris Ave SE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546-6139

(616) 957-3110

Sunday, August 16 2 – 4pm

Barnes & Noble Booksellers

3700 Rivertown Parkway Ste. 2058
Grandville, Michigan 49418
(616) 531-1825

Monday, August 17 7 – 8:00pm

Barnes & Noble Booksellers

1739 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, Ohio 43212
(614) 298-9516

Tuesday, August 18 7– 8:30pm

Joseph Beth Booksellers

2705 E. Carson Street
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15203
(412) 381-3600

Wednesday, August 19 6 – 8pm

Hackman’s Bible Book Store

1341 Mickley Road
Whitehall, Pennsylvania 18052-4610
(610) 264-8600

Thursday, August 20 1 – 3pm

Rachel’s Country Store (Amish dry goods store)

6352 McClays Mill Road
Newburg, Pennsylvania 17240
(717) 530-9452

Can’t make the tour? You can still follow Cindy’s adventures on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter. See you there!


adge said...

I've seen the TV special... that was interesting. I haven't read a book by this author but I have read Beverly Lewis. Please enter me in the contest. Thank you!


Katherine said...

This book looks REALLY good.
Please enter me for this drawing.


It's a Mom Thing said...

I have just read the first two Sisters of the Quilt books and am waiting for the third book at the library. I'm dying to know what happens.

So, I'm really excited about this new series and woudl love to win.


Merry said...

I'd love a chance to win The Hope of Refuge. Cindy is a terrific author!

Kim said...

CONGRATULATIONS Katherine! Be watching for my email!!