The Bridge of Peace by Cindy Woodsmall
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is the 2nd in Cindy Woodsmall's Ada's House series of Amish novels. It's the story of Lena Kauffman, a single schoolteacher in an Old Order Amish community, facing both a challenging "scholar" in her classroom and a hostile school board ready to dismiss her for her independent ways. The trouble is that Lena isn't aware another enemy is lurking at every corner.
I haven't read anything by Cindy Woodsmall before. The author information page states that the author has a good grasp on the Amish community because of real-life family connections. So I was quite surprised when her characters didn't seem to fit the Amish stereotype, for lack of a better word, I have in mind. I've read several Amish novels written by another well-known writer, and her characters are vastly different in comparison. Woodsmall's characters seemed informal in their conversations, hardly an actual mention of God, and there were things the characters did that I just couldn't imagine the Amish would condone.
I found myself confused for the first 100 pages, too. There were so many different characters who were related to one another in some fashion, and I couldn't keep them straight. I believe it might be best to read the first book in the series before reading this one, in order to know who is whom. Once I caught on to the family and friend relationships, the story finally took off for me and gained momentum.
I truly wanted to love this book when I began, but I didn't. The story was somewhat interesting and a bit unpredictable, but I probably won't recommend it to my friends because it just didn't grab me. This one didn't quite compare to other Amish novels I've read and enjoyed. I will probably pass on others written by Woodsmall.
I wish to thank Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a favorable review. The opinions expressed here are my own.