After I read one bad Beverly Lewis book after another, I promptly shelved any plans to read Woodsmall’s popular Amish series, Sisters of the Quilt. Then this morning as I was running around my room attempting to find a book to read during these last few days of senior year, I grabbed the first one my hand landed on and was apprehensive as I opened the book up during first period. I shouldn’t have been, and I shouldn’t have avoided When the Heart Cries for so long.
It’s a good, solidly written book that left me frantically turning the pages with tears in my eyes. When the Heart Cries is a compelling story that breaks your heart while at the same time filling you with hope for Hannah and her struggle against the world around her. I loved Hannah, truly cared for her, and felt for her as a person, but I also understood the point of view of her fiancé, Mennonite Paul, and sympathized with him — a task that’s difficult for any writer to master.
The book isn’t without its flaws, though, as it is slightly predictable in the beginning — girl is raped and becomes pregnant — but I think the Amish setting really places a spin on the story. There are more restrictions up Hannah and her child that typically would not be found in our society, disbelief about her being raped from the bishop all the way down to her father. Woodsmall shows the love and support of the close-knit Amish community, while at the same time demonstrating that the Amish lifestyle is not the idyllic lifestyle as it is often portrayed to be. Judgment exist in all religious circles, not only among the Amish, and rumors can take a vicious hold on a sister, a brother, a friend, a fiancé, a father, and a community.
- Woodsmall, Cindy. When the Heart Cries. Colorado Springs, Colo.: WaterBrook, 2006. Print. 328 pgs. ISBN: 9781400072927. Source: PaperBackSwap.