Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Review: Gathering the Threads

Gathering the Threads
By Cindy Woodsmall
Amish of Summer Grove #3
WaterBrook 2017


Finally back in the Old Order Amish world she loves, will Ariana’s new perspectives draw her family closer together—or completely rip them apart?

After months away in the Englisch world, Ariana Brenneman is overjoyed to be in the Old Order Amish home where she was raised. Yet her excitement is mixed with an unexpected apprehension as she reconciles all she’s learned from her biological parents with the uncompromising teachings of her Plain community. Although her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, hopes to help her navigate her new role amongst her people, Ariana’s Daed doesn’t understand why his sweet daughter is suddenly questioning his authority. What will happen if she sows seeds of unrest and rebellion in the entire family?

Meanwhile, Skylar Nash has finally found her place among the large Brenneman family, but Ariana’s arrival threatens to unravel Skylar’s new identity—and her sobriety. Both Ariana and Skylar must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart.

Gathering the Threads is the third and final novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.

Learn more, read an excerpt, and purchase a copy.

My thoughts

Gathering the Threads is an incredible story, a moving and thought-provoking conclusion to an equally incredible series. Characterization is rich, the plot engaging. The writing is powerful and impressive, as is the storyline. This is not your typical Amish story, but rather a relationship drama involving two families who find their lives and belief systems turned upside down. Each novel in this series flows into the next, but Gathering the Threads can be read as a standalone because sufficient background is provided early on.

Searching for identity and where to belong are key elements, as is legalism vs. grace. That Ariana and Skylar had been switched at birth wasn’t revealed until their 20th birthdays, and each family desires to know their biological child. Barriers to the outside world fall, and what was once separate now becomes blended. Ariana returns to her Amish family, surprised to realize that it no longer feels like home. While Ariana questions Amish spiritual traditions, the selfish Skylar tries to weaken Ariana’s position in the family.

Don’t be swayed from reading this just because you might not care for Amish fiction, because the whole series is so much more. Truth is relevant to everyone, for all time – and that is the concept presented in this story. Truth opens eyes and speaks to the heart, encouraging questions about human teaching and doctrines. Truth sets us free. Of all that Ariana was exposed to, her greatest joy was in discovering that God could speak to her heart through the Bible without the Ordnung’s legalism.

In the same way that the title is analogous to sewing, Gathering the Threads brings all the physical and spiritual threads together in one beautifully woven pattern. I doubt I’ll ever forget this story.

Highly recommended.

I was provided a free copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.



Cindy Woodsmall is the “New York Times” and CBA best-selling author of nineteen works of fiction and non-fiction with more than a million copies sold. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured in national media outlets such as ABC’s “Nightline,” the “Wall Street Journal,” and a National Geographic documentary on Amish life.

Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains.

Find out more about Cindy at http://www.cindywoodsmall.com.



  1. Great review, Carole! My book club is discussing Gathering The Threads on Thursday evening. I'm going to include your thoughts in our discussion.

  2. Great review! This sounds like a interesting book.