Sunday, October 24, 2010

Review: When the Heart Cries

When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall is an engaging novel about 17 year old Hannah Lapp. In recent years, she's fallen in love with a young Mennonite named Paul Waddell, grandson of an elderly Mennonite woman she works for. The summer before his senior year of college, Paul asks Hannah to marry him and she accepts. Raised in a strict Old Order Amish home, Hannah has received pressure from her father to join the church and stay Amish. With Paul's reassurance she believes that her father's ideas about the Mennonite boy will change and she will be able to keep a relationship with her family, even after marrying Paul.

On the evening of their engagement, Hannah is raped. Unsure of what has happened to her, she staggers home and tells her parents of the events that have taken place. Almost ashamed, her father is unsure of how to handle the situation. Hannah refuses to tell the Bishop and wants to forget the night ever took place.

Shortly after Hannah's brutal attack, her brother, Luke and his soon to be wife, Mary are in a terrible buggy accident. Luke blames Hannah for the accident because she refused to go along to singing. If she had been with them, another route would have been taken home. Mary, also Hannah's best friend has months of rehabilitation and Hannah vows to help her recover.While caring for Mary, Hannah realizes that changes are beginning to take place within her body. She hopes that it is just because of the shocking events that have taken place lately, but could it be something more?

The community begins turning on Hannah, misinterpreting events that have taken place. Her sister also adds to the rumors and the community's distrust in her sister when she tells others her opinion of her sister. Will Hannah be able to save the relationship with her family and her community? Or have the events that have take place enough to break even the strongest relationship in Hannah's life?

I really enjoyed this book. While this was not always a happy book, I felt that it accurately described the character's feelings and perhaps the judgment that may follow in such a tight knit community. I also liked how the book stressed how events in ones life can often be twisted by others so that they may assume the worst. I loved the vivid description of the character's feelings and emotions. I am excited to read the rest of the series to see how things work out for Hannah.

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