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Audiobook Review: Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall

Title: Gathering the Threads
Author: Cindy Woodsmall
Print Publisher: WaterBrook
Audio Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrator: Stina Nielsen
Published: August 2017
Series: The Amish of Summer Grove, Book 3
Genre: Amish Fiction
Length: 12 hours, 31 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

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.

My Thoughts on the Book:

Amish fiction is not my typical go-to reading choice. But this series is one that I’ve listened to with fascination. It’s one that I’d recommend both to fans of Amish fiction and to those readers of Christian fiction who aren’t normally into this subgenre. I’ve eagerly awaited Gathering the Threads ever since I listened to Ties that Bind and Fraying at the Edge, and I think this last book is also the best book in the series. But be aware, they really do need to be read in order, so no skipping ahead! 😉

As Ariana returns to her Amish roots, she sees her family and community with new eyes and new thoughts. She struggles to find a way to reconcile the new with the old, and figure out what she truly believes about her faith, family, and very identity. Her dilemmas feel all too real, and I feel for her, as her decisions bring her into conflict with the people she loves.

What I found most fascinating about this last book was the clear eyed look at some of the areas where Amish teachings can diverge from those of related faiths, and some of the problems that can arise. Overall, this is a very thought provoking series, and one that I think would make for fabulous discussion within a book group.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

I’ve listened to this whole series in audio format, and I’m so happy I did. Stina Nielsen does a wonderful job throughout the series of giving voice to the varied characters and their emotions. I particularly love the consistency from book to book. It has felt very much like revisiting old friends from one book to the next.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library. I was not expected to write a review, but I wanted to share how much I enjoyed the book.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | About the Series | Audio Sample | Author’s Site | Narrator’s Site