I thoroughly enjoyed Fraying at the Edge: The Amish of Summer Grove, Book 2 by Cindy Woodsmall! What would you do if you were a modern person, fully relying on technology and all the “essentials”, found out that you were actually born to Amish parents and you were sent to live amongst them for a year without any of the modern conveniences? Take it a step further and what would you do if you were completely born and raised Amish, living in a world of horses and buggies and kerosene lanterns and candles and found out you were born to “Englisch” parents and sent to live in a modern world for a year? This novel explores just that aspect.
Ariana Brenneman loves being Amish and is engaged to an Amish man and has every intention on marrying him and raising a large family with him. Her world is shaken when one of her ex-best friends sees a woman who looks very much like her sister and investigates into it further only to find out that the woman actually was the birth daughter of the Brenneman’s and due to a freak accident, the babies were switched shortly after birth and the wrong baby went home with the wrong mom. Fast forward 20 years, and Ariana is immersed in her society, but her control-freak biological father either wants Ariana to come live in the Englisch world with him and her birth mother for a year or else he threatens to take measures against her Amish parents. Being brought up how she was, she acquiesces since he is her father and is sent into a world she never imagined living in.
Skylar Nash is the child of a broken home. She can’t remember a time when her parents were ever together and she feels over-controlled by them. Unable to take the pressure and needing some kind of respite, she becomes an addict of prescription drugs. During this time, she finds out that her parents aren’t actually her birth parents and she is given the option to either go to rehab for awhile… or to live with her biological Amish parents for a year. She can’t imagine any worse options, but chooses to live with them. She exposes her Amish family to things they have never thought they would have to deal with, but eventually, a general tolerance and even borderline love win over.
These two women are left to figure out whether they want to stay in their current worlds, or go back to the world they are brought up in, with the parents who brought them up.
This was a page turner from the very first page to the last line of the novel! Having children myself, I am usually not able to read a novel so quickly currently, but I had this novel read in less than a week. The only downside to this novel is it leaves off with a huge cliffhanger and being that this novel was just released days ago, I now have to wait until the next novel in the series is released to see more of the full story. I haven’t personally read the first book in the series yet, although I plan to do so soon, but I feel from the way the book started out, that this is one of those series where you definitely should start with the first book. Cindy Woodsmall fills you in enough at the beginning of book 2 that you don’t necessarily have to read the first, but I have the sneaking suspicion that this story is actually started before this book, and since I usually enjoy the full story, I should have started with the first book. This is a book that would be best for readers who are high school age and up. There is not anything necessarily that is bad for younger readers and if one of my children (who are pre-teen) picked it up, I wouldn’t have a problem with them reading it. The book does deal with drug addiction a little bit in Skylar’s character, which is what makes me feel that maybe a younger chapter book reader would have a bit of a hard time understanding that concept. Fantastic book though, and I highly recommend it!
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WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.