Sunday, July 2, 2017

Fraying at the Edge by Cindy Woodsmall

Being the second book in a series, this review is bound to have spoilers for the first book so read with caution if you tend to dislike spoilers like I do.

The third and last book in this series comes out next month so this is the best time to get and read the first two books both of which I highly recommend.

Fraying at the Edge continues the story started in the previous book beginning right as Ariana and Skylar are learning about the lives they were meant to have been a part of. Switched at birth, Ariana grew up Amish when she was supposed to have grown up in an American broken household, while the vice versa is true of Skylar.  Ariana experiences going to movies and malls, cutting her hair, wearing colorful clothing, driving a car, and going on a cultural road trip all for the first time while coping with whether she is going against the very literal faith she grew up learning in the Amish community. She also has to learn to love her birth father who is an atheist constantly trying to prove her faith wrong. Meanwhile, Skylar is coping with her drug addiction and losing faith in living life as the Amish lifestyle gently shows her another side to life.

The part that stuck out the most to me was the character development. Through Woodsmall's relaxed and simple writing style, the story played out dramatically in the minds of her characters. Ariana learns how to reconcile her faith with the positive and negative truths she finds in the real world, which is something powerful that we go through everyday as Christians. Skylar starts to find unconditional love in an unlikely place, while her Amish twin, Abram, finds friendship even amidst his rejection from the first book. I look forward to seeing the end result of their journey as it concludes in Gathering the Threads.

Additionally, as Ariana explores the normal world, I love the references to pop culture such as the Disney movies she watched. It makes the series feel more like it is really happening here in our time and part of the world especially for those who have not seen Amish Country or horse and buggy firsthand.

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