Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fraying at the Edge by Cindy Woodsmall

Fraying at the Edge is the second book in The Amish of Summer Grove series by Cindy Woodsmall. The first book, Ties That Bind, was the beginning of Ariana's journey of learning who she really is. Ariana Brenneman learned that she was switched at birth by accident in the first book. That story takes her on a wild journey of realizing that her whole world is crashing in around her.

Her biological father makes a deal with the Amish community that the Brenneman's are a part of. In exchange for not suing them (because the midwife who switched the two girls at birth is Amish) Ariana would come to live with him and the biological mother for one year while the biological daughter of the Brennaman's would come to live with them.

That is where we pick up in Fraying at the Edge. Ariana has come to live with Nicholas and Brandi (her biological parents). They don't live together and she finds out she has "step-siblings" (which is never heard of in the Amish community). She also learns that when she was conceived, her parents were not married at the time. This is devastating news to her.

During her year with her biological parents, the only person she is allowed to contact is Quill, an ex-Amishman who helps others leaving the Amish community. He is also an old friend of Arianas. No matter how hard she tries to avoid having contact with him, because of their past and her anger toward him in coordinating this whole debacle, she has no one else to turn to.

Her biological father, Nicholas, is very anti-Christian. He tells Ariana how wrong her religion is and it puts a wall between them. He also gives her a "bucket list" of things she must accomplish in the year she is with them. Some of the things will compromise her faith but she agrees to the rest. Some of the things are: get a drivers license, go out on a date, go to a bar. Amish people don't do any of those things.

As Ariana continues to get to know her biological family and overcomes a lot of fears and reservations about them, Skylar is "stuck" with her biological family, the Brennemans. Skylar grew up with Brandi and Nicholas as parents. She is addicted to drugs and lives a very hard life. In order to return to her bio parents she must stop doing drugs and get clean.

Little did Skylar know that no matter how hard she tries to push the Brennemans away, they love her and want her. The relationships are hard at first. Her drug addiction gets her into a lot of trouble and she can't seem to see how much she really means to the family. After a while, she realizes that this is her life now. She has peace about it and gets better.

So much happens in the course of three months that Nicholas decides it's okay for Ariana to return to the Amish and for Skylar to come home to them. But, there are lots of things that still need to be dealt with as each girl tries to come to terms with their new and changed lives. They realize that things are different and they may not be able to return and just be okay with their old lives.

Cindy Woodsmall is an amazing Amish fiction writer. I enjoy everything she writes and this new book is no exception. I am looking forward to the next installment of the Summer Grove Series.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*

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