"Gladden the Heart" Book Review

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Gladden the Heart Book Review

 (Amish Turns of Time #5)

by Olivia Newport 

Book Description:

“When you have experienced the Holy Ghost as I have, you would see that it is difficult to turn back.”

When the lively fervor of nineteenth century revivalism endangers the staid customs of the Amish community in the lush but rugged Kishacoquillas Valley of central Pennsylvania in 1847, the Amish church must deal with a divisive question: What is a genuine spiritual experience?

The question turns personal when Susanna’s beloved cousin Noah begins preaching while under trances and even though he is not a minister he gives long sermons that attract increasing attention. Curious, she helps to keep Noah safe during his trances. At the same time Adam, Susanna's intended, feels pressure from the bishop to speak out against the ways of revivalism.

Susanna and Adam are pushed to opposite sides of a controversy that threatens their traditional Amish faith..  Now they must grapple with whether love is possible...even if they come to different conclusions.
           
When Noah goes missing at a time of day when he often preaches while asleep, circumstances thrust community members with divergent opinions into a crisis that demands they recognize the humanity they share regardless of beliefs.  But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives? 

More in the Amish Turns of Time Series:
Wonderful Lonesome
Meek and Mild
Brightest and Bes
Hope in the Land

MY REVIEW:  This book is exciting and fresh!  I have many, many Amish novels and the plots are usually very similar.  Gladden the Heart presents a situation that I do not ever recall seeing in any of the works of Amish fiction that I've read.  Noah is not a preacher, but begins preaching while in trances and his wife seeks to keep him safe during these times.  The community is divided over this unusual thing and Adam is against it, while his girlfriend, Susanna, approves of Noah's preaching and helps her aunt to ensure his safety when he is in a trance.  I have never personally heard of someone who receives the Holy Spirit and is gifted with this amazing ability to preach the Word.  
        Noah and Adam both fear that their differences will keep them from marrying, but maybe they will work things out.  They could also split over their differences.
       Readers will anxiously read ahead to see what happens for Noah, Adam, and Susanna.   I highly recommend this book to others.  
       I am giving this book a 5-star rating.  
       I received an ebook of this selection from netgalley and Shiloh Run Press   in exchange 
for an honest review.

About the Author 



From  goodreads bip:
I’m imagining you. You walk past as I water my front flowerbeds and we wave. You check the time as we both stand in a long line at the grocery store. You sit in front of me in church. I’m at my table in the coffee shop and you’re at yours.

We may smile politely and move on with our separate lives. Or one of us may speak, a simple invitation to conversation, and the words flow between us.

Here the adventure begins. When we meet someone new, we never know where it might lead.

I’ve been married for over thirty years and have two twenty-something kids. We live in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where the day lilies in my back yard grow as tall as I am. (No short jokes, please.)

Not every piece of my life is pretty, though. Some days I want to throw out whole chunks. But I am living each day looking for the grace of God to me, in me, and through me. Having your companionship along the way will help uncover a lot of great stories.

Comments

  1. Hello Rhonda. I am a Pastor from Mumbai, Indian. I am glad to stop by your profile on the blogger and the blog post. I am glad to know that you send cards to minister others. I am also blessed and feel privileged and honored to get connected with the people of God around the globe to be encouraged, strengthened and praying for one another. I have been in the Pastoral ministry for last 38 yrs in this great city OF Mumbai a city with a great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the brokenhearted. We also encourage young and the adults from the west to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. We would love to have your young grown up children come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. I am sure they will have a life changing experience. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede. Looking forward to hear from you very soon. God's richest blessings on you, your family and friends.

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