Lena Kauffman is a young Old Order Amish schoolteacher who has dealt all her life with attention raised by a noticeable birthmark on her cheek. Having learned to move past the stares and whispers, Lena channels her zest for living into her love of teaching. But tensions mount as she is challenged to work with a rebellious young man and deal with several crises at the schoolhouse that threaten her other students. Her lack of submission and the use of ideas that don't line up with the Old Ways strengthen the school board's case as they begin to believe that Lena is behind all the trouble. One member of the school board, Grey Graber, feels trapped by his own stifling circumstances. His wife Elsie has shut him out of her life, and he doesn't know how long he can continue to live as if nothing is wrong. As the two finally come to a place of working toward a better marriage, tragedy befalls their family. Lena and Grey have been life-long friends but their relationship begins to crumble amidst unsettling deceptions, propelling each of them to finally face their own secrets. Can they both find a way past their losses and discover the strength to build a new bridge?My Review
I have enjoyed a few of Cindy Woodsmall's books, and though this is book # 2 in Ada's House series, it could easily be a stand-alone book. From the first page Cindy capture's the reader's imagination as she paints a vivid picture of the Amish lifestyle and the country they live in. She portrays their way of life in a very realistic and gentle way. I appreciated the fact that Cindy did not shy away from some of the hard situations that we all find ourselves in, as well as the handicaps we have, whether visible as Lena's birthmark, or hidden attitudes, such as of the school board members. Grow along with the characters as they find their way through the circumstances they face. Learn how the Amish live, and learn to lean on their Teacher, God, with them together. This book will capture your heart. I found it hard to put down. I recommend this book to the young adult reader and to the avid reader as well as the occasional reader. Enjoy.