When The Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall
I wanted to love this book but I thought it was just ok. I typically breeze through books but this one took a while to read and I really had to force myself to finish it. It was horribly predictable. At the end of chapter 1 I already knew exactly how it would end. I don’t mind some predictability in a book but for every bit and piece to be easily predicted? It makes the book far too boring. Not to mention the utter negativity of the whole story. I kept hoping I was wrong in my assessments and that there would be happier experiences for the characters. But page after page was filled with heartache. This also contributed to my not really being interested in reading the book much.
There are several plots within the story but none of them really developed nor were they resolved by the end of the book. As this is only the first book in a series I guess the point is for you to read the other books as well to find out how everything really wraps up. But at least some small sense of closure would have been nice, I think. The main character is 17 year old Hannah Lapp, a girl raised in an Old Order Amish community. She falls in love with her neighbor’s grandson Paul who is a Mennonite. Naturally the families (particularly Hannah’s) do not approve. Despite this Paul asks Hannah to marry him and she accepts. And this very brief joy of the story comes to an abrupt halt the very day Paul proposes when Hannah is a victim of rape. The story follows her struggles to deal with the event and how her family and community react, as well as a series of other events that challenge the girl and make her question everything she’s ever known.