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Fraying at the Edge ~ Review

Fraying at the Edge
Amish of Summer Grove #2
By Cindy Woodsmall

For twenty years Ariana knew she was a Brenneman. And she was as Amish as she could be with her certainty that whatever those in authority said was the truth. But in an unexpected twist, she discovered that what she knew to be true was not as black and white as she had always believed. Her parents weren't her birth parents and she had no siblings. And the beliefs she had always held in highest regard were being attacked to her face and she wasn't allowed to be who she had always been. And worse, another young woman, a Skylar Nash was supposed to be living the life she had had. But Ariana was willing to be separated from the people she knew and loved to protect them from the man she had discovered was her biological father.

Meanwhile, Skylar is having issues of her own - no technology of any kind, banishment to the 18th century, sharing a bedroom, and no access to pills (to help her cope). And to top it all off the Brenneman's aren't that happy to see her thanks to her not being their precious Ariana. And they expect her to work like the rest of the family. But the Brenneman's is better than her other option rehab. But Skylar's biggest issue is that her not parent parents were more than eager to throw her over for a chance at a better daughter.

For both Ariana and Skylar life has just become so confusing as they struggle to make sense of who they are with their switched at birth identities revealed. And Ariana's siblings are having to find their new place without Ariana around to carry the load and make things better. The one hardest hit with the change is Abram - Ariana/Skylar's twin. And then there is Ariana's just purchased cafe that the Brenneman's are left with operating after two weeks of Ariana's guidance. Can we just say potential disaster in the making?

As Ariana and Skylar both confront the changes that life has just thrown at them they both have choices to make. And these choices could either make or break them. And for Ariana, her only hope of holding onto what makes her who she is is if she can withstand the pressures that Nicholas is placing on her. And to do that she will need to reach out to the one person who knows what she is going through - Quill Schlabach. But can Ariana trust someone who left the faith and broke her heart five years ago? And can she hold firm to who she is while being made to take part in a world she never wanted to know? And can Skylar use this separation from the world to get her life straightened out and get clean?

This the second book in the Amish of Summer Grove series continues the theme of family and familial ties. But this time it focuses more on what makes an individual a part of a family is it blood ties, the ties of rearing, or is it a decision made of the heart? And the back and forth between Ariana and Nicholas on matters of faith and belief makes for some interesting exchanges and Quill's insights offer even greater insights.

This book is both intriguing and thoughtful. But if you haven't read book 1 Ties that Bind you have to read it first! Much of this book would lose something without the backstory provided in book 1, though there is a The story so far... synopsis to refresh the reader's memory if needed. This is an excellent book that examines life and how circumstances play a part in our lives but the biggest influence on anyone is the choices they make. I highly recommend this book and anticipate the concluding book in this series Gathering the Threads which is releasing on August 15, 2017.

I was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:
Family, community, faith, and love.
These “quilt blocks” sewn together made Ariana’s beautiful life.
When they are pulled to pieces,
will anything familiar remain?

The Old Order Amish life Ariana Brenneman loved vanished virtually overnight with the discovery that she was switched at birth twenty years ago. Now she’s immersed in the Englischer world, getting to know her mother and under the authority of her biological father, an atheist intellectual with resolute plans to expand Ariana’s worldview. Only Quill Schlabach, a childhood friend living Englisch, can steady the tilting ground between Ariana’s two worlds, but can she trust him after so many betrayals?

At the same time, Skylar Nash is forced to choose rehab or spend several months with her true relatives, the large Brenneman family and their seemingly backward life—no electricity, no technology, no fun. What the young woman can’t leave behind is her addiction to illegal prescription drugs and a deep emptiness from the belief that she doesn’t belong in either family.

New ties are binding Ariana and Skylar to the lives they were meant to have. Can they find the wisdom and strength they’ll need to follow God’s threads into unexpected futures?

Fraying at the Edge is the second novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.