When the Heart Cries (Sisters of the Quilt, Book 1)

by Cindy Woodsmall

Paperback, 2006



Call number



WaterBrook (2006), 336 pages

Original publication date



Fiction. Literature. Christian Fiction. HTML: Despite being raised in a traditional Old Order Amish family, seventeen-year-old Hannah Lapp desires to break with custom, forgo baptism into the faith, and marry outside the cloistered community. She's been in love with Mennonite Paul Waddell for three years, and before returning to college for his senior year, Paul asks Hannah to be his wife. Hannah accepts, aware that her marriage will change her relationship with her family forever. On the evening of their engagement, tragedy strikes and in one unwelcome encounter, all that Hannah has known and believed is destroyed. As she finds herself entangled in questions that the Old Ways of her people cannot answer, Hannah faces the possibility of losing her place in her family, in her community-and in the heart of the man she loves..… (more)


Original language


Physical description

336 p.; 8 inches


1400072921 / 9781400072927

User reviews

LibraryThing member judyblue
This series is one of my favorite. I would highly recommend these books, especially if you also like to read Beverly Lewis and Wanda Brunstetter. So many interesting characters in this book and the two that follow.
LibraryThing member Kegsoccer
What that "unwelcome encounter" really is:

You know how books and movies often come with warnings for rape and violence? This one didn't come with a warning, and as a result I was very upset when I read what happened to Hannah. And I'm sorry if this spoils the book for people, but I wish somebody
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had spoiled me-- I might have skipped this series, or at least have been prepared when it happened.

I was VERY surprised. The story started off normally, but that "unwelcome encounter" (as it is called on the book's backcover) really surprised me. I really wasn't expecting something so horrible to happen, especially since the back cover really fails to impress upon you the terribleness of the situation. I don't know how anyone can call rape an "unwelcome encounter."

This is the reason for my low rating of the book. If I wanted to read a book about rape and recovery, I'd read it. And I have read it, as it is a subject visted again and again by countless authors. Because I understand that rape happens. I don't want to sweep it under the rug and never talk about it, or make victims feel like it was their fault--because it most definitely is not their fault. But I'm not sure I would have picked this up if I had known what was going to happen. I don't usually like to spend most of my reading with my eyes blurred from tears- which is what happened continuously as I read this.

Like the others, I'll be picking up the next book to find out what happens to Hannah, which I suppose was the author's goal.

But after this I won't be reading any more by this author. This book really turned me off and I'm not sure I'd recommend it to anyone looking for light-hearted Amish fiction. And isn't that why we read Amish fiction? To escape from our own world, to a place of kind and loving people who, while they have their own difficulties and struggles, fall in and out of love like the rest of us as they attempt to find their true place in lfe?

The sisters of the Quilt series continues with:
When the Morning Comes (Sisters of the Quilt, Book 2)
When the Soul Mends (Sisters of the Quilt, Book 3).

I can definitely recommend:
Hidden (Sisters of the Heart, Book 1),
Wanted (Sisters of the Heart, Book 2), and
The Parting (The Courtship of Nellie Fisher, Book 1)
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LibraryThing member inkstained
I expected this to be complete fluff like most of Christian fiction I've read, but found instead an emotionally complex story that was skillfully written. It's hard to believe that this is the author's first novel. I recommend this to readers who typically prefer literary fiction and are leery
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about Christian fiction. While maintaining the books' Christian roots, the author does not fall into the trap of sugarcoating things that many Christian authors do, and I found that refreshing.
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LibraryThing member ElianaHephzibah
The old addage "Don't judge a book by its cover" certainly applies very literally to this work of fiction. I read this book because it was the selection of the month for a book club I recently became a part of. Honestly, because of the cover and the description on the back I thought this would be a
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lot of idyllic utopian meanderings filled with Christianease. But an open mind won over the cynicism, and the first few pages did feel like things were going that way but then....

All I will say is, boy was I wrong! This book is gut wrenchingly intense and deep. I am a survivor of the major traumas described in this book and I will say, the author really knows what goes on in the minds, bodies, and souls of victims of these terrible kinds of events. She describes the feelings that are experienced with harrowing accuracy. Because of having suffered these same things myself, this book was very difficult for me to read but it was also very therapeutic, helping me connect with emotions I had walled off. While this is not fun, it is a necessary part of the healing process.

This book is the first in a trilogy and it is a good thing because the story is not wrapped up at the end. I ordered the next two when I was about halfway finished with this one and am awaiting their arrival.

I want to offer my deep gratitude to Cindy for being a voice for those the world would rather not acknowledge. To the skeptical reviewer who said these events were unbelievable or unrealistic, I say that I so wish they were. I stand as a witness to sadly testify that there are those of us who have been through all of these things and more.
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LibraryThing member CatholicLibrarian
Amish fiction is my favorite new genre, and for a first novel, this author does an admirable job. She has an excellent writing style, and the book certainly kept me wondering about what was going to happen. That being said, the twists in the story were a bit over the top, in my opinion. I found a
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lot of it quite unbelievable, which tainted the novel a bit for me. I was annoyed with some of the characters toward the end, and I ended up skimming some sections because I found the characters' reactions to be so utterly absurd. Instead of the idyllic Amish lifestyle of Beverly Lewis' books, this was a bit like an Amish soap opera. That being said, I did get the second book from the library, so I am interested to see how things turn out for Hannah.
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LibraryThing member littleflwers
This was a wonderful tale of Hannah an Amish girl who suffers a truely awful experience. Have your tissues ready. Parts of this book are just heartbreaking. You learn so much about Amish traditions and the old way of doing things. You see how her family and community react to her assault and how
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they view her. Instead of helping her through this, they literally turn thier back on her and consider her (my words) "dirty". You really feel for this poor girl. You just want to scoop her up and cuddle her and tell her its not her fault and she will be alright. There are other great characters of importance in the story and I assume that these will be addressed in future books. As for Hannah she is so confused and hurt that she runs away. She has no idea about the world she has run to. Without giving much more away, I suggest you read this book. It was well written with great characters. It will teach you things that you may not know about the Amish and thier views and traditions. It was a great story and a great learning experience as well
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LibraryThing member busy91
Who said that the Amish live a simple life?

I was not sure what to expect when I borrowed this book. The reviews I saw were all stellar, so I thought I'd at least give the first book a try. The first chapter was OK, I thought I may have to put it down. I didn't want to read about milking cows and
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young love.

But then....Excuse my French but JESUS CHRIST! Chapter 2 grabbed me by the throat and it never let up. The book synopsis does not tell you what really happens in this book, it tells you the underlying story but doesn't give away the real juicy stuff. If it doesn't, I won't either.

All I can say is Hannah is a seventeen year old Amish girl who has a horrible experience and the choices she makes causes her life to spin out of control, it is one thing after another. There are very few breathers or lulls in this book.

Women have it rough in life, but Amish women...man oh man!
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LibraryThing member cherryblossommj
My heart complete breaks and repairs through this book. This story is told giving perspective into many of the characters lives and it makes you look back on your own with perspective. ***SPOILER ALERT***Imagine leading a plain, normal strict life, yet having a desire for a man you know will not
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receive approval in the eyes of your family your people and struggling to find a way. Then as everything looks like it will work out just find, you're raped by a stranger and nobody believes you. Then when you finally accept the reality of a pregnancy, you lose that too. Only through the grace of God can life be repaired. Usually I despise books that leave things wanting, but this book was perfect. It ended at just the right time and I look forward to reading a sequel [book: When The Morning Comes].
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LibraryThing member cherryblossommj
My heart complete breaks and repairs through this book. This story is told giving perspective into many of the characters lives and it makes you look back on your own with perspective. ***SPOILER ALERT***Imagine leading a plain, normal strict life, yet having a desire for a man you know will not
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receive approval in the eyes of your family your people and struggling to find a way. Then as everything looks like it will work out just find, you're raped by a stranger and nobody believes you. Then when you finally accept the reality of a pregnancy, you lose that too. Only through the grace of God can life be repaired. Usually I despise books that leave things wanting, but this book was perfect. It ended at just the right time and I look forward to reading a sequel [book: When The Morning Comes].
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LibraryThing member SherylHendrix
An interesting look into a world that is foreign to me, even though I live in a county with many Amish residents. The rule of the Ordnung preserves a sense of order and peace, but seems to deny the real peace that is available through Christ's grace.
LibraryThing member wakela
This was a charming book set in a rural Amish community. The characters were incredible. I felt like I was transported to this Amish community right along with her characters.

The author went to a lot of trouble to make sure that everything was exactly perfect and she accomplished her feat.

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book was so refreshing. You find too many romance novels nowadays that rely too heavily on sex. It was so nice to enjoy a romance for the story and characters instead.

In conjunction with the Wakela's World Disclosure Statement, I received a product in order to enable my review. No other compensation has been received. My statements are an honest account of my experience with the brand. The opinions stated here are mine alone.
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LibraryThing member wearylibrarian
Hannah Lapp and Paul Wadell are in love and plan to be married. There is only one problem-Paul is Mennonite and Hannah is is Old Order Amish, so their love and their engagement have to be kept secret until Paul can win her father's approval.

On the day Paul proposes, Hannah is walking home when a
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man stops to ask directions. Hannah is unable to get away and he drags her into his car and rapes her, shattering the world Hannah has known and the future she and Paul have so carefully planned.
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LibraryThing member mrsjason
Hannah Lapp has grown up in the Old Order Amish ways but has decided she wants to break free. She finds this opportunity when her Mennonite boyfriend proposes to her and she accepts. But before she can rejoice in the prospect of a new life, an unthinkable incident happens to her. To make matters
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worse, her whole family has seemed to turn against her, offering her no help in her tragic situation. Worse yet, she is not able to contact her fiance to tell her what happened, causing him to think she wants to end the relationship. Just when Hannah thinks nothing could go worse, another event takes place that makes her young life become even more painful than it should be.

This was probably one of the most difficult books I've ever had to read. Normally it'll take me a couple days to a week to finish a book. However this book took me a month and a half to finish. I usually devour Amish fiction like there's no tomorrow. It's one of my favorite genres. This book unfortunately did not make my favorites list in this genre. I just dreaded reading about the horrible things that kept happening to Hannah and seeing how badly she was being treated by everyone especially her parents. Without spoiling the entire story, I was very disappointed at the way Hannah's situation was treated. I know that the Amish do not like to bring attention to themselves and are willing to forgive even the most heinous of crimes. However, that is no reason to blame your daughter for her getting raped! Then to top it off, the family doesn't press charges on the guy even though he might very well go and do the same thing to other women in the community! Rape is something in books that I feel justice must be served. I really hate it when I read about how the victim is blamed for the attack. It's one thing for the girl to blame herself from feelings of self guilt, but it's totally wrong when the PARENTS blame her for what happened. Hannah's whole life seems to be doomed from the beginning with Murphy's law just waiting for her at every corner. I did not like her sister at all, I have a feeling that there will be more trouble making from her. Her relationship with Paul seems to have the problem of a lack of communication. I wish the author had simply allowed them to sit down, talk things through, and get everything out on the table so no one would get confused or suspicious. But I guess if that happened there wouldn't be a story then.

I will say though that if there's anyone in this story that is a positive influence to Hannah, it is her friend Mary. Even without knowing Hannah's problem and the fact that she's had a traumatic experience herself, Mary stays by Hannah's side throughout the book even to the point of defending her against the man she loves who happens to be Hannah's brother. I only wish Hannah's family could have acted in the same way. It was interesting to learn more about the Amish lifestyle but as I said, the subject matter in this book made me uncomfortable and did not help to entice me to read the book. I'm not saying that I needed a happy ending with the story, and I know that there are more books in the series. I just could not fathom being a parent, having your daughter be raped, blame her for it, refuse to do anything to help her, and then still call yourself a Christian. I do have the other two books in the series, and I know that things will eventually get better for Hannah. Hopefully it won't take me as long to finish those books.
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LibraryThing member tiinaj1
I had a very hard time reading this book. The Amish books I've read, and there haven't been many, always show a loving supportive family who have a strong faith and a bond that seems to be tight. This book, When the Heart Cries, isn't like that. You have an abusive father who controls his family
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through fear. A wife afraid of her husband and children (even the older ones) afraid of their father.

Hannah Lapp has a desire to escape the Amish community she was raised in and promises to marry a young Mennonite man before he heads off to finish his last year of college. The day he leaves Hannah walks home after telling him goodbye and ends up being viciously raped. Even with that I thought the book would only get better but when she arrives home, in shock, torn and shaking - her mother collapses, her father swears her to silence - so he can decide if he is going to tell the Bishop and tells her it is not their way to seek revenge by contacting the police. Not even to save another girl from going through what Hannah went through.

To top it off, Hannah now feels that Paul isn't going to want her if he finds out what happened to her. She withdraws to the bedroom and the top floor of the house and it isn't until her brother gets into a car-buggy accident and she and her mother go to the hospital to help him that she finds out that she has rights as a woman. Her family turns against her and Hannah is in a tailspin....

I think it's obvious I didn't care for this book. I found it really hard to read - the father more than any other character in the book bothered me and I would of liked to see him taken down a peg or two. Personally I don't think I would put this book out around your kids - unless it's a book that you and your daughters are reading together - but please don't read this until your girls are at least 16 years old. It is definitely not for younger teens - but for older kids it would be a good opportunity to discuss women's rights, safety and what to do in a bad situation.
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LibraryThing member CarolineNH
Audiobook. I am fascinated by the Amish lifestyle, and I do occasionally appreciate an easy romance novel. Well, one of those was true. I enjoyed the reader very much; her tone is well suited to this novel. It's not quite the breezy romance I expected, but it is an interesting and absorbing story.
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Looking forward to the other two in the series!
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LibraryThing member Maydacat
Cindy Woodsmall tackles a subject that is difficult to cope with in any place, but is doubly so in an Amish community: the violent rape of a young and innocent girl. While family members deny what has happened, indeed spreading untruths about her, Hannah grows to feel more alone and outcast.
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Angrily rejected by her fiancée and with only two friends who still believe her and believe in her, she realizes that the others, including her father and church leaders, will never forgive her but will always believe the attack to be her fault. To save her life, Hannah must break from her community, her family, and the old ways to become a new person, accepted for who she is. And she must do it alone. With well developed characters and an intriguing plot, this story is captivating from the very start.
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LibraryThing member milibrarian
Hannah Lapp is engaged to marry Paul Waddell and confident that life will be good once her family accepts him. Hannah is Old Order Amish and Paul is a Mennonite, which won’t please her father.
As she is walking home after agreeing to marry Paul, she is thrown into a car and raped. She is afraid to
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tell Paul or her Amish community and refuses to see a doctor, but must face one problem after another on her own.
Hannah finds herself questioning her traditions, especially as the rumors fly regarding her conduct. Can she and Paul make a life together? Will her family and friends support her when they don’t understand what is happening? This debut novel will be enjoyed by anyone who likes Beverly Lewis’ stories about the Amish.
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LibraryThing member judyg54
'When the Heart Cries' was one of those stories that made me cry. It is the beginning of a series and the author did a great job of leaving you with an ending that makes you want to pick up the next book right away and start reading. (And I have and it picks up right where book one left off).

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Lapp has grown up in a traditional Old Order Amish family, but finds herself falling in love with a Mennonite, Paul Waddell. Their relationship is a secret until Paul finishes college and then will try to win her parents favor. But things don't go as planned. Tragedy will strike Hannah and also her best friend, Mary and life for these folks will never be the same again. Your heart will cheer these two girls on, but also be saddened by how misunderstood Hannah is and how cruel people can be, even her own family. I shed tears for Hannah and Paul as the love for each other is obviously there, but secrets are never good in a relationship.

Going to go read some more of book two, 'When the Morning Comes'. If you like a good feel for the Amish way of life and the heartaches that comes with it, then you will appreciate this story. It took me by surprise a few times, things I wasn't expecting to happen but I always appreciate that in a story. Life is never predictable. And you couldn't ask for a better friend than Matthew in this book; he is a gem. But you might want to have book 2 on hand so you can continue the story and find out what happens next.
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