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June 19, 2017


Gladden the Heart (Amish Turns of Time Book 5) by [Newport, Olivia]

Amish Turns of Time
Book 5
Olivia Newport

Will the excitement of a Tent Revival and Spiritual Awakening Tear apart an Amish Church?

When the lively fervor of nineteenth century revivalism endangers the said 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 questions: 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 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 Best
                                        Hope in the Land


Olivia Newport's novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twenty-something children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where day lilies grow as tall as she is.

 Back when this novel took place was in the 1800's, the Amish weren't looked upon as different like they are now.   I believe because we are so used to all the conveniences, the clothing, the attitude and with so many straying from the faith that back then was held so dear.  I love reading Amish books and this one was a historical Amish read.   I was very interested by the history in the book.   I remember reading about revivals that were held in tents and even today there are revivals held in tents, though they are different in many ways.   I found it rather interesting and fascinating the different beliefs that were between the Amish and other denominations.   I wasn't quite sure about this Amish man who started preaching while asleep.   That seemed a bit far fetched to me.  But it did put a different touch on the Amish read from others I have read.   The question is raised, "What is a genuine spiritual experience?" that is for the Amish.  This may have been something the Amish at that time hadn't ever had to deal with.  The author gives this Amish read a different twist and also shows the struggle of some of the characters to help those they love and having to perhaps speak against what they are doing.  Family is a close knit group for the Amish and having to speak against them must be extremely hard.   When Adam, Susanna's intended is pressured by the Bishop to speak against Noah, the sleeping preacher, will their love be tested?   Will they be able to stand on different sides of the controversy and still love each other?  Can beliefs be set aside for a moment and the community come together when Noah goes missing?  This book was presented by the author with an unique basis that showed how the Amish can ban together even with different ideas on a rather difficult subject, to save one of their own.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and I am under no obligation to post a review.

I would give this book   4 STARS. 

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