Friday, April 6, 2012

The Bridge of Peace - Cindy Woodsmall (Waterbrook Press - Sept 2010)

Series: Ada's House (Book 2) 

Love alone isn't enough to overcome some obstacles.

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 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?

Very good book.  Lena's care for her students is obvious from the beginning, and she wants only the best for them.  When she was doing her rumspringa she used that time to attend a public high school in order to learn more about how to be a good teacher.  This sometimes puts her at odds with the church leadership.  There is also one student that has been giving her problems and she is trying to reach him.  The boy's brother is also a problem that gets worse over time. On a personal side, she has never been courted and feels it is because of the birthmark she has on her face.  Grey has been having problems in his marriage, due to feelings his wife has that she has not shared with him.  When she dies, he has a lot of guilt to overcome.  The relationship between Lena and Grey has much to overcome.  There is also the story of Ada and Deborah as they try to keep their bakery running and find new ways to increase their income, and the story of Deborah and her developing romance. I also liked seeing Ephraim and Cara and Cara's continuing attempts to live a Plain life. I loved seeing the developing relationships and how the various people dealt with the issues in their lives.

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