The Bridge of Peace (Second book in the Ada House Series) by Cindy Woodsmall

Book Description:  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 the 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? 

My Review:  This is the second novel of Woodsmall's Ada House series and centers around Lena a young school teacher looking for love and finding a way past her insecurity. Lena has dealt with insecurity most of her life, living with a large birthmark on her cheek. Low self-esteem has made her pretty tough. Although Lena's future holds some problems that include her parents, the school board and a bully, Dwayne.

Grey Graber has been living his life in a loveless and sadly ruined marriage with Elsie. Divorce for the Amish is not an option! Grey seeks help to mend his marriage. Enter Lena.  Grey and Elsie want Lena to evaluate their son.  Grey feels that he is fine but Elsie feels that he may have a handicap.  

Lena agrees to test their son and then informs them, “We all have a handicap and every one of us had to figure out how to get work done.”  The son is fine.  Lena represents a good, creative teacher.  

But then as only life would have it . . . tragedy rears its ugly head!  Grey deals with disappointment and disillusions and 

Lena seems to deal with a root of bitterness.   Can life long friends support and encourage each other without bitterness taking root?

Oh! and then there's Deborah!  Prank-playing Deborah!  Deborah's pranks were laugh-out-loud!  Just imagining an Amish woman pulling silly stunts on her women friends is Oh.So.Funny.  The Amish seem so tight laced! Deborah's character brought out the "human side" of the Amish.  

This fantastic 5 star read shows that life brings rain to the Amish and the English. There are some unexpected twists and turns in this heart warming read! The conclusion of this series comes out in the fall of 2011.
*I reviewed this book for Waterbrook Multnomah*

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About the Author:
Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author whose connection with the Amish community has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. She was also a homeschool mom. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter.Her first novel released in 2006 to much acclaim and became a best seller. Cindy was a 2007 ECPA award finalist, along with Karen Kingsbury, Angela Hunt, and Charles Martin. Her second book, When the Morning Comes, hit numerous best-sellers lists across the US, including edging into the extended list of the New York Times, coming in at number thirty-four. Her third book, When the Soul Mends, hit the New York Times best-sellers list, coming in at number thirteen, as well as making the USA Today’s best-sellers list.Cindy continues to write and release best-selling works of fiction, and she’s also written a nonfiction work with an Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud. The book is titled Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. It will release March 11, 2011. Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity.As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children. Cindy, her husband, their three sons and two daughters-in-law reside in Georgia.

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