Ties That Bind


Just when I had begun to think that every Amish novel was a repeat of the same basic theme, Cindy Woodsmall brings a fresh approach to the genre. “Ties That Bind” has a little romance, more than a little angst, the return of an old love interest, and a family mystery that dominates the story.

Although this book does not contain much action and it may move along at a more sedate pace than many, I found that it held my interest quite well. I liked reading both sides of the story involving the man who assists Amish who want to leave the order. Instead of painting him as a bad person, the author allowed her readers to understand why he chose to do what he did. Without demonizing or idealizing the Amish, she offered a realistic view of their strict belief system and how it affects those who are part of their community.

As the first book of the series, “Ties That Bind” leaves the reader with several questions unanswered. Despite the way it ended, I personally remain hopeful that Ariana and Quill will eventually find their way back to each other. I am also anticipating learning more about what will happen with Skylar. So, yes, I definitely plan to read the other books in this series. I can’t just leave Summer Grove without having my curiosity satisfied.

This book was provided for review by Blogging For Books.


Ariana’s comfortable Old Order Amish world is about to unravel. Will holding tightly to the cords of family keep them together—or simply tear them apart?

Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a café in historic Summer Grove to help support her family’s ever-expanding brood and to keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach.

Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.
Despite how things look, Quill’s goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His love and loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust and help her find a way to buy the café—because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever.

Ties That Bind is the first novel in the Amish of Summer Grove series.

Click here to download an excerpt from Ties That Bind.


Cindy WoodsmallCindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of numerous works of fiction and one of nonfiction. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media. She lives in the Foothills of the North Georgia Mountains with her family.