Fraying At The Edge: A Novel by Cindy WoodsmallFraying At The Edge: A Novel by Cindy Woodsmall

Fraying At The Edge: A Novel

byCindy Woodsmall

Paperback | August 16, 2016

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about

Family, community, faith, and love.
These “quilt blocks” sewn together made Ariana’s beautiful life.
When they are pulled to pieces,
will anything familiar remain?

The Old Order Amish life Ariana Brenneman loved vanished virtually overnight with the discovery that she was switched at birth twenty years ago. Now she’s immersed in the Englischer world, getting to know her mother and under the authority of her biological father, an atheist intellectual with resolute plans to expand Ariana’s worldview. Only Quill Schlabach, a childhood friend living Englisch, can steady the tilting ground between Ariana’s two worlds, but can she trust him after so many betrayals?
 
At the same time, Skylar Nash is forced to choose rehab or spend several months with her true relatives, the large Brenneman family and their seemingly backward life—no electricity, no technology, no fun. What the young woman can’t leave behind is her addiction to illegal prescription drugs and a deep emptiness from the belief that she doesn’t belong in either family.
 
New ties are binding Ariana and Skylar to the lives they were meant to have. Can they find the wisdom and strength they’ll need to follow God’s threads into unexpected futures?
 
Fraying at the Edge is the second novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.
Cindy Woodsmall is the New York Times and CBA best-selling author of eighteen works of fiction and nonfiction with more than a million copies sold. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured in national media outlets such as ABC’s Nightline, the Wall Street Journal, and a National Geographic documentary on Amish life. Ci...
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Title:Fraying At The Edge: A NovelFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:352 pages, 8.2 × 5.4 × 0.9 inShipping dimensions:8.2 × 5.4 × 0.9 inPublished:August 16, 2016Publisher:The Crown Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1601427018

ISBN - 13:9781601427014

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a roller coaster ride! This is the second book of the Amish of Summer Grove series by Cindy Woodsmall. Because of their close relationship with each other, it's best to read book 1 before you read this second one. In the first book, An Amish mother has had nagging doubts about her child since she was born. There were small things that pointed to the possibility that her baby girl was switched accidentally at birth with another baby girl being born at the same time to an Englisch mother. Yet in spite of these feelings, she kept it to herself until her daughter was 20 years old. Ariana, growing up in a close-knit community suddenly learns she was born to non-Amish parents. In the discovery process, a DNA test was done and it was discovered the other girl, also a 20 year old college student, was not related to the parents she grew up with. A decision is made, mostly because of the stubborn belligerence of Ariana's birth father who insisted she come and spend a year with his family or he would sue the Amish midwife who delivered both babies. Skylar, the other daughter born to Amish parents but reared in the Englisch world, was also wrenched out of her comfortable world and into a very foreign Amish world where she must give up her phone, electricity, money, bank accounts her education (and unfortunately, her drugs) to live with the Brennemans. The key words in this book are turmoil, upheaval, confusion, unhappiness, and struggle. Skylar now has 9 brothers and sisters and countless nephews and nieces, and not a moment of quiet. She hates working, and her attitude is a major stumbling block to forming any relationship with her new family. In the meantime, Ariana is confused by a father who claims he does not believe in God, hates the Amish way of life, and thinks he can win her over through books and arguments. Angst is a mild term for what these two girls experience over a period of several months. I could barely put the book down since every page was full of unknowns and struggle. The parts I liked best were where both Skylar and Ariana have to dig deep into themselves to re-arrange who they thought they were and wanted to be. The process was gradual, painful, but there were turning points that were encouraging. This is a book that will make you think as well as feel. In my opinion, this series is the absolute best that this author has written so far. Her soap opera like writing style brings out uncertainties and helps us question life in the very best ways possible. I highly recommend this book as well as the entire series.
Date published: 2018-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great mid-story novel! This is a great continuation of Book 1 in the same series, and the suspense of what's to come leaves the reader longing to jump into Book 3
Date published: 2018-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A complicated story with promises of much more to come I somehow missed the first book in this series and like most of Cindy Woodsmall's stories this is a continuous series where major elements play out over the course of all three books. So, if you are looking for closure, you won't find it until book three comes out. But having said that, this time round the author has done something fabulous -- she's included a brief overview of the story so far at the beginning of this book. So I was able to read that and then dive right into Fraying at the Edge without any trouble. That's a brilliant perk that I hope more authors who write serial type series adopt. Plus she has included a comprehensive who's who list of characters at the back of the book. So you can definitely dive into this story right now if you don't want to play catch up with Ties that Bind first. And what a captivatingly convoluted novel! My emotions were all over the place as I got deeper into the story. Both Ariana and Skylar are displaced and totally out of their element. I think Skylar got the better deal -- though she wouldn't agree with me. She's all gnarly and rude and completely self-centered at the beginning but a bevy of siblings are pretty hard to ignore and they slowly begin to wear her down. But she feels abandoned and lost and is just beginning to find herself by the time this book winds down. I feel like there's a possibility for romance in her future and I'm anxious to see how that plays out. Plus Skylar is at a crossroads and I have no idea what she's going to do next. Ariana -- oy -- I spent most of the read feeling furiously indignant on her behalf. Her biological father is...gah!...words cannot express how I feel about his tactics. Manipulative. Conniving. Major superiority complex. Watching how that relationship plays out and how it influences Ariana kept me an emotional pretzel for the whole read! But again, I have no clue as to what she will do next. Two men interested in her -- one Englisch, one Amish -- and she's not certain where she belongs. A complicated story with promises of much more to come. Can't wait until book three comes out...and hope it's soon!!!!
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Unthinkable If you read the first book Ties That Bind, and I hope you do, you don’t want to miss it, and then you are up to date as to what has happened in the past. If not the author will bring you up to date very quickly, and you will soon be absorbed in this story about two babies that are switched at birth, one Amish and one belonging to the world. We are at the doors when the girls arrived at the homes of their birth parents, and both are in for rude awakenings, they must feel like there are in bad dreams they can’t awaken from. Each must spend a year away for all they know, and will they be the same person at the end? Trying to put myself as the parent of one of these girls, one I would know intimately from day one, and raised through school, skinned knees and everyday life, and the other is really mine, how could you choose, I would want them both. A really interesting a great read, and in the end I still don’t know all that is going to happen, and can’t wait to find out. Don’t miss this one, you won’t be disappointed, it is going to keep you thinking until you know all the answers. I received this book through Blogging for Books, and was not required to give a positive review.
Date published: 2016-08-19

Read from the Book

Summer Grove, Pennsylvania The dark shadows lying across the living room floor were eerie, seemingly coming out of hiding as Lovina remained kneeling in front of the couch, her Bible open. The pale moonlight only intensified the darkness that surrounded her, as if the blackness were a picture of what was happening to her family. To her daughters. She tightened her interlaced fingers. Her knees ached from the hours she had quietly sought God for the kind of help only He could give. The daughter she’d thought she had given birth to two decades ago was gone, spending her first night with strangers in an Englisch home that by all accounts was worldly and in disarray. From what little she knew, that home was dysfunctional at best. She was terrified for the daughter she’d raised, the one who had none of her DNA. Until recently Lovina hadn’t realized that even God’s faithful ones endured the kind of terror that had now entrenched itself in her heart. But maybe the truth was Lovina hadn’t been faithful, not truly. “God, please don’t let Ariana or Skylar pay the price for my sin.” How would Ariana—Lovina’s sweet, wide-eyed girl—survive for a year outside the Amish community she loved with her whole heart? The daughter Lovina had actually given birth to was upstairs, sharing a bedroom with her sisters for the first time in her twenty-year life. The image of meeting Skylar yesterday for the first time made Lovina break into fresh sobs. Her daughter had black nails that matched the dyed-black streak in her blond hair. And she wore jewelry, makeup, and revealing clothes. But none of that had twisted Lovina’s heart in a knot like the hard­ness she saw in Skylar, as if bitterness had already destroyed her belief in life and humanity. The young woman wasn’t hopeless. She had dreams but no apparent understanding that life and people were valuable. Even with all that, the most painful part of yesterday was when Skylar’s driver, Quill Schlabach, handed Lovina the luggage and suggested she thoroughly inspect it to verify Skylar hadn’t brought any drugs with her. Lovina had set the luggage aside for a while and tried to connect with Skylar about little things—her hobbies, schooling, and such. Later, when the two of them were alone, Lovina went through the suitcase as Skylar sat on the bed, calmly and apathetically assuring her that she’d only popped a few pills on occasion and that a random drug test happened to catch her right after one such rare event. Lovina found no drugs, but Skylar’s calm, detached behavior toward meeting her family, having a twin, and the drug search was disconcerting. “Father in heaven, please strengthen Skylar to overcome all desire for pills—occasional or otherwise.” It was her fault Skylar was in this predicament. Just as it was her fault Ariana had been forced to leave here and go to a dysfunctional home. Would Lovina spend the rest of her life carrying this unbearable sense of blame? When the floor creaked, Lovina lifted her forehead from her folded hands. Her husband stood in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room, bathed in shadows and dressed in yesterday’s pants with sus­penders pulled over a white T-shirt. He eased toward her, knelt, and put an arm around her shoulders. “God, help my Lovina,” he whispered, and then he kissed her temple. “It’ll be okay. It will.” Lovina didn’t need or want false words of hope, but maybe God had spoken to Isaac. Maybe He hadn’t. She wouldn’t ask. Skylar had spent a lifetime being indoctrinated in ways Lovina had little knowledge of. In fact, she would be in rehab right now were it not for these crazy circumstances. Lovina’s need to confess her sin to her husband weighed heavily. “The unbearable part is I did this.” “Shh.” He held her tight, probably trying to ease her trembling. “No, my love. This isn’t—” “But it is. Please, I have to say it aloud to someone . . . at least once.” He nodded. “Then say it a thousand times if it will help.” Lovina wiped her tears. “When I doubted that we had the right new­born, I didn’t push hard enough to get answers.” “But Rachel dismissed your fears.” “Rachel meant well, but as a midwife she didn’t have a mother’s heart. I should’ve pushed harder for answers then.” She sobbed. “And twenty years later when I discovered the truth about the girls being swapped, I pushed too hard, too fast. Quill tried to warn me, telling me I needed to slow down. But I forged ahead, thinking Skylar needed the faith we could offer her. But we’re in over our heads with that one. I see that now. I’ve upended both girls’ lives. Ariana is there, and . . .” She broke into fresh tears. “I’m a horrible person, Isaac.” He wrapped her in his arms and held her tight. “God will forgive us.” Even he couldn’t muster another denial of their guilt. This nightmare was Lovina’s fault, and no matter how it played out, her daughters—yes, she considered both of them her daughters—would pay the price. Who knew how high a price? All the regret of her past failures and all the fear of her daughters’ futures weighed on her mother’s heart, squeezing and press­ing until she didn’t think she could take any more. As much as she believed in forgiveness and redemption, she wasn’t sure any existed for her. God could forgive her, and He could redeem her from eternal damnation. But that wouldn’t undo or erase two decades of planting and harvesting in Skylar’s life. Clarity came to her like dawn dispelling night, and she knew why the burden of her sin was so very heavy tonight. Darkness was stretching to­ward Ariana, and Lovina needed to pray fervently, because her sweet girl would soon be in a fight for her sanity.