Friday, June 30, 2017

Gladden the Heart by Olivia Newport

“When you have experienced the Holy Ghost as I have, you would see that it is difficult to turn back.”

When the lively fervor of nineteenth century revivalism endangers the staid 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 question: 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 a 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? 


About The Author

About The Author

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






My Review

What a run of emotions this story has, and is it against the Amish faith, you will be wondering as you quickly turn the pages to get to the answers.
The author has placed the setting of this book in 1847 Pennsylvania, the early times in this country, and a time when Amish lived pretty much as everyone else, except maybe for their clothing.
I did some research and found that this “Spirit preaching” has actually happened, and this is what has happened in this book to Noah Kaufman. The story revolves around this preaching and how it is accepted by both Amish and English, and those who are close to Noah.
There is a bit of romance, a bit of skepticism, and some are even thinking of moving away, as the Church is becoming too liberal.
A book that is going to make you think, and how can this be happening, a bit unsettling for this small community.
I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Barbour, and was not required to give a positive review.

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