SUMMARY: 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 hat 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?
REVIEW: I really liked this book. The Bridge of Peace is the second book in An Ada's House Novel series. I read the first The Hope of Refuge last year, which really helped me with a lot of the secondary characters and their backgrounds, which are still a big part of the book. I like Lena's character and her desire to be a great teacher, seeing what each student was capable of and bring out the best in them, even the very difficult ones. Even during her rumschpringe (a time of freedom for teenagers and young adults to decide if they want to join the Amish order), she attended public school to learn different teaching methods and to see how she could become a great teacher. My heart went out to Grey. Trying to overcome the difficulties of his marriage while trying to protect Elsie from gossip and scorn was very admirable, especially after the awful tragedy. I highly recommend this book!!! The third book is due to come out in the Fall 2011. I can't wait!
This book was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah for review without compensation.
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. Cindy lives in Georgia with her family.