Raised in foster care and now a widowed single parent, New Yorker Cara Moore struggles against poverty, fear, and a relentless stalker. When a trail of memories leads Cara and her daughter, Lori, away from the city toward an Amish community, she follows every lead, eager for answers to mysteries from her past and a fresh start. She quickly discovers that Dry Lake, Pennsylvania, is no place for an outsider. But one Amish man, Ephraim Mast, dares to fulfill the command he believes that he received from God-”Be me to her”- despite how it threatens his way of life.
Ephraim’s sister Deborah is fearful of the strange Englischer woman causing turmoil for her family, but she keeps focused on the marriage and home she longs to begin with Mahlon Stoltzfus. Her dreams are threatened when Mahlon begins behaving oddly, withdrawing, and causing concern for Deborah and Mahlon’s mother, Ada. Will the run-down house that Ada envisions transforming unite them toward a common purpose-or push Mahlon away forever?
As Ephraim is torn between trying to do what he believes is right and the requirements of his community, he risks losing everything, including a developing friendship with the guarded single mother. And he knows that long-held secrets about her family history ripple beneath the surface of Dry Lake-secrets with the power to tear apart the home Cara is desperately trying to find.
Cindy Woodsmall is a veteran 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 as she aimed for what seemed impossible. Her first novel released in 2006 to much acclaim and became a Christian Book Association best seller. Cindy was a 2007 ECPA Christian Book Award finalist, along with Karen Kingsbury, Angela Hunt, and Charles Martin.
Her second book, When the Morning Comes, hit the New York Times best-sellers extended list and the Christian Book Association best-sellers list.
Her third book, When the Soul Mends, hit the New York Times best-sellers list, coming in at number thirteen. It also made the ECPA and the CBA best-sellers list, coming in at number six and eight respectively.
Cindy’s real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity.
Though she didn’t realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the Prayer Kapp and caped dresses. Her parents didn’t allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy’s house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them-afraid that if they didn’t, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann’s because her family didn’t own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults’ disapproval and the obstacles in each other’s lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy’s family moved to another region of the U.S.
As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two forty-something 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.