Gladden the Heart is book five in the Amish Turns of Time series written by Olivia Newport. The story is based in central Pennsylvania in 1847. There is a Methodist tent revival taking place and some of the local Amish are curious and attend. Some of them start wondering what a true spiritual experience is.
Shortly after the revival takes place, Susanna’s cousin, Noah, sleep preaches after their service. He has been doing this for some time but he and his wife have kept it a secret. After preaching, Noah has no memory of doing so. And while he is preaching, he is not aware of his surroundings so he needs to be watched for his safety. With the increasing amount of his sleep preaching, his wife needs help with the farm as well as needing someone to watch Noah.
Susanna goes to help with Noah and eventually her Methodist friends finds out and helps as well. As word gets out, the Amish start coming around the time Noah preaches. The Amish bishop turns against Noah. One day Noah leaves his farm and the sleep preaching starts earlier than normal. Noah wonders off into the mountain, and when it is found out that he is missing, many come to help look for him. But only a few are there when they find him. Among those are the Methodist minister, his daughter and the Amish bishop. Disagreements take place between the minister and the bishop.
I really enjoyed reading this story. It is not your typical Amish story with the Amish only interacting with other Amish. And this story brings in more of believing in Jesus than some Amish stories do. I have not read the previous 4 books in the series, but I was able to understand the story very well. The main part of the story is about Noah and his sleep preaching, but there is the story of Susanna and Adam. The story also has family dynamics that is taking place in Susanna’s family, with her parents considering moving.
This story contains family life as it was for the Amish in the mid 1800’s. It also contains suspense surrounding Noah and his preaching. And it contains romance with the deepening of Susanna and Adam’s relationship. I think anyone who enjoys reading historical stories will enjoy this. Especially if they also enjoy reading Amish stories.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligations to post a review.
Series: Amish Turn of Times (book 5)
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press
To learn more about the author go to: http://www.olivianewport.com/
Some places to buy this book are:
as well as Barnes and Noble and Walmart.