After reading the book I decided that I wanted to truly understand what "Gladden the Heart " meant . So I grabbed a dictionary online and found it to mean "make the heart happy". I know it was pretty simple for most of you to figure out, but I wanted to check a resource for myself. The story is complicated in the sense that The Amish beliefs and The Methodist beliefs are quite different . The story is set in the 1800s where The Amish did not want their people exposed to the preachings of other demoninations. . I loved the history that the author provided in the two different beliefs in the story. It was fascinating to read how some if the characters loved The Methodist preaching which made their hear gladden.
I was a bit surprised at Noah who would go into trances and start preaching. It was intriguing to read the sermons he gave and how drawn Amish people were to him. Maybe it was curiosity or maybe it was hunger for more of God's word. The bishop was not happy at all and felt he needed to step in and stop whatever Noah was doing. Was he under a spell? Did God fill him with the Holy Spirit and give him the words to preach?
I did like Susanna and Adam's developing relationship but didn't feel like Adam was supporting Susanna with her Uncle Noah at times. It's funny how some people thought Noah was ill and needed prayer. It made me realize how we are like that today. What ever beliefs we have, we sometimes judge others beliefs. The story is very emotional at times but well written with scriptures that were very powerful.
I kept thinking of the story in the Bible about how Jesus would go out and preach and people would mock him, laugh at him or throw stones at him. Noah must have felt the ones who doubted him and found their harsh words pierce his heart with rejection at times. I encourage readers to give this book a try with an open heart. I've seen some of the reviews and I know that not everyone liked the book. Is it perhaps because they judge a book because it doesn't line up to their beliefs? I applaud the author for writing a book that makes us think about what people go through while spreading the Word.
I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing blogging program. The review is my own opinion.