Gladden the Heart: Review by Susan Scott Ferrell

Gladden the Heart

Gladden the Heart – An Amish Revival?!

Yep! You read that right! Ever think you’d read a novel about circuit riders and revivals in the Amish community? Me either! But what a wonderful story Olivia Newport brings to her readers with her latest release, Gladden the Heart, fifth in her Amish Turns of Time series.

A host of characters rounds out this fascinating read: Susannah, Adam, and Noah in particular. Susannah is a sweet, young Amish woman. She loves where she lives, loves Adam, and is curious about the circuit rider preacher that lives near her. Adam loves Susannah, and is a devout Amish man. He tries hard to stick to their church’s Ordnung and anything their bishop says. Noah, Susanna’s most cherished cousin, is a minister in their 1847 Amish settlement.

When Noah suddenly starts going into a trance and preaches a VERY non-traditional Amish sermon, the entire community is in a dither: Some condemn him, others are confused. Interested in this new finding of Noah, Susannah agrees to help keep him safe during his trances…. which is in direct opposition to Adam’s view. Can they find common ground? What will become of Noah? Read and find out!

I was given Gladden the Heart in exchange for my honest review. I found it intriguingly wonderful! What a great storyline. Although fifth in the series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone. To date, this is my favorite in the series. Brava, Olivia Newport!

Susan Ferrell and her husband make their home in the Atlanta Metro area. Although Susan struggles with chronic migraine headaches, she stays very busy as a stay-at-home mom to one very precocious little girl. While catching her breath, she feeds her Amishaholic tendencies by reading vast amounts of Amish literature!

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Latest Olivia Newport Release: Gladden the Heart (Plus Giveaway)


A sleeping preacher? There couldn’t really be such a thing, could there?

That’s the question in Gladden the Heart. In the nineteenth century, amid revivalism movements, a number of religious groups experienced preachers who seemed to fall into trances or into unconsciousness and wake up to preach for lengthy periods of time. Despite having no training as preachers, they gathered followings. This happened even among the Amish.

But could this be genuine? Could the lively, impassioned style of preaching more akin to the Methodist revival tents than the usual solemn ways of Amish worship lead to genuine spiritual experience? In Gladden the Heart, as some Amish become curious, they find themselves wondering: What is a genuine spiritual experience?

The question turns personal for Susanna when her beloved cousin Noah begins preaching while under trances and crowds gather to watch. She and Adam, her intended, must grapple with whether love is possible if they come to different conclusions.

When the divided community faces a life-or-death situation, they must respond to a crisis that challenges them to look past their differences. But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives?

Gladden the Heart is the latest in the Amish Turns of Time series that began with Wonderful Lonesome. To celebrate the new story, enter to win a copy of Wonderful Lonesome, where it all started, or a copy of Gladden the Heart.

To enter, leave a comment and let us know which book  you would love to win. Two winners will be selected at random and announced on Wednesday June 14th!


*Giveaway starts today, Tuesday, June 6th and ends Tuesday, June 13th and is only open to US residents*

The five titles in the Amish Turns of Time series include Wonderful Lonesome, Meek and Mild, Brightest and Best, Hope in the Land, and Gladden the Heart. Olivia Newport chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

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