CelebrateLit Blog Tour Review: Gladden The Heart by Olivia Newport

Posted 4 July, 2017 by Molly(Cover To Cover Cafe) in Blog Tours, Book Reviews / 6 Comments

CelebrateLit Blog Tour Review: Gladden The Heart by Olivia Newport

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About the Book

Book title: Gladden the Heart
Author: Olivia Newport
Release date: July 1, 2017
Genre: Historical Amish
“When you have experienced the Holy Ghost as I have, you would see that it is difficult to turn back.”

When the lively fervor of nineteenth century revivalism endangers the staid customs of the Amish community in the lush but rugged Kishacoquillas Valley of central Pennsylvania in 1847, the Amish church must deal with a divisive question: What is a genuine spiritual experience?

The question turns personal when Susanna’s beloved cousin Noah begins preaching while under trances and even though he is not a minister he gives long sermons that attract increasing attention. Curious, she helps to keep Noah safe during his trances. At the same time Adam, Susanna’s intended, feels pressure from the bishop to speak out against the ways of revivalism.

Susanna and Adam are pushed to opposite sides of a controversy that threatens their traditional Amish faith.. Now they must grapple with whether love is possible…even if they come to different conclusions.

When Noah goes missing at a time of day when he often preaches while asleep, circumstances thrust community members with divergent opinions into a crisis that demands they recognize the humanity they share regardless of beliefs. But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives?

My Thoughts
This is the first book in this series that I have read and I hope that after going back and reading the others in this series, that I can enjoy this one more. That said, this was not a bad book. Ms. Newport chisels her characters well, and the backdrop of the story is vividly created. Susanna and Adam’s characters really tugged at my heart, but I just couldn’t get as deep into the story as I would have liked to have gotten. 

Something was missing. Or, perhaps, it was because I haven’t read the other books in this series and I just couldn’t fully grasp the entire setting. With that said, however, I still give this book 3.5 stars. Ms. Newport’s talent does shine through, and her characters do pull at your heart. I will be going back and reading the other books in this series then I will pick this one back up and try again. 

I do encourage you to give this book a try, if you’ve read Ms. Newports other books in the series. You may fall in love with these sweet characters quicker that I did and you may love the story line.

About the Author

Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to discover where faith and passions meet. She chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is. Her books include the Avenue of Dreams series set in 1890s Chicago; the Valley of Choice series, which intertwines contemporary and historical Amish stories; the historical Amish Turns of Time series; and Hidden Falls, a warm, contemporary, small-town novel.

Guest Post from Olivia Newport

Sleepy Sundays
Now don’t laugh, but my guess is that if you looked around your church on any given Sunday morning, you’d see somebody sleeping. It might be an infant or toddler whose nap time collides with the worship time resting in a parent’s arms, or it might be a senior citizen who has perfected the art of dozing in an upright position.

What you don’t expect is that the person sleeping will be the preacher.

I’ve always been interested in church history. I even read a magazine called Christian History on a regular basis and consider it pleasure reading. In my ambling through church history, I came across a notation about “sleeping preachers” in the nineteenth century in various denominations, including the Amish. The accounts suggested that individuals who were not ministers would fall unconscious, wake up to preach for lengthy periods, sleep again, and have no recollection of their actions.

Could this possibly be true? Or a giant hoax? What’s a genuine spiritual experience, and what do we do when don’t agree on how to answer that question? Let’s face it, even now, 150 years later, we still don’t quite know what to do with our varying traditions when we don’t agree on how to answer that question.

I knew I had the makings of a story. Gladden the Heart travels back to 1847 and wrestles with these questions. When a 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 fifth story in Olivia Newport’s Amish Turns of Time series of historical Amish novels. Olivia chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

Blog Stops

July 4: Cafinated Reads

July 5: Book by Book

July 6: Genesis 5020

July 6: A Baker’s Perspective

July 7: Reading Is My SuperPower

July 7: Connie’s History Classroom

July 8: Daysong Reflections

July 9: God’s Little Bookworm

July 9: Inklings and Notions

July 10: A Reader’s Brain

July 10: Zerina Blossom’s Books

July 11: Bibliophile Reviews

July 11: Red Headed Book Lady

July 12: Karen Sue Hadley

July 12: Blogging With Carol

July 13: The Fizzy Pop Collection

July 14: Have A Wonderful Day

July 14: cherylbbookblog

July 15: Bigreadersite

July 15: Carpe Diem

July 16: Splashes of Joy

July 16: The Power of Words

July 17: His Grace is Sufficient

July 17: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations


To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a Grand Prize that consists of:
All five books in the Amish Turns of Time series (https://www.olivianewport.com/amish-turns-of-time/)
Bonus: All three books in the Valley of Choice series (https://www.olivianewport.com/valley-of-choice/)
$25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

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6 responses to “CelebrateLit Blog Tour Review: Gladden The Heart by Olivia Newport

  1. Anne L. Rightler

    I thought this book was quite interesting! Never heard of trance preaching before and I liked the friendship between Susannah and Patsy.

  2. Tiffany Hall

    I am reading this book currently and am enjoying it. I too am going to go back and catch up on previous books in this series. I have found this book quite interesting too with the trance preaching.

  3. Andrea Stephens

    I enjoyed the interview. This book sounds very interesting. I’ve heard of preachers falling asleep but never “trance” preaching.

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