By Kelly Long
Northern Pennsylvania, 1777. Adam Wyse is Amish and no patriot, or so the core of his faith decrees. Yet two wars ravage his heart-the longing for the love of young Lena Yoder and the burning desire to defend the country that brought his religious freedom. When Lena's father is imprisoned for being a conscientious objector, Lena is left to raise her two siblings alone. She finds herself imprisoned between her beliefs and her attraction to the rebellious Adam-especially when Adam's older brother, Isaac, presents the opportunity for Lena to regain a sense of balance and rightness with the Lord. How will Derr Herr nurture these two strong hearts into a peace that is "not as the world gives" and bring their love to triumph over all?
I regularly read Amish Fiction books (they are my favorite genre) and I have read Kelly Long books previously but I was not fond of this book. I am giving it three out of five stars due to the fact that it is an Amish fiction but the storyline, the amount of tragedy and the fact that it was a “historical” Amish fiction tied to the Revolutionary War made it very difficult to read.
It is set in 1777 and goes into detail about the Pacifists and the Patriots tying it with the Amish conflict of trying to remain neutral during the war but keep their religious freedoms at the same time. There were parts of the story that did not mesh with other Amish novels. Ruth, the non-Amish wet nurse who is brought to help with newborn Faith, spoke only English but most Amish spoke mostly German with a little English. There was no reference to any language barriers. Because everyone in the 1700s didn’t not have electricity and they all cooked over a fire the differences between the Amish and other men becomes non-existent resulting in it being so easy to forget that this was an Amish fiction novel.
Also – there are always mild conflicts in Amish novels but usually the stories are heartwarming and give insight to their peaceful and simple way of life with an overall theme of faith, God’s love and love for fellow man. However, Ms. Long touches on horrible child abuse, murder, hate, anger, superstitions that you don’t really understand and PTSD.
Lena is the typical Amish woman – faithful, loves a wonderful man, hard working, giving and kind. Her family has just lost their mother and Lena becomes the woman of the house along with Ruth’s help (the wet nurse). Adam Yoder and his family are the most conflicted, heart wrenching Amish family I’ve ever read about. The story makes you so sad that, as you read, you wonder if anything is going to turn out to be good in the book’s end. Things do turn out alright in the end but there is never any time reference so it seems that only days pass during this story when in fact it had to have been months. Something that Ms. Long should consider in future novels.
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