About the Book:
Leah is seventeen and Amish. Like many her age, she has lots of questions, but the temporary flight of freedom known as rumspringen is not the answer for her. She does not desire Englisher fashion, all-night parties, movies, or lots of boyfriends. Leah is seeking to understand her relationship with God, to deepen and broaden her faith by joining a Bible study hosted by an ex-Amish couple. She wants to know why Amish life is the only lifestyle her family accepts, why the church has so many rules, and…most disturbing, how godly men can allow her best friend to be abused in her own home.
In the pressure-cooker environment of church and family, Leah is not allowed to ask these questions. When finally she reaches the breaking point, she walks away from the Old Order Amish life that is all she has known. Though adapting amiably to the Englisher world, Leah is tormented with homesickness. Returning to the community, however, entails a journey of pain and sorrow Leah could never have imagined.
The miting–shunning–that will now be Leah’s unendurable oppression every day is beyond her most devoted attempts to believe or understand. All the bishop and her family ask is that she abandon her practice of reading the Bible. Is that a price she is willing to pay?
You can purchase your own copy at Kregel Publications or where other books are sold.
At one time I put the Amish on a pedestal and then I came to realization after having stayed with a New Order Amish family that they are humans just like us and they have issues too, making them Amish doesn’t keep them from sinning or being human – no matter how simple their lifestyle appears. This is one of those books that while true to what the Amish believe also shines a light into some places that we ‘English’ ignore when we put the Amish on some sort of pedestal – sexual abuse within a family, thinking that being Amish ‘may’ get you into Heaven but one can’t be sure of their Salvation and if they are then they are guilty of pride. My heart went out to Leah while I read this book, struggling to be the good daughter and do what the Amish elders want her to do but also knowing that the Lord is moving in her life and is giving her the hard questions which no one wants asked, let alone answer and also to be a good friend to Martha even though she is walking on the path of destruction as well as trying to find herself – so much for a 17 year old to endure. I’ve never read Dee Yoder before and I must say this book makes me want to seek out even more of her writing because it really hit home for me – what price are willing to pay to follow Christ?
Thankfully there are no in depth descriptions as to what Martha suffers at the hands of her step-brother, Abner but with the way she was treated in the Community made my blood boil and I’m so glad that it was fiction even though this does occur both in the ‘English’ world and in the Amish, where unfortunately the victims are not likely to get support or the help they need. I don’t want to give too much more away because that will spoil the book but I must say that by the end, while it wasn’t all rose-colored, my heart was happy for Leah even though it ached for some of the other characters that I encountered – and I must say that even with some heavy subject matter it was a great book that pulled me in from the first page and for that I’m grateful.
(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws