This is a nice story of change, faith and acceptance, with a dash of mystery.By: Judith Miller
File Size: 1486 KB
Print Length: 354 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (August 1, 2013)
Genre: Christian, Historical
My Rating: 3.75 of 5.0
Joining the communal society of the Amana Colonies isn't what Jancey Rhoder planned for her future, but when unforeseen circumstances force her family to make some difficult decisions, she chooses to give up her teaching position in a Kansas City orphanage and move with her parents to Iowa.
Her besotted suitor, Nathan Woodward, isn't at all happy about the move and is determined to get Jancey to change her mind. And Jancey herself isn't sure what she's gotten herself into when the simple life of the Amana Colonies means she'll be assigned a job and may have to give up teaching for good. Will Nathan woo her back to the city, or will she be forever changed by the mysterious events and new relationships that await her in the quiet villages of the Amana Colonies--and decide to make this unique place her forever home?
Jancey loves teaching the young orphan children even though her position is voluntary. But her mother’s health is failing and her parents want to move back to the Amana Community where mother was raised. Jancey’s beau, Nathan, wants her to stay in Kansas City; to marry him and maybe he can take over her father’s construction business. Jancey finds it hard to leave her current circumstance but she thinks it is more important to be with her mother during her illness.
Jancey finds the transition to the communal living requires following some strict rules for the safety and integrity of the members. One of these rules means not having contact with the outsiders, especially the young men who work at the wool mill. But Jancey met one of the boys while cleaning the men’s dormitory. He thinks she can help him find his sister who was placed in the Kansas City orphanage years before.
Meanwhile her hosts son is showing interest in Jancey. He is cautious though to protect his heart because it isn’t clear if Jancey will remain in the Community if her mother passes. Jancey is conflicted and even more confused when Nathan decides to move to the Community hoping to win her heart and hand.
The story is set in 1881 and shows the difference in lifestyles from city life to the simple life of the Community. The details of daily living and sharing were interesting. The simple faith was shown in the lifestyle of the members without being preached to the reader.
I didn’t really feel invested in the characters, so the read was a little slow for me. There is a little bit of mystery blended with the history and coming of age elements. The story ends in an appropriate spot but still leaves open the opportunity for more growth for Jancey in the next books. The other ladies in Book Club thought it read a bit slowly too but they were interested in the mystery and history. I had not read Ms. Miller before but several others said they enjoy her faith based stories. I recommend this to readers who like historical, faith based stories.
Source: Christianbook.com on sale. This qualifies for TBR2018.
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