The Alliance

Petersheim, Jolina. The Alliance. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2016.

thealliance

SUMMARY:
A plane crash in the Old Order Mennonite community sets the scene for the events about to follow. When Leona Ebersole, a member of the Mennonite community, learns what may have caused the crash from Moses Hughes, the plane’s pilot, she realizes life must change in order to exist. As believers of pacifism, the belief that violence is not necessary no matter the threat, those very beliefs and the will to live will bring about decisions, choices and actions never foreseen. As food becomes scarce, thieves attack and hearts hurt, Leona must come to terms with the new normal of life…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Not waiting patiently for author Jolina Petersheim’s newest book, I must say not only was I surprised but impressed. With an obvious command of the English language, Jolina is able to bring to life those feelings, thoughts, fears and heartbreaks that surround such a non-traditional Amish dystopia novel. Though fiction, this novel also included some knowledge of the subject, but perhaps the most meaningful was the personal connection Jolina has. Realizing control is not enough, she encourages readers through her newest novel, The Alliance, to lean on God for peace, strength and understand rather than ourselves. ┬áNever picking a dystopia novel due to the genre itself, I knew I had to read this one from the author as she is truly blessed with words. Already, I look forward to the continuation of the story and many more of her novels to follow (hopefully).

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Alliance from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review*

The Outcast

Petersheim, Jolina. The Outcast. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers. 2013.

SUMMARY:
outcastRachel Stoltzfus is a soon to be single mother, albeit a strong determined person. As a member of an Old Order Mennonite community, Rachel is shunned by many and eventually leaves at the hands of her brother-in-law, the bishop. Determined to keep the baby’s father a secret, the health of her baby may change that desire even though it may expose guilt and create pain.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
The Outcast was a deeper read, almost similar to a modern Scarlet Letter with a mix of contemporary Englisch and Mennonite characters. Although parts of this book were a bit uncomfortable, it was tastefully written considering the difficult premise. Secrets, faith, loyalty, family, pride and forgiveness all mingle together to create a genuinely moving story. Wow…what an absolutely beautiful yet profound debut novel. Yet again this was a new author for me but quickly now one of my favorites; I actually have this author’s newest book, The Midwife, already on my shelf.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*Library Journal’s Best Books 2013*
*Christian Manifesto’s 2013 Award Winner for Excellence in Amish Fiction*
*World Magazine’s Notable Books*
*2013/2014 Christian Retailing’s Best Nominee*
*INSPY Nominee*

The Midwife

Petersheim, Jolina. The Midwife. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers. 2014.

SUMMARY:
midwifeHaving a romantic interest in her professor, as well as needing money to finish her degree, Beth Winslow accepts the invitation to be a surrogate mother. When the results suggest a possible abnormality in the baby, the professor and his wife decide to terminate the pregnancy yet Beth discovers she already loves this child. Running to Hopen Haus, a home for unwed mothers nestled deep in a Mennonite community, Beth assumes the identity of Rhoda Mummau, a midwife at Hopen Haus.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Having just finished and enjoyed The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim, I was excited to have the chance to read The Midwife. A deeply moving story, it was well written as the story transitioned between characters and time frames. Though easy to have been lost, the novel read seamlessly and was cohesive in all aspects. Coupled with her own current personal loss, the author weaves such a sentimental tale that I just couldn’t put it down. Hard decisions, sorrowful circumstances, troubled actions, difficult emotions and unresolved regrets all contribute to a heart-stirring read.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Midwife from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review*