★★★★☆ – 4 out of 5 stars
Hannah Yoder lives a quiet life with her Amish family along the Conestoga Creek in Lancaster County. In 1842, the county is well established but as fellow Amish families begin moving westward to Ohio and Indiana, Hannah’s parents begin to worry about the outsider influence on their children. Hannah is quickly faced with a number of choices and questions what the future holds for her and her family. Who is she to marry, should she stay in Lancaster County or move to Indiana, what should she do about her sister?
While I have read plenty of historical fiction in the past, this was my first experience with Amish literature. Right away I was drawn into the quiet Conestoga Creek setting of Hannah’s home and felt a pull towards deciding what Hannah should decide. The book was well written, always keeping Hannah’s story unpredictable and Liesabet’s (her younger sister’s) story a little more so (which I felt may have been a nod to more modern stories of young adults rebellion and their predictability). Additionally, I appreciated that the author wrote from her own family history, rooting the story in some truth . The book was well written and kept me hooked till the very end. I know a book is good when it moves beyond reading for enjoyment and wraps me in the moment where I find myself angry with the characters, laughing at some mistake or joke, and/ or crying over a loss. This book had all of that and more.
I do have to admit I didn’t like how the story ended (don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for you), primarily due to my own opinion on what Hannah should have chose. This and the slight predictability of some of the family members is why I didn’t give the book a full 5 stars. However, I fully understand why the story ended as it did and eagerly looked to see if there was a second book to the series. Tough topics were touched on and gracefully dealt with throughout the story (eg. slavery) as Hannah addressed how her faith played a part. It was for these reasons that I gave it 4 stars.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction and/or Christian books.
Please note: I received a free hard copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All words and opinions expressed here are my own, as always.