Leah, a seventeen-year-old Amish girl, is at the age where she can experience her period of freedom known as rumspringen before joining the Amish church. However, she does not want freedom for parties, movies, or the English way of life. She wants answers. She wants to have the freedom to read the Bible on her own and develop a relationship with Jesus. However, in her Old Order Amish community, anything against the Ordnung is grounds for miting or shunning. Will Leah choose the restricting life under her bishop,or will she reject her life with the Amish and make a new life with the English?
This is unlike any novel about Amish life that I have ever read. I think a lot of Amish novels romanticize the life that people in the Amish community lead. This one is interesting because it made me think about the Amish in a different way. Leah’s assimilation into the English world was particularly enjoyable to read about. The saddest part of this book was realizing that even in the close knit community of the Amish, there is deception, lies, and heartbreak.
I think it is particularly interesting that the story was loosely based on some of the stories that Yoder has heard from her friends that were formerly Amish. The freedom of the season of rumspringen has been used in other books, but I had never thought about the pressure that the teenage Amish might feel to embrace a culture instead of making their own path.
Overall, I thought it was a very interesting book and a quick read. I really enjoy reading books that make me think about things in a different way and this one definitely did!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.