Saturday, August 16, 2014

Rumspringa's Hope by Beth Shriver

Torn between the affections of two men, will Emma's time away from home help her choose?

Although promised to the widowed neighbor Zeb, Emma is considering leaving her Amish community to watch over her younger brother Mark when he leaves for Philadelphia to explore the outside world during his Rumspringa.

There, she reconnects with her former beau Caleb, who protects the Amish teens, introducing them to his life evangelizing and helping the homeless. Unbeknownst to Emma, Caleb is glad for the opportunity to spend time with her and hopes to win her back.

Struck by the power of evangelism and outreach, Emma begins to feel a draw to Caleb's way of life. When she doesn’t return home when she promised, Zeb goes to the city to find her, forcing Emma to choose in which of their two worlds she really belongs.

I was thrilled to win a copy of this book on one of my favorite authors, Vanetta Chapman's website.

I really enjoyed this book. It's a bit different than some of the other "Amish" books I've read. I know that all Amish communities are not the same. In most books I have read "rumspringa" is a time of experiencing the outside world - and so it is in this book. But in this book it's more of a specific "time and place". What I have heard about it before is that it's mostly a secret thing - the parents not necessarily knowing where and what the kids are doing and a lot of it is done with the kids coming home at night and still, for the most part, carrying on with the normal day to day life.

In this book it's a group of kids going to the inner city and staying at a homeless shelter. The parents know where they are and they either stay there and make a life for themselves or return home after weeks or months there.

It was interesting reading about a different way to do rumspringa. This one reminded me a lot of what our local churches do as an outreach - although for only a week or two at a time.

These characters were easy to like - they had flaws, no one was perfect and they had struggles. What happened at the shelter was a good view in to inner city life and very real.

I highly recommend this book. It's book one of a series and I'm looking forward to reading the next two.

Thanks to Beth Shriver for sending me the copy and to Vanetta Chapman for the offer to win it.


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