Johanna Ilg has lived her entire life in Main Amana, one of the seven villages settled by devout Christians who believe in cooperative living, a simple lifestyle, and faithful service to God. Although she’s always longed to see the outside world, Johanna believes her future is rooted in Amana. But when she learns a troubling secret, the world she thought she knew is shattered. Is this truly where she belongs?
Berta Schumacher has lived a privileged life in Chicago, so when her parents decide they want a simpler life in Amana, Iowa, she resists. Under the strictures of the Amana villages, her rebellion reaches new heights. Will her heart ever be content among the plain people of Amana?
What I thought:
Judith Miller’s new Daughters of Amana series will delight history fiction lovers, with engaging characters and a strong story line, readers are sure to appreciate Judith’s talent for authentic story writing.
I learned a lot about the Amana colonies throughout ‘Somewhere to Belong’. Judith Miller brings this era of history to life in full colour through Joanna’s and Berta’s story. I related closely to Joanna, in her desire to follow the rules of her community. Berta, on the other hand, would appeal to the rebels amongst us. Both characters bring a richness and depth to this story by illuminating the consequences of the choices we make.
While Berta seeks to follow her own path with a rebelliousness that gets her into no end of strife, Joanna seeks to find a more respectful way to follow her dreams. As the mother of daughters, it is Joanna’s process of working with her parents rather than against them that warmed my heart. Although Berta eventually decides upon peacefully waiting on God, it is Joanna who demonstrates a life lived in gracious humility and the abundant blessing she experiences as a result.
With thanks to Bethany House for Tracy’s review copy
Guest reviewer:~ My friend Tracy from Beyond My Picket Fence
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