I began reading this book during the end of a semester of graduate school. Usually when I am reading a really good book, I cannot put it down and I will read it instead of focus on what I really need to get done. I guess I should be thankful that was not the case with this book. It was boring and it was easy to not read it every day. With that said, this was my first Amish book. I wanted to give it a chance and I read it with an open mind. However, it was not for me. I found it really simple, as the title states, and dull. It did not catch my interest and it is a story that I will quickly forget. First of all, I didn't care for the main character Jancey. She actually annoyed me many times. She would make so many dumb choices and as a reader it would aggravate me. For some reason the way that Ritt was introduced made me view him as a teenager/young boy, not a man that could be a potential for Jancey. So after that it was weird reading about them having feelings for each other. I just didn't believe the relationship.
There were a few things in the book that I did not like at all. I understand that the Amana Colony is a community of Amish people, but their lifestyle seemed very cult like and that bothered me. I do not like the fact that everyone has to follow all these strict rules. For example, there is a bell that rings constantly telling people when to eat and go to sleep. They also are not allowed to talk in the dining halls and men and women cannot sit together. I do not agree with these rules and I do not like reading about it. It would make me angry and it took away from the book. I also was angry when I read that Jancey could not be a teacher in the village because that is a job that men had. The people in Amana also had to ask the elders in the community for permission for many things and again this is something I do not agree with.
I am feeling generous with giving the book 3 stars. Technically I would say it is more 2.5 stars, but it wasn't a horrible book. It was just boring and I didn't agree with a few parts of it. Overall it was somewhat well written. If you love Amish books, you might enjoy it. If you do not read Amish novels, then I would not recommend it to you.
I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.
Simplicity, living life more simple. Usually this is the key feature of Amish fiction but this book is not Amish. However Jancey has to adjust to a more simple life. I really enjoyed this book. It was a slow beginning but hang in there because it does pick up and you will enjoy it. My mom and I were just talking about living life more simple, homemade vs store bought food and life back in the day. It was a hard life and something were not so simple but I think living with less is the key to happiness. Can Jancey find happiness in Amana County with a new love? Or will she long to return to the city and resume her life with a long time boyfriend?
I have requested A Hidden Truth book 1 in Home to Amana series. There is a few in this series and if you really enjoy them she also has Daughters of Amana series too.
thank you Bethany House for allowing me to review this book!
Jancey Rhoder is leaving a life of leisure in Kansas City and following her parents to the Amana Colonies in Middle Amana, Iowa to live the simple life. Her mother's wish is to return to her birthplace to live out the short time she has left. Jancey can't fathom not being by her mother's side.
Jancey's father tried to convince her to stay and marry Nathan Woodard one of his business associates. She is not so sure she is ready to marry and informs Nathan she will be moving away with her parents. He tries to talk her into staying but her mind is made up. Is the old saying, "Out of sight out of mind.", really true?
Will Jancey be able to adjust to the simple life? She is determined to learn all the rules and follow them. Yet she pushed the rules almost beyond the limit. She is appointed a job of doing housekeeping at the mill workers dorm. Housekeeping was something she had never done before, but was willing to learn. In Kansas City she had been a volunteer at an orphanage where she was an accredited teacher. She loved teaching.the children.
This author writes of a strong willed young woman wanting to to fit in to the simple life. The lessons in this story are many which are meekness, love, hope, trust and faith in God's.
There is a villain and a hero. The story will keep you guessing until the very end as to whether Jancey goes back to Kansas City or stays in Middle Amana.
I have enjoyed this series and ready to read more of Home To Amana. Judith Miller is undoubtedly one of my favorite authors.
I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group for review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
This book centers around one of the most interesting historical religious groups I have found, the Amana colonies. Jancey Rhoder is a young, privileged, very happy young woman. The time is 1881, and although she was privileged to receive a very good education, she is content to teach at an orphanage in Kansas City Missouri. The only child of wealthy parents, she has stylish clothes, a beautiful home and a handsome young beau who wants to marry her.
Her perfect world is turned upside down when mother whose health is very bad, takes a turn for the worse. Her parents decide they want to return their home and roots at the Amana Colony in Iowa where they both were raised. She becomes torn between staying with the children and job she loves or going to be with her dying mother. Nathan Woodward, her boyfriend adds to her confusion by trying to pressure into marrying him and staying. The new development in their relationship reveals a selfish, darker side of him that Jancey had not seen before.
Her heart wins out and she moves to the Amana Colony with her parents. While it is very normal and comfortable to them, their daughter must learn to live not only in severe simplicity but with a multitude of rules and conduct guidelines. Though it is a bit of a social shock she works hard at adapting and accepting a new way of life. She is caught totally off guard when she finds herself falling in love with a young man in the colony that is everything Nathan isn't.
Trying to live the Amana life but making decisions based on her old way of life puts Jancey in some very difficult and even dangerous situations. To complicate matters Nathan shows up to work with the Amana men and to try and convince her to marry him. Living in the colonies away from all the trappings the world she had once enjoyed, Jancey finds herself renewing her relationship with God and turning to Him for the answers she needs. I loved learning more about life in the colonies and how peaceful it was. This book has suspense, romance, mystery, and surprises! A book you WILL want to read!
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
A Simple Change by Judith Miller is a well written wonderful story that begins in 1881 in Kansas City, Missouri but most of the story takes place in the Middle Amana Colony in Iowa. Jancey Rhoder is very happy teaching the orphans at the Kansas City Charity Home and is more or less comfortable with her suitor, Nathan Woodward. Her mother is quite ill and the doctors cannot determine exactly what is wrong with her and can offer no hope for recovery. Her mother and father lived in the Amana Colony until they married and moved to Kansas City. Now her mother wants to return to Amana to spend her last days, and her father is agreeable to the move. Jancey is torn because she wants to spend as much of her time as possible with her mother but she does not want to leave the children she teaches. Nathan definitely does not want Jancey to move but she is not too concerned about how he feels. The family moves to Amana and Jancey finds it a very different kind of life but she is not unhappy and fits in quite well with the women in the Colony. She cannot teach in Amana for women are not allowed to teach school but she is able to help a couple of the young girls with their reading skills which helps her adjust to not being able to teach at a school. Ritt is the son of the family that owns the house where Jancey and her parents live and since he and his family live upstairs, they have many occasions to meet and they quickly become friends and find that they are attracted to each other.. Nathan shows up for an unexpected and unwelcome visit and sparks start to fly in more ways than one.
The author did an excellent job developing the characters, plot,dialogue, and all other elements of the story. The characters simply came alive on the pages of the book and by the time I finished reading, I felt as if they were friends, or at least some of them were friends. It was evident that the author did her research on the Amana Colony and it was very interesting to read about the daily life of the people living in the Colony. A very enjoyable way to have a history lesson. Descriptions of scenes in the book were very well done and with each I felt as if I were living and working in the Colony right long with the characters. The fire scene was so real that I could almost feel the heat from the flames.
I highly recommend this book to everyone that appreciates a great story with a happy ending.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.