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2 Stars Out Of 5
March 6, 2012
Basic summary: Annie and Aden, childhood friends become attracted to each other. But because of their different religious backgrounds are forbidden (because of their own vows - having joined the church and agreed to it's rules) to have anything to do with each other. Should they disregard that or should they pursue a relationship with each other?
This book left me with mixed feelings. Lets start off with the "pros."
It was well read. Cassandra Campbell did a good job reading it. I felt like I could hear the different characters individually and liked how she did the inflections of humor, sarcasm, and sadness.
***Possible spoilers ahead.***
It had some good points: We should be careful when making a promise. We should not pressure someone into making a promise. We should be aware of the fact that proximity breeds affection. We should examine our belief system to see if it's correct. I loved the mom in this story - she really seemed to lean on the Lord whatever came her way.
The cons: The Bible teaches that if we "swear something to our own hurt" we aren't to change but to bear it. (Although I am of the opinion a foolish, hurtful vow should be repented of and broken.) The young people in this story not only fed an attraction for years but also later snuck around even though they knew they were going against what they had promised and their parents/guardian's wishes. Yet they are both presented as fairly godly young people. Their "need" to explore whether they really loved one another was more important than their promises to God, the church, or their families. You see a pattern of a lack of communication between the children and their parents/guardians. Yet to some degree they are portrayed as almost wiser than their elders. At one point in the story the young man basically decides his parent will not "dictate" anything to him. I felt that the parents/guardians in this story were lacking. While it's great that the mom was such a spiritual lady, it was sad to see that she was the one that was the "most" spiritual rather than the husband or grandfather. I was disappointed in that, as the man should be the spiritual leader. Granted - sometimes, that's just how it is.
It's a great "tearjerker" of a story. But if your young person followed the principles that are enacted in this story I'm afraid that it wouldn't turn out as well in real life as it did in the story. In fact, most of the time it's a disaster. The author has a way with words and writes and interesting story - but in the end I think I'd rather not recommend it to any young person to read. If you are mature and would like to see how people in this situation think - then go for it. But realize in real life a situation similar to this is usually enacted by young people far more rebellious than those portrayed here and the end is generally heartbreaking. For this reason, I regretfully give this audio book two stars.
Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher through the christianaudio.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Mixed in this Amish fictional romance novel is a lot of interfamilial conflict. Mother and daughter, twin brothers, grandfather and granddaughter, mother and sons. In a world with such strict expectations placed on you by your family and, ultimately, your church community, each person has to struggle with whether or not he genuinely trusts God when times get tough. As each arrives at this decision in his own way, the family relationships are strained. Can the forbidden yet pure love between two young people from different faiths survive this strain? Can the families stick together and support one another in their decisions, or will they lose what really matters? This book dealt with dynamics of life that we can all relate to, whether or not we call ourselves Plain. Do we really trust God, or have the crutches we've used to prop ourselves up taken His place?
Two brothers whose physical limitations caused them to depend on each other for daily life, struggle with facing their shortcomings and deciding if those will ultimately define them. A mother who has a strong faith has to decide if that faith can carry her through the unknown. A father who made mistakes in parenting his only child has to decide if he wants to remain as rigid with his grandchild. The plot was interesting and pertinent, and the narrator did a great job. Her accent was clear and crisp, as the Amish and Mennonites tend to speak, and she changes her voice with each character so that I always knew whose point of view I was listening to and who was speaking. This is a great book for just relaxing and enjoying the story, and maybe finding a bit of yourself in the chapters.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the christianaudio.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.