I found the history behind the Amana's interesting. In 1930, they ceased from communal living, but I guess there are still operational churches of this sect that continues to this day. Both Johanna and Berta had to face questions that plague many of us even this day. We don;t have to face judgement for wearing a pink skirt, but I wonder if we thought it would save our family, would we do drastic things to bring a family closer together like the Schumacher family tried to do?
Can we be content with what we have always known, or is the grass always greener on the other side?
Somewhere to Belong by Judith Miller is the story of two young women who are brought together in an unusual way. This is the first book in the Daughters of Amana series.Berta comes from a privileged family. She is uprooted by her parents, who desire a more simple life, and moved to the Amana community. Berta is a rebellious young woman, who becomes even more rebellious when she realizes Amana will be her new home. Berta experiences many challenges and brings disruption and chaos to the peaceful community.Johana has always lived the simple life in Amana. However, she has always longed to view the outside world. When Berta joins the community, she becomes even more intrigued by the lavish stories of the outside world. Many secrets lie ahead for Johana that cause pain and frustration. Can she work through them to find out where she truly belongs?This book was hard for me to get into. Each chapter flips to either Berta or Johana's story, so I had a hard time following. After several chapters, it finally started flowing better for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.Judith Miller creates twists and turns throughout the story that keep you captured and you are drawn to the characters and the challenges they face.I have heard of communities such as this before, but have never read any books. I can't wait to read and learn more about the community.I received a copy of this book courtesy of the Bethany House blog review program. All opinions stated are my own and are not swayed by receiving this product.
Somewhere to Belong is the first time I have heard about the Amana Colony and I was really looking forward to traveling back in time and enjoying the peace and tranquility of this community. While life in Amana was exactly what I was expecting, the story that Judith Miller told, far exceeded my expectations. I have a couple of Judiths books prior to this one and I have always enjoyed her writing, but Somewhere to Belong really captured my heart. Johanna and Berta were two young women from very different worlds who, surprisingly, had a great deal in common. Their lives intersected at the exact moment they needed each other. While I could not relate to the desire to live the way those in the Amana Colony lived, this book did remind me how wonderful it is to be home. We all want to feel at home and we all have different ways in which we want to live and this book served to remind me how much I appreciate the idea of home. This is a warm story and full of Christian inspiration. It is a relaxing and fast read that proved very difficult to put down. The next book in the Daughters of Amana series, More Than Words, is releasing soon and I am very excited about returning to Amana. Judith Miller is becoming one of my favorite authors because of her warm and interesting storytelling. I highly recommend Somewhere to Belong. It is a real delight.
I liked how Judith Miller brought two different life styles together. Johanna Ilg has so much patience with Berta Schumacher as she tries to teach her the ways of Amana Colonies. This book also shows how important it is to be open and honest with each other. I also like the fact that both girls learn to lean on the Lord and forgive others of past mistakes. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series! This book was given to me from Bethany House to review.