What a cute and somewhat serious tale that starts in the city of Minneapolis moving to a Mennonite town called Piney Meadows. Anna has witnessed many young people leave the tiny town for many reasons; her heart longs to go and live in the city as well. Chad quits his job on Christmas Eve, jumps into his car and drives until he has to pull over because he is out of gas. Not knowing where he is he walks to the only building close to the closed gas station with lights on and people milling about.
When he enters, he is greeted then sits to watch a most moving pageant, one he has never seen the likes of before. Then, while discussing the unusual circumstances that brought him to town, he finds that he is asked if he would like to interview for a management position with a furniture store. The former manager has just proposed to a young lady and resigned his position to live with her in Seattle after their marriage.
The interesting twists and turns occur between the beginnings described above and the conclusion of the story. In between there are funny parts for readers to enjoy as well as highlighting some of the lifestyle differences between Mennonites and other denominations. I also loved how the thought of courtship was woven into the story, which showed how it can actually protect people from wrong choices or being in compromising situations. Courtship also helped the two main characters foster a friendship and gave time for them to really learn about the other person, including some aspects of Chad's past.
Above all, one central theme seemed prevalent and that was praying about everything and listening for God's voice or watching for His leading. Anna and Chad's lives were in some ways going in opposite directions while their hearts were yearning towards each other. At one point there is a character that stands before the congregation and asks to join the local body, including sharing one painful part of his past. What I liked about this particular scene in the book is what one of the elders stands up and says, bringing everyone's attention back to what Scripture has revealed. I hope you enjoy reading Gail Sattler's novel, The Path to Piney Meadows and then consider sharing your copy or purchase one for a friend or family member.
On a whim, Chad Allen quits his job_on Christmas Eve. Shocked by what he has just done, Chad gets in the car and drives until he runs out of gas. Now stranded in a small town where the only open building is a church, Chad finds himself in the midst of the Mennonite town of Piney Meadows. The lifestyle is simpler than what Chad had previously been used to in the big city but he discovers that while he desires the simplicity Piney Meadows has to offer, Anna, a young woman in the town, desires to see what the big city has to offer. Both Chad and Anna must discover God's plan for them_whatever that might be.
A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
For readers familiar with Gail Settler's previous Piney Meadows adventure, "The Narrow Path", this novel will come as a pleasant sequel. Although the books do not need to be read in sequence, it may be beneficial as "The Path to Piney Meadows" picks up where "The Narrow Path" left off. Settler creatively builds off of the first novel by taking a minor character that is only mentioned in passing in the first book and expanding the character into becoming the main focus of the sequel. The reader will enjoy the humor found within the novel as well as appreciate the many opportunities presented to pause and consider God's will for each of us.
3.5 (Out of 5 PENNIES)
*I received a complimentary copy of "The Path to Piney Meadows" from Abingdon Press for my honest review*
Chad Jones is more than fed up with his job and his life in general,his girlfriend Brittany has left him and his relationship with God is virtually nonexistent When he makes a snap decision to quit his job he hops in his car and decides to just drive, thing is it's Christmas Eve. Running out of gas he finds himself in the tiny town of Piney Meadows, a Mennonite town. He finds himself drawn to the local church, and one of the first people he meets is Ted Weibe, who informs him that the gas station wont reopen until after Christmas. It seems as if fate is at work when Chad is offered a place to stay and possibly a job. He thinks that he can make this quaint town his home, and even finds himself falling for Anna Janzen,but he can't move forward with a relationship until he finds Brittany, and besides Anna doesn't want to stay in Piney Meadows. Is there a future in Piney Meadows for Chad, and why is he desperate to find Brittany, and if he finds her how will it affect the relationship that is developing between him and Anna? Will Anna take the step into the outside world or will she realize that what she has been looking for is right in Piney Meadows?
To say that I loved this story is an understatement! Piney Meadows is such a quaint little town, that so reminded me of small town USA. I can easily envision visiting and wanting to stay. While I understood Anna's need to leave,after all there were expectations of her that she felt like she couldn't live up to I kept hoping that she would find a reason to stay! Chad was such a wonderful lead character. He fit perfectly into the life that he fell into in Piney Meadows. I am always a fan of stories that introduce us to pets and with this one we had Blinkie and Waddles a couple of unique pets! The only negative thing I have to say about this story is I think it would have been helpful if there would have been a glossary for the words that the Mennonite's used, otherwise this is a solid five star read for me! Anyone who enjoys a good clean read, with a few twists, characters that are a joy to meet, along with a homey feel are going to want to read "The Path to Piney Meadows."
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.
Rejected by his girlfriend, frustrated by his job, and all alone, Chad drives away from his boss, his shipwrecked relationship, and his empty apartment on Christmas eve.
He drives away from Minneapolis, through a long dark snowy evening, until he reaches the town of Piney Meadows, just in time for their Christmas play.
He never intended to come here, and now he is stranded.
On this cold and holy evening, Chad finds himself surrounded by welcoming men and women who take him right in and offer him shelter until he can return home.
The longer he stays though, the more Piney Meadows seems like *it* is home!
The Path to Piney Meadows raises the question: How do you settle up the with past before you move on to the future?
With humor provided by two Rhode Island Red hens, an unconventional romance budding like a leaf in the Spring, and a unique community of Mennonites all around, The Path to Piney Meadows is a book worthy of its evocative title. I mean, can't you just see the place when you hear those words?
I still wonder: Has the author, or anyone else, ever stuck a push-pin into a soft LCD monitor like Chad did, just to see what happens? ;)
Through God's providence, Chad finds himself in the small, isolated town of Piney Meadows. Coming from "the cities", Chad is an outside in this Mennonite community. The townspeople slow adjust to him, as does Anna, a young Mennonite woman. Building a strong friendship and firm foundation, Chad and Anna rely on God, each other and their faith to lead them through challenging situations. Although it is set in a set-apart town with traditional values, it is a modern-day story. I enjoyed it and I was rooting for Chad to find peace with God's path for him.