Kingdom, Kansas is a small Mennonite community virtually hidden from the outside world. When danger follows one of their own home, the residents have no choice but to realize that Kingdom may not be as safe as they think or want it to be. Hope Kauffman will intrigue you as will most of the townspeople of Kingdom who are strong in their convictions and beliefs. I love when a book gets your pulse going and you find yourself saying "well I didn't see that coming!" This book certainly achieved that. The anticipation of what is going to happen next and how the characters react is why I have become such a fan of mystery and suspense books. Nancy Mehl has written an exceptional book that should be on your reading list and if you're list is two pages long like mine then move this book up to the top! Unbreakable is packed with suspense and will keep you on your toes. Your detective skills need to be on high alert Sherlock, so be prepared__.
This book was provided to me from Bethany House publishers and author Nancy Mehl for review purposes.
Nancy Mehl is a talented author who certainly knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat while reading her book. "UnBreakable" is the second in her Road to Kingdom series, following "Inescapable", however you could read it as a stand alone.
I was immediately caught up in the drama and mystery on the very first page of the book. When a story begins with someone being warned to be careful because someone is threatening to destroy houses of worship as well as the Christians who live in her town, you know it will be an intense situation.
The characters were very real to me, as they had been in Book 1. Hope, a favorite of mine, became a very good friend for whom I was concerned. I wanted to give her advice and help her solve her problems. I could feel her every fear and worry. The conflict that Hope experienced in her relationship issues, tore me apart, not knowing what she would choose to do. I felt her pain. The other main characters were just as well developed throughout the story. Nancy has very ordinary, realistic characters, so that you can easily identify with them in times of problems as well as in times of joy. To me, a good book has characters that I can FEEL and understand. Nancy is very successful in the development of them throughout the book.
The plot is one which has twists and turns. Around every corner is another complication, which is completely unexpected. Just when I would think I had answers to the mystery, another wedge was encountered and throw me off completely. The element of surprise kept me on the edge of my seat.
Faith in God and the importance of keeping true to your faith came through loud and clear. Hope, as well as the rest of the town, had to come to terms , with the fact that even when in danger, you need to pray and have the reassurance that God is with you and has a plan. His plan may be hard to understandThe people of Kingdom were shocked at the cruelty of those who were attacking their beliefs, had to understand that although the storms raged around them, God would take care of them. A hard concept for any of us to deal with- we could certainly identify with it!!
This is a five star book!! Mennonite mysteries are not common to find! It was a great read, unusual subject, fantastic mystery!! What more could you ask?
Kingdom is a Mennonite community that has seen much recent change. Some have electricity and telephones. Others have vehicles in which they gather supplies from large, nearby towns.
But the biggest change of all is threatening the small Mennonite town. Violence.
Someone has it in for the Christians in Kansas. A church was recently burned and another vandalized. Then trouble comes to the citizens of Kingdom. The driver of a powerful red pickup tries to run Hope and her buggy off the dirt road. She is not badly hurt but a few days later, an older man in the Mennonite community dies when his buggy is forced off the road.
There is division in the town as some advocate patrols on the nearby roads - patrols by men with guns. Others are appalled that Mennonites would forsake their strongly held belief of nonviolence. God will protect us, they argue. It is in overcoming adverse times like this that will make Kingdom residents stronger.
Such is the theme of this novel. Does one believe God for protection or reach for a hunting rifle? When Hope and her friend Lizzy see the red pickup slowly rolling through Kingdom late in the evening, Lizzy thinks of reaching for her rifle. "There is was again, the dichotomy of faith. Believe in God but have another plan in case He fails you."
I usually don't like novels of the Amish/Mennonite genre but this is the second I've read of Mehl's and enjoyed it as much as the first in this series. The novel gave me much to think about. When do you trust God and when do you just get to work yourself? What does it really mean to "turn the other cheek"? If my household was threatened, what would I do, how would I react?
There is a bit of romance in this novel too. Hope is engaged to a traditional Mennonite man but has feelings for a more progressive man. Hope having to make a decision between the two parallels the theme of tradition verses a move toward more modern actions.
There is a reading group guide included in this novel. I would anticipate a very interesting group discussion resulting from reading this novel. The book will give you much to think about too.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
My thoughts: Unbreakable is the second book in the Kingdom series about a small community of Mennonites. One of the beliefs of Mennonite believers is that God would have them behave non-violent toward those who offend or harm them. That is a key issue in Unbreakable. The story opens with a single lady, Hope, driving her horse and buggy along a deserted road and a red pickup truck runs her off the road. It then turns around and is about to finish what it had begun when another truck arrives in time to save her from sure destruction. She is Hope Kauffman of Kingdom and the man who has come to her rescue is Jonathan Wiese. Hope was engaged to marry Ebenezer Miller (or Ebbie for short) but finds herself drawn toward Jonathan.
There is much discussion among the Mennonites regarding the on-going threats to churches and individuals in the Mennonite community and how they should protect themselves from this danger or how they should react should they encounter it. Jonathan is ready to take up arms and protect the community and enlists others from outside the community. However Ebber, who is the young Mennonite that Hope's family has plans and hopes she will marry, is an Elder in the church, and he is constant in his belief that the Mennonite non-violent belief and policy is the way they should react.
Nancy Mehl has well developed characters who are completely believable. The story line is intriguing enough that you don't lose interest as you read. The insight into the gentle, non-violent Mennonites is interesting and challenging as you, as an individual that is not Mennonite, examines your own closely held beliefs into how you would protect those you love and just how you would react.
I had already read book one in the Kingdom series but reading it is not prerequisite to understanding Unbreakable. Read my review of Nancy Mehl's other book, Inescapable.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of Unbreakable by Litfuse Publicity Group on behalf of the publisher, Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group and the author, Nancy Mehl in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are solely mine.
I had chosen to read Inescapable, which is the first book in the Road to Kingdom series, last July (2012). I enjoyed the book very much and had been looking forward to the day that Unbreakable, Nancy Mehl's next book would be available.
It was worth the wait. Nancy again had me turning pages late into the night, as well as, looking forward to the next chance I had to pick up the book to find out what would happen next.
I felt connected to the people of Kingdom and wanted find out who would want to hurt these gentle people. I also wanted to know why and who was behind the burning of the churches outside of Kingdom. Up until now evil hadn't come into this peaceful Mennonite town, but would that change? The people in Kingdom were God-fearing, and non-violent. Were they easy targets? How would the residence of Kingdom react, and would they hold tight to their beliefs, even if someone they loved was is danger? I asked myself these questions as I read; and I have to say that Nancy did an amazing job of using her characters to explore these long held Anabaptist beliefs. The story was exciting and very believable.
I highly recommend Unbreakable, and it is okay if you haven't read Inescapable because each book works well as a stand alone.
I now look forward to Nancy Mehl's next book in the Road to Kingdom series Unforseeable.
**Unbreakable (Road to Kingdom series #2) by Nancy Mehl was provided for me free by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.