Swartzentruber vs. Military - quite a cultural clash
February 28, 2016
Serena Miller does a amazing job of portraying the life of the Swartzentruber Amish, a group I had never heard of before. They live even more austere lives than the Old Order Amish we usually read about. Levi Troyer is a Swartzentruber Amish man, and this makes the violence that enters his home and destroys his family even more shocking. The horror is lessened only because it brought Grace into his life. Grace Connor is an ex-military nurse who has returned from Afghanistan to nurse her ageing Grandmother, Elizabeth, who turns out to be quite a character. Grace hopes the move to a rural community will help her recover from the death and destruction she has witnessed in Afghanistan.
The friendship between Grace and Levi develops slowly. Levi is a beautiful man with such strength and depth born out of a severe upbringing. there are many side characters and plot-lines, making An Uncommon Grace a rich, wholesome, wonderful read. I cant wait to continue the series.
This is a wonderful book. I , however made the mistake of reading Hidden Mercies first so be sure you read An Uncommon Grace first. It did not spoil the story however I understood HIdden Mercies better after reading An Uncommon Grace. I thought since I read the 2nd one 1st and then the 1st one, I would not enjoy An Uncommon Grace but I did and they are wonderful stories and I could not put them down. Read two night until almost 5 a.m.
Historical fiction and Amish fiction are my go-to genres all day, every day. I love the history from one and the simplicity from the other. But ya know...sometimes, both can get a little bogged down with a sense of sameness, and I long for some variety. Well, thanks to Serena Miller's new book, I've gotten my taste of the Amish in a totally new way.
This book explores the life and culture of the Swartzentruber Amish--an ultra-conservative sect that many readers, including myself, have never heard of. It's obvious that the Amish in general are very strict in their lifestyle in order to keep them separate from the Englisch, but the Swartzentruber take it to a whole different level. They don't ride in cars unless it's an emergency, there are no phones anywhere, there's no indoor plumbing, and their home appliances and farm equipment are primitive beyond belief. Also, their views and opinions on the Bible and a Christian life seem different, too, almost to the point of making me pity them. It seems as though their primary focus is on good works, and that they only get assurance of heaven if they've done enough and lived a good life. Oh, if they only knew the truth.
With this unusual cultural backdrop, it did not take me long to become engrossed in Serena's story. I loved Grace's subtle methods of serving Levi and his family without being asked. I longed for Levi to recognize his district's flawed teachings, as well as the ability to escape those who would sabotage his reputation. And I hoped with all my heart that these two could find a way to be more than just friends. Partially because of these two characters, An Uncommon Grace was a very intriguing story that was both entertaining and satisfying.
For those who are fans of Amish mysteries by author Mindy Starns Clark, I can heartily recommend that you give Serena's latest book a try. It has the perfect combination of mystery and Amish culture, and if you're not careful, you may just learn a thing or two (I speak from experience here). :o) Serena has now written two books that I have loved from start to finish--one historical and one Amish--and it's safe to say that she'll be an author I'll read more from in the future!
Ms. Miller has done it again! This book is unbelievably good! It is practically impossible to put down once you start. I'd recommend this book to anyone who has ties to the military, has ever been or is a teacher or principal, or loves to read about the Amish. One thing about Ms. Miller's writings that is consistent is her ability to provoke us to think about our own walk with God as we read these SO believable characters. Gracie & Levi are two of my favorite characters ever! You found yourself torn trying to help Levi & wanting him to discoveer for himself how things REALLY were! AWESOME BOOK!
Ex-military nurse Grace Connor is hoping that a move to rural Ohio will help her achieve a simpler pace in her everyday life, and help her brother stay out of trouble.
Levi Troyer's life changed in a heartbeat, when he came home to find his step-father and mother gunned down by a gunman looking for money.
The following events cause Levi to question the rules that he has lived by his whole life. Can there be any future between a Schwartzentruber Amish man and an English nurse?
This story started out kinda sadly, and as things progressed I wasn't sure how Levi and Grace cvould ever work anything out, so this book definitely kept me guessing and reading. There was always something happening, and I just kept reading because I couldn't find a good stopping place and I always wanted to know what they were going to do next.
There was definitely alot of drama in this book, and Ms. Miller did a fabulous job of making me really come to care for the characters. This book was about the Schwartzentruber Amish, who are the most strict of the orders, so this book had a sort of different take on the Amish, but I learned tons!
I think that one of the things that I really liked about this book was how Levi and Grace interacted, and were very careful to guard their feelings to a certain extent, because of how it would be so hard for them to be able to make it work. So I admired their respect for each other.
Overall, this is a book that I would highly recommend. The story is dramatic and engaging, and there are parts that are sure to pierce your heart. I can't wait to see what Ms. Miller will write next!
I received this ebook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!