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A mysterious power outage causes Moses Hughes's small plane to crash near Leora Ebersole's Old Order Mennonite town and cuts the electricity at the country store, leaving Englischer's stranded because their car batteries are dead. Now the pacifist community must partner with the outsiders to survive. Leora's family and neighbors must protect their lifestyle from English influence.
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)|
Moses offers a sobering theory, but no one can know how drastically life is about to change. With the only self-sustaining food supply in the region, the Pacifist community is forced to forge an alliance with the handful of stranded Englischers in an effort to protect not only the food but their very lives.
In the weeks that follow, Leora, Moses, and the community will be tested as never before, requiring them to make decisions they never thought possible. Whom will they help and whom will they turn away? When the community receives news of a new threat, everyone must decide how far theyre willing to go to protect their beliefs and way of life.
MagisterMichiganAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5"Plain" Look at Coming ApocalypseJune 7, 2017MagisterMichiganAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book and its sequel, The Divide, are not the easiest books to read. Who wants to think of the world as we know it changing suddenly and forever? But Petersheim makes it worth the angst as she weaves complex characters in a well-researched setting. And though (hopefully) we may never face their situation, the questions they wrestle with are ours daily: How much are we willing to compromise for the sake of our family? What would we hold on to at all costs? For whom would we risk everything?
This is not your average "plain" romance. Leora's suitors, Jabil and Moses, have very different visions of what her future can and should be. Her sister, Anna, is frozen in childhood of by a closed head injury that she feels responsible for. A cranky grandmother and missing father - all these relationships and more show us the many facets of this young woman's heart. The imagery is fantastic - the stockade wall the leaders of the Mennonite community are willing to erect to protect their dwindling supplies, if the Englicshers stranded among them will defend it. And then finally (*spoiler alert!) this wall coming down as surely as Leora's resistance to her love for the forbidden Moses! Despite the carnage and desolation, I found this a hopeful book, and couldn't wait for the second in the series. Petersheim's fluid prose gives us a vivid glimpse into not only Leora's heart, but our own.
jacquiRIllinoisAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5The AllianceJune 3, 2017jacquiRIllinoisAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Alliance by Jolina Petersheim is the first in this apocalyptic series set in an Old Order Mennonite community in Montana which is continued with the novel, The Divide. From the first page in which a small plane crashes in their Mennonite community, and everyone tries to rescue and aid the injured pilot, the reader is pulled into this world. A world changed by a warhead that sets off a huge electromagnetic pulse that wipes out the power grid.
The pilot, Moses Hughes, is the first to recognize this possibility. His background as a soldier equips him to foresee that this community is going to be under siege by desperate people who will fight to save themselves and their families. The communitys resources will be a chief draw for those who lack what these Mennonites have. He also is one of the few who will use force against them to protect this community who do not believe in violence. He has faced the enemy before and will not hesitate to protect and defend.
Young Leora Ebersole has had to manage and provide for her family from the day that her father abandoned them. Soon after her mothers death, she assumes family leadership, caring for her grandma, her younger brother and sister. Her neighbor, Jabil, would have gladly married her and assumed responsibility for all of them, but strong, self-reliant Leora refuses his offer. Nothing has prepared her (or any of the community) for the challenge ahead.
This is a wonderful story, exploring the unimaginable collapse of the civilized, technologically- dependent world. A very plausible plot, beautifully written. I recommend this book that I received through TBCN in exchange for an honest review. I look forward to reading the continuing, compelling story of this pacifist community that forms an alliance with a small number of stranded Englischers to protect their resources and their lives.
eLyndaAge: 35-44Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5Terrifyingly RealisticJanuary 5, 2017eLyndaAge: 35-44Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I don't spend a lot of time reading Amish or Mennonite fictionit just isn't my preferenceso I guess it isn't surprising that this is my first read authored by Jolina Petersheim. As is often the case for me, the cover is a major drawing factor, perhaps more so this time around because I wouldn't ordinarily pick up a book with a black buggy on the cover. Kudos have to go to the designer: the elements are juxtaposed in such a way that I had to ask how a buggy, an airplane, and a clothesline could possibly go together, and the mysterious haze blanketing everything else necessitated my reading the back of the book. Once the plot synopsis of this novel piqued my interest, the first page became automatic and the story was nearly impossible to put down!
There are a lot of things to enjoy here: an intriguing plot, realistic characters, mounting tension and suspense, and a culture clash that leaves the reader unsettled at even the calmer moments in the story. Several times I found myself wondering how something the author had set up could possibly work, and every time, not only did it work, it pulled me even further into the unlikely world Petersheim creates for the reader. How can a pacifist community protect itself from a society that will not hesitate to steal and kill to promote its own survival? Will the Mennonites and Englishers be able to get along and help each other, or will they tear apart their new world from the inside?
Petersheim sets her novel in a faith community and allows that faith to be repeatedly tested, sometimes with success, and other times the characters fail. They are not perfect, which makes them both more realistic and more endearing. I wondered how I would handle the various situations and compared my reactions to theirs, questioning my faith and even humanity. None of us can know for sure how we would respond and I appreciate that this book allows me to explore the landscape of my own mind and heart while viewing things from the safety of fiction.
This book is at once outstanding and terrifying, made more so by the frighteningly plausible scenario the reader is immersed in from the opening page. I would highly recommend this novel to anyoneyes, anyone who reads and has the maturity to handle apocalyptic fiction. It has elements of romance, action, suspense, and mystery, with characters to root for and questions that need to be answered. My only word of caution would be to wait until the next book comes out if you are a reader who can't stand a cliffhanger because this novel leaves us waiting impatiently for the conclusion in the upcoming release, The Divide.
I received a free copy of this book through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org), but no compensation for this review. I was not required to write a favorable one and the thoughts expressed are both honest and my own.
Britney Adams5 Stars Out Of 5The AllianceNovember 12, 2016Britney AdamsQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0The Alliance is an engaging, thought-provoking novel! Jolina Petersheim deftly portrays her characters and their emotions, beckoning readers into the harsh new reality of their world. Dramatic and suspenseful, I loved experiencing the reactions of this Old Order Mennonite community and look forward to continuing their story!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.
BeckySW MIAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Uneasy Alliance..Survival Not Guaranteed!!September 12, 2016BeckySW MIAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Jolina Petersheim presents an idea that is beginning to garner attention in her book, The Alliance. Could an electromagnetic shock wipe out all electricity and bring the world as we know it, to a halt? What sets Petersheim's book apart is that Englischers and Mennonites must combine forces in order to survive the coming depravity.
Filled with faith, doubt, loss, love, greed, and selflessness, I found this to be an engrossing story. What happened to Leora's father? to her sister? Which suitor will Leora choose? As Leora questions her theology versus her practical, pushed-to-the-edge attitudes and actions, I found myself soul-searching with her.
As I read the prelude for the sequel, I am just as anxious to find out how Petersheim gets her well-developed characters from point A to point B(hopefully where I want them to go).
Definitely worth the read. Petersheim's compelling prose thrusts the reader into a nightmare where survival is not guaranteed. You may be reevaluating the distance between black and white when you finish the story.
I gratefully received a copy of this book from the author and bookfun.org in exchange for an honest review.
Author: Jolina Petersheim
Located in: Driftless Region of Wisconsin
Submitted: December 31, 2015
Tell us a little about yourself. Last November, my husband and I and our two young daughters moved from Tennessee--my home for twenty-six years--to the Driftless Region of Wisconsin, where we are currently attempting to homestead on our grid-tie solar-powered farm. Though our Amish and Mennonite backgrounds should provide a smooth transition to the simple life, this past year has stretched us in so many ways, culminating in my third novel, The Alliance, releasing this June through Tyndale House, which I believe is my most important project to date.
Part St. John Mandel's Station Eleven with the communal quandaries presented in Lois Lowry's work, The Alliance has forced me to come to terms with my pacifist background and ask myself what lengths I would go to protect my daughters, even if that meant extinguishing a life.
What was your motivation behind this project? When my eldest daughter was six months old, an unnerving exchange with a logger caused me to ask myself whether I would ever use lethal force to protect myself and my family. I believed I would, even though, growing up, I sensed that my own father would adhere to his pacifist heritage if placed in such a situation. The final puzzle piece for my book, The Alliance, slid into place when my father told us that we needed heirloom seeds to last us until the next harvest season. I remember standing in my darkened kitchen and repeating that phrase to myselfThe Harvest Season. Initially, I believed this would be the title of the book, but over time, I knew a community having enough food to last until the next harvest season was only a small element of the story. The larger element came from the protagonist, Leora Ebersoles driving need to control her environment, even after society crumbles around her, because if she controls her environment, she believes she will be able to keep her orphaned family safe.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I pray that my readers will discover the Author of the peace that passes all understanding and daily surrender their livesand the lives of their familiesto Him.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? With every one of my books, Gods been faithful to allow me to experience some portion of whatever topic Im addressing. The Alliance is no exception. My family and I moved from Tennessee to Wisconsin shortly before I finished the rough draft. Eight weeks later, my husband went in for a CAT scan, which revealed a tumor near his brain stem. He had surgery the next morning, and all through that night next to his hospital bed, I feared for my family. I feared for our two young daughterstwo-and-a-half and four months at the time. I feared that I would be a widow, living on a farm six-hundred miles away from our immediate families. In a matter of hours, one of my worst fears had come true, and I didnt know how to handle it. However, all through my Garden of Gethsemane night, during the hours my husband was in surgery, and the critical weeks that followed the craniotomy, I felt Gods presence as if he was sitting beside me. I then understood that God had allowed me to face one of my greatest fears so that I would learn that inner peace can never be acquired through my futile attempts to control my environmentand therefore keep my family safe. Moreover, I can only achieve inner peace if I continually surrender my life and the lives of my family to the One who called us into being.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? Francine Rivers, Marilynne Robinson, Thomas Hardy, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen, Donna Tartt, Sue Monk Kidd, Barbara Kingsolver, Kate Atkinson, Kate Morton
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Through all its mountains and valleys, I'm honored to take this journey of life with you.