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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 2010
The Narrow Path is a story about a couple who must face their differences and learn to work together as they look toward a lifetime of love. Miranda Klassens Mennonite church is big and modern and she loves the mixture of faith, action, and activity. But in order to follow her dream she moves across the country to a small town to organize the 75th anniversary celebration of an Old Order Mennonite church. Ted Wiebe has been assigned to assist and guide Miranda, feeling good that his church has chosen another Mennonite. But except for sharing the same basic faith and denomination, their churches have nothing else in common. His church embraces old-style roots, so Ted expects to find someone similar at the airport: a woman who never wears pants, no body piercing (including pierced ears), no makeup, and wearing a head covering as a sign of modesty, someone else who lives in accordance with old-fashioned values. But the woman who acknowledges him is wearing unreasonably high and outlandishly expensive shoes, denim jeans, and makeup, including bright red lipstick. As she gets off the plane shes fiddling with an iPod and yapping on the cell phone. When Miranda enters Teds church and community she feels like shes been transported back into Little House On The Prairie. Ted is supposed to help Miranda fit in, and Miranda is supposed to help his church reach out into the community. When its time to start planning and organizing for the celebration, then the fun really begins.
Chapter one is headed by the verse Matthew 7:14, But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few will find it. Sattler carefully crafts the Mennonites lifestyle in the book through everything from the way they speak to the types of foods they eat. Although she contrasts the Christians who literally separate themselves from the world, and Christians who live among the world and its ways but are still set apart, she unites them as one in Christ. Despite the fact that tradition and daily life may be different for believers, a beautiful unity exists in God.
The major flaw in The Narrow Path is in the storytelling itself. Although there is an overarching conflict of Miranda and Teds lives colliding, there are really no conflicts to keep the reader turning pages, and the major crisis arises out of an obscure part of the story that didnt allow time for the reader to become emotionally involved due to lack of background and rising tension. Also, many times there are unnecessary sections of the book that dont add anything to the plot itself, such as local customs, church history, or random descriptions of country life.
However, despite the lack of a unified and complete story, Sattlers characters are loveable, fun, and memorable, and her quick wit and knack for good descriptions will keep her readers smiling. Most pre-teens, teens, and young women in search of a light-hearted romance with a good message will appreciate The Narrow Path. Emily Jean Morgan, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com