About the book:
When Hannah dares to love across the boundaries of tradition, will she lose everything?
Despite being raised in a traditional Old Order Amish family, seventeen-year-old Hannah Lapp desires to break with custom, forgo baptism into the faith, and marry outside the cloistered community. She's been in love with Mennonite Paul Waddell for three years, and before returning to college for his senior year, Paul asks Hannah to be his wife. Hannah accepts, aware that her marriage will change her relationship with her family forever.
On the evening of their engagement, tragedy strikes and in one unwelcome encounter, all that Hannah has known and believed is destroyed. As she finds herself entangled in questions that the Old Ways of her people cannot answer, Hannah faces the possibility of losing her place in her family, in her community; and in the heart of the man she loves.
The first in a trilogy, it's the story of a young Amish woman. Born into a strict Old Amish family, Hannah falls in love with a young Mennonite. Her family will not approve of Paul, but she becomes engaged anyway. When Hannah is assaulted by a stranger while on her way home one day, her life changes forever. Hers becomes a story of secrets and fear that once Paul learns what happened, he will no longer love her.
I found myself very angry with Hannah's parents. When she comes home after her assault, she expects some care and concern. Her parents show minimal concern and her mother acts as if the attack happened to her, personally. Her father feels that a bath and time will help Hannah heal and is more concerned with whether he should tell their bishop what happened.
Her sister is jealous of her and spreads some rumors about her that ultimately tear their family apart. While the Amish life fascinates me, I do not understand the strictness of their religious beliefs. While there is talk of God and how He never leaves you, there is never talk of Christ and forgiveness. It's all about the punishment and shunning of someone who has transgressed. While some of Hannah's friends and family show her love and support, others are severe in their judgments of her, even when their judgments are founded in untruth.
I am anxious to read the rest of the series. I like Hannah and her strength even in times of fear and sorrow. For a debut novel, I thought this one was terrific.
Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow. You can purchase your own copy here.
* * * *