Striving to create a home strong in the foundations of love, respect, and God's truths ...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

"The Bargain" by Stephanie Reed

It's 1971, and Betsie Troyer's peaceful and predictable life is about to become anything but.

When their parents flee the Amish, nineteen-year-old Betsie and her seventeen-year-old sister Sadie are distraught. Under the dubious guidance of a doting aunt, the girls struggle to keep the secret, praying their parents will return before anyone learns the truth-a truth that may end all hopes of Betsie's marriage to Charley Yoder.

This is, hands-down, the most unique Amish book I have ever met.  I've heard of historical-fiction Amish books, but this one certainly takes the cake.  Author Stephanie Reed paints the 70s era with a vivid brush while portraying the uncertainty and confusion of Betsie Troyer clearly.  

Each Amish sect is different, but Reed describes Betsie's family as ultra-conservative - even more so than the White Top Amish I grew up near.  This makes the contrast between the radical English during this rebellious time stand out even more.  The drama creates lots of tension between Betsie and her Amish friends and family, but even more within herself.  There's not a single dull moment in this story!

At times this story felt almost outlandish, but having not grown up during the 70s, I thought maybe I was exaggerating a bit.  Once I even thought that it was so crazy that it could be true - so I wasn't a bit surprised when I turned the final page to learn that it is based on the experiences of a real woman!  They say that life is crazier than fiction and all of that .....

I thoroughly enjoyed The Bargain.  I'm more certain than ever that this is not a time period in which I'd belong, but it makes a fascinating setting.
Read other reviews on this bloggy hop here or purchase a copy here.

Stephanie Reed lives on the outskirts of Plain City, Ohio, site of a once-thriving Amish community. She gleans ideas for her novels from signs glimpsed along the byways of Ohio, as she did for her previous books, "Across the Wide River" and "The Light Across the River."

Learn more at Stephanie's website:

I received a free copy of The Bargain from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

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