Monday, December 30, 2013

Review of The Bargain

Review of The Bargain

(Plain City Peace, Book One)

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.

Worse still, Betsie must learn a trade while she boards with a dysfunctional Englisher family: Sheila, a twelve-year-old desperately searching for a friend and in dire need of her mother; the free-spirited mother, who runs off to "find herself" on the stage; the angry father whose structured life crumbles; and Michael, a troubled college dropout nearly killed in the Kent State Massacre.

Thrust into the English world, Betsie must grapple with the realities of war and miniskirts, pot parties and police brutality, protests and desertion. Can she help the Sullivan family and find peace in her new surroundings, or must she forget the bargain she made and seek refuge back in Plain City with protective and reliable Charley?

MY REVIEW:    This book certainly held my attention. I have read many works of Amish fiction and this one was quite different as the Amish parents left their family.   I was quite surprised (shocked, actually) that Amish parents would leave their two young adult daughters and their young son to join the English world.  Betsie is forced to keep this a secret from everyone in the Amish community and her English employers.  I felt deeply for this young woman and her struggle to honor her parents, keep her Amish faith, and still do what is right. 
 I appreciated the accurate portrayal of the Kent State Massacre in the early 1970's.  Michael is dealing with PTSD due to being a part of the Kent State Massacre on the college campus.   Stephanie Reed deals with many issues in her book.   The English mom is also struggling to "find herself" and leaves her home and family too.   Many people seem to think the Amish have no problems and I like the fact that Stephanie Reed portrays them as human beings with all the same struggles and emotions that we all feel from time to time.   I will be anxiously awaiting the release of Book Two in this series.
I received a free pdf copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:

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.

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