"The collapse of a schoolhouse puts pressure on Amish families and their long-held educational values. Ella Hilty anticipates marrying Gideon Wittner and becoming a mother to his children. In a whirling clash of values, Ella seeks the solid ground that seems to have slipped away. Margaret Simpson, an English schoolteacher, wonders if she is losing her last chance at love. As the local authorities draw lines in the sand, Margaret puts romance at risk one final time. All eyes turn to Ella to make a sacrifice and accept a challenge that can bring unity to the Amish and understanding to the English."
If you have not read the other books in this series, I think you will be like me and feel lost at sea. I have never read this author before and I am quite sorry that I didn't know enough to trust that I wouldn't need to read the first books in this series. It has been said that this is a less heavy read than the others...that does not bode well for me and my tastes!
This was a very interesting historical novel set in 1918 that dealt with the separation of church and state. To call this a romance would be a bit of a mistake. There really was none. That must have been done in the past novels. What this was about was how the state decided that the Amish children be integrated or consolidated into a school that would teach the Amish children more about the 'English' the than the church wants them to know and to force them to go to school well past the eight grade which is the norm for the Amish.
There are several secondary and tertiary story lines going on throughout this book. I felt that this was a good book for knowledge and learning about what the Amish went through to gain respect for their religion. However, the novel felt overly long to me with a lot of repetition, and I had to struggle to stay interested in it.
*ARC supplied by publisher.