by Ervin R. Stutzman
When Christian Hochstetler returns to the Amish after seven years in captivity, he finds that many things have shifted. His father wants him to settle back into a predictable Amish life of farming, and Christian's budding friendship with Hannah Rupp beckons him to stay as well. Yet Christian feels restless, and he is soon faced with a life-altering decision. Will Christian choose the Amish identity that his father desires for him? Or will he depart from his family and faith community, yet again?
Christian's Hope tells the story of the younger brother of Joseph and the son of Jacob, whom readers have come to love in the first two books in the Return to Northkill series.
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I have not read a book from this author before, but I realize I have been missing out on great writing. The book grabbed my attention because it was about two groups I love to read about. The Amish because I like their simple lifestyle and their willing to help their neighbors. I love reading about Native Americans because they are a vital part of history and I am part Native American. The author does an amazing job of giving a true historic event that is not very well known and breathes life into it with a gentle touch of his words that grace the pages. I appreciate the research involved in the story and the accurate description of the time period.
The story is mainly about two brothers who were held captive for a long period of time by the Shawnee Indians. I can't imagine the terror they witnessed that day when they were taken knowing that they may never see their family again. The author really gives a great glimpse into what their lifestyle was as they lived among their captors. Many people feared the Shawnee but it seemed like the brothers Joseph and Christian had adapted well to their new surroundings.
When Christian and Joseph return years later to their Amish home, they are changed in many ways. Will they be accepted back into the community ? Will it be difficult to adjust to their home after being away for so long? I thought that their characters were well written and I could feel their struggle as they were torn between two cultures. After being away for so long, it must have been very difficult to leave the Shawnee and their beliefs behind. The story was riveting and I loved the struggle that each brother had as they tried to fit back into their family. I loved Christian's turmoil as he fought within himself whether he could ever fit back with the Amish. He was free to hunt and fish among the Shawnee but now was expected to help with the farm.
There was definitely animosity toward Christian and several of the townspeople . They couldn't accept him as Amish since he dressed liked a Shawnee. Isn't it funny that even in the 1700s there was discrimination against people. They were judged because they looked different . As you read the story you will find another character that feels the sting of gossip and accusations that damage the person's reputation. I found the story to be very accurate, well written and a page turner. I recommend that readers take time to look at the Historical Note found at the end of the book. It gives details of the people this book was based on and gives you a bit of what happened as they grew older.
I was given a copy of this book from Litfuse Blogger Tour . The review is my own opinion and I was not compensated for it.
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