The Whetstone and Kurtz families both joined the Amish about 10 years ago and during that time Jude Whetstone and and Lyyndaya Kurtz started falling in love. Jude also fell in love with aeroplanes and since they were new the church had not decided whether to ban the use of them so they allowed Jude to take flying lessons. He even gave every Amish member a ride that wanted one but when he took Lyyndaya up she asked him to do barrell rolls, dives and fly as fast as he could, she fell in love with flying too.
Lyyndaya's father forbid her to see Jude because he didn't approve of the flying and since they were new to the Amish he didn't want any problems if it was decided flying was not allowed. The young couple followed her father's rule and Jude casually saw Lyyndaya's best friend, but still truly loved his Lyyndy Lyyndy Lou from afar, and she loved him, but the words were never spoken to each other.
The Amish were exempt from serving in the Military but since some officers had seen how good Jude could fly they wanted him desperately. One day the army showed up and took several of the young men, including Jude, and told them they were being drafted because they had not been Amish long enough so the exemption didn't include them.
These young men were treated worse than the German prisoners of war, the longer they refused to enlist in the service the worse the treatment was. Jude couldn't take it any longer so he enlisted and the other boys were sent home barely alive. Lyyndaya was forbidden to write to him or to receive any letters from him. Any letters he sent had to be held at the post office and any sent to him were held there also. When he returned home they would each be given their rightful mail only if Jude would recant his enlistment.
While Jude was serving his time Lyyndaya turned to helping people with the Spanish Flu in Philadelphia on the weekends. When the flu hits her community she helps to nurse them including her own family. Once they were better she returned to Philadelphia to help, soon there were servicemen coming home and needed nursing and to her surprise Jude was one of them. She had thought he had died when his plane was shot down over France.
Jude returned home accompanied by Lyyndaya. He was given two weeks to recant his enlistment or he would be placed under the ban. During that time things went back to the way they were before the war, all the while waiting for the dreadful day Jude would have to tell the church if he recanted his enlistment or not.
What will Jude do? Will he and Lyyndaya spend the rest of their lives together? Will the community ever forgive him?
This is the first book I've read by Murray and I will tell you that I really enjoyed this book, even though I did need a lot of tissues to get through it. I feel that anyone who can get this book in their hands will find it hard to put down, but be sure and have a lot of tissues handy. If you don't shed some tears I just don't know what to say. Wonderful job Murray!
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