Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim

Rachel Stoltzfus finds herself single and pregnant making her the talk of her Old Order Mennonite community. She is living with her twin sister Leah and her husband Tobias King, she was helping when Leah had a problem pregnancy and continues to live there as her dad won't let her come home to live since she is an outcast.

She refuses to disclose the father of the baby and soon finds herself leaving her sisters house and living with Ida Mae Speck who has left her Old Order Mennonite community a few years ago. Ida Mae is a great support for Rachel and when Rachel's son Eli gets sick, she is there at every turn, even calling her family when she thinks Rachel needs them.

I really enjoyed this book and read it rather quickly, for me anyway, and had to use a few tissues in the end. Have you ever had a sibling rivalry, not one where you just don't get along, but privately in your mind? There is more than one sibling rivalry going on in this story, in more than one family, internal feelings, but one sibling doesn't know the other sibling has similar feelings. I think there have been times when I was upset with a sibling and not voiced it but these feelings, rivalry's, have been going on most of their lives.

The story is written from the view of two people, Rachel Stoltzfus and Amos King, Tobias's father, he is being buried as the story begins. The first chapter was a little confusing to me but I was soon involved and kept things pretty straight. This is not your typical Amish story therefore it's a little more interesting because you don't hear about these things going on in the Amish, or Mennonite, community too often but it makes you realize they do have things happen in their families just like us "English" people do.

This is the first book I read that Jolina has written, I think it may be her only book so far, and I am looking forward to some more. You might want to go find a copy and read it, it's quite good!

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