The characters in the story are all Amish with the exception of one. For the purposes of the story, the exception is a man outside of the Amish community who appears to be amoral at best. His spiritual condition and philosophy aren’t on the table for review, but rather the anguish experienced by Rachael around her involvement and the wise counsel of our favorite from the Amish Knitting Circles, Deborah Weaver.
Rachael has more than her connection with the non-Amish man to overcome. She told her sister and best friend, Kate. Kate wasn’t receptive in a positive point of view. She left the house, while disturbed, to run an errand on bad roads. The horse and buggy she was driving were in an accident and Kate was killed. Rachael blames herself for both her irresponsible, wrong behavior and for Kate’s death.
She cannot return or accept the affection of the Amish man who loves her and wants to marry her; nor can she confess. Her family knows there is an issue.
The author draws Deborah(Granny) and Jeb Weaver into the story carefully. Their strong spiritual and ‘people; wisdom often send both community members and “English” neighbors to them for counsel. The Amish Knitting Circles were begun as part of that storied ministry. Being pen pals with others lets the Weavers touch needy people who are not close enough to be frequent visitors at their Amish home.
Granny and Jeb do not offer ‘touchy-feely’ advice; there are some difficult steps for Rachael and others in her family to take as they move toward peace within and among themselves. The Weavers are examples to their community of tolerance, acceptance and patience with learners. Their counsel reflects on their experience with their own flaws as they have achieved the present state of maturity.
Author Karen Anna Vogel is joined by Dr. Maryann Roberts in preparing a study guide for readers to use through this book that provides a spiritual outline for working through sin’s guilt and God’s forgiveness along with that of family, lovers and friends. Not every sin will be the same as Rachael’s, but each and every issue can be brought before God. Having a study pattern can be a wonderful step forward in the process…that first step is sometimes the most difficult.
Karen Anna Vogel writes ‘comfortably’. I enjoy a pleasant, intelligent, well-presented read in her stories. Readers who want to enjoy a pleasant, positive story revolving around the intriguing Amish culture, with or without in-depth spiritual contemplation, can count on Karen Anna Vogel to produce that experience.