The Bargain (Plain City of Peace Book #1)

Title:  The Bargain (Plain City Peace Book #1)
Author:  Stephanie Reed
Pages:  288
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Kregel
This story is about broken families, hearts and lives that are going in different directions as one of the families is English and the other is an Amish family.  The time frame is during the Vietnam War where words like PEACE were spoken repeatedly and clashes between law enforcement and people from the English occurred frequently.  Betsie Troyer was brought up in an Amish home that now is falling apart as older siblings have married and moved away.  The bigger problem in Betsie’s eyes is her parents leaving the Amish faith, moving to a new town and learning to live by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, discarding anything resembling being identified as people from the Amish community.  However, to Betsie and her youngest sister Sadie, nothing but heartache follows them each moment of everyday.
Betsie works to learn a job in the leather store until her cousin Nathan returns from his time in the service while during the week Betsie is allowed to live with the family.  There she learns a trade she doesn’t really embrace and sees firsthand how an English family is torn apart due to seeking satisfaction of self.  When the mother leaves to fulfill her dreams, it rips apart the very heart of the family.  Betsie feels compelled to stay if only for the benefit of the young daughter, Sadie, who is broken hearted.   Matthew, her older brother, has some deep heart issues and while he tries to push away all attempts of friendship by Betsie, a letter comes in the mail for Matthew that further tears up the hearts of the father, Shelia and Betsie.
This is a very compelling story of various characters with broken hearts and lives, seeking to find peace in the midst of deep pain.  Sadie’s character draws very close to Betsie and in time becomes a Christian, which bothers Betsie something fierce.  Betsie has been raised to believe that one cannot know their eternal destination until after death.  With all the turmoil going on in the small town and the lives of the two families, what comes to the forefront is where each character seeks to find solace.
This is a very interesting tale that continues in book two, The Bachelor, which came out this year.  I will share with you my thoughts on that book as well.  In the meantime, grab a copy and get lost in the pages of the book that to me was a very unique story I hadn’t encountered before in this genre.
My rating is 4 stars.
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