Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mattie's Pledge

Title:  Mattie’s Pledge (Journey to Pleasant Valley #2)
Author:  Jan Drexler
Pages:  384
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Revell
My rating is 5 stars.
The Journey to Pleasant Valley series begins with Hannah’s Choice and coming in summer 2017 will continue; there is a sneak peek at the end of this novel.  The title for the third novel hasn’t been revealed, but I guarantee you don’t want to pass up reading such intriguing books!  In Hannah’s Choice, we meet the Yoder family and watch as they endure family tragedy along with Hannah courting and the father’s decision to travel west to Indiana.
Here the main focus is Mattie Shrock and the intense internal war waging within between the pull to go to the Pacific Coast for adventure or being content with what Jacob Yoder is offering.  Mattie places her heart and eventually her life in danger when the various wagon trains traveling west run afoul of the nefarious intensions of the Bates brothers.
While the Amish are pacifists in their views, a couple of the young men are sorely tried to maintain their beliefs when danger dogs their journey constantly.  Unlike other Amish stories I have read these characters want to be in a community without influence by Mennonites, Brethren or the Englishers.
I enjoyed the books because of the strong family base of the community.  The family works together, eats together, prays together and for the most part stays together during various trials.  The author allows her characters to examine their beliefs without making simple answers out of complex issues.  Whether it is the community or individual, readers will see both sides of Amish life, even when a character chooses not to become part of the community.
I enjoy reading good stories that allow for a shade of reality to touch the fictional story.  There aren’t platitudes given where complex struggles are occurring and time is given for the struggle to come to a conclusion.  Mattie is such an example of that.  No matter how much other characters wanted to help her come to what they considered the right decision, they had to give her freedom to explore and reach a place of peace in her heat in her own timeframe.  I wait with excitement book three, and I hope you read the first two if you haven’t already before then!

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