Title: Joseph’s Dilemma (Return to Northkill #2)
Author: Ervin R. Stutzman
Publisher: Herald Press
My rating is 5 stars.
Joseph is one of Jacob’s sons taken in captivity when the Indians attacked the Hochstetler family farm during the French and Indian War. Based on true events and real people this second book focuses on how Joseph deals with his captivity while still with his father and then when he is separated from him. Joseph is wrestling with his hurt and anger at his father for his not allowing either Joseph or Christian to use weapons to defend their home and lives. As Joseph is tied up and led away from all he knows, he is a young man filled with sorrow, anger, hate towards his enemies and facing the unknown.
When Joseph is adopted by a Delaware widow to replace her lost son, at first Joseph is deciding to not become adapted to their lifestyle or beliefs. Joseph fights with all that is in him from not eating the food offered him to having to be forced to have his Amish clothes torn away and then totally different attire placed on his person.
The only spot of light is the Delaware widow’s little daughter that Joseph comes to love and play with for the many years he lives with the family. In time, Joseph does adapt to the new living situation though their beliefs are confusing and often polar to what he was raised to believe. Joseph gets opportunities to share what he was taught by his father, and eventually has to decide whether to hold on to the Amish way or adopt another set of beliefs.
I loved how Joseph’s strengths came through the story like his compassion for the little girl and even as he grows older and considers marrying a young woman in the tribe. The other interesting point in the story is how Joseph comes to understand why his father takes the stand he does and works right alongside others in the tribe, attempting to understand the people. Again, like the first book in the series, Jacob’s Choice, this one also ends on a cliffhanger so I am glad to have the final installment in the series to read titled, Christian’s Hope.