Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Simple Change

From the Back:  When her parents decide to sell their home and move to the Amana Colonies, Jancey Rhoder must make a difficult decision.  Should she give up her beloved teaching job and her carefree life in Kansas City to go with them?  Her suitor, Nathan Woodward doesn't want her to go, but Jancey feels she must give the new life a try.  Her mother is sick, and these next few months may be the last Jancey gets to spend with her.  But will this move spell the end of her relationship with Nathan?  And while life in Amana is far more mysterious and challenging than Jancey expected, will she choose to return to the city, or will she make this unique place her forever home?

Synopsis:  Jancey Rhoder is living a happy life in Kansas City spending her days a volunteer teacher. She lives with her parents and is somewhat surprised when her parents tell her they are moving to the Amana colonies.  Jancey makes the tough decision to leave behind her teaching and her boyfriend Nathan Woodward to follow her parents.  Life in the colonies is strict - jobs are assigned, families eat together with other families, and all decisions are made by the elders.  Jancey settles in to a routine, cleaning the men's quarters each day and care for her ailing mother in the evenings.  She nurtures her love of teaching by tutoring the young daughter of their neighbors.  Through tutoring Madelyn, Jancey meets Ritt, Madelyn's older brother and begins to fall for him.  During her cleaning routine, Jancey finds money and evidence linking the money to a crime in Kansas City.  She agonizes over what to do.  As her assimilation into the Amana way of life continues, how will Jancey reconcile her future?

My Review:  I wasn't overly familiar with Judith Miller when I chose this book to review but I think I've found a new author to enjoy.  I also wasn't familiar with the Amana Colonies but did some research after reading and the book provides excellent insight into their way of life.  The story-line was a little different since the Amana lifestyle is different - it wasn't your typical love story.  This novel is more storytelling around Jancey and a love story springs up.  I liked Jancey's character and her struggle between the strict way of life and her love for her family was relatable.  Miller was able to make me dislike Nathan all the way through the novel and cheer at the end when he ends up out of Jancey's life.  The developing love story between Jancey and Ritt is tender and simple and doesn't feel rushed.  All in all, this is a sweet story and a fun read for a lazy weekend.

Score:  4.5 bookmarks out of 5.

Note:  Bethany House Publishers gave me a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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