by Sarah Booker
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What was Justin Wirth's reaction to Katherine not marrying him? Again, the author seems to leave out important parts of the story because she does not know what to write. Was he angry, heartbroken?
Even though Katie had many friends at Mayfield Manor and out, like Natalie Judah, not to mention her handsome suitor, Justin Wirth, I still felt she felt somewhat solitary and isolated compared to the life she had led with the Amish, where there were always frolics and things to do and people to do it with. The Mormon Church is the same way. When I left it after five years, I felt so lonely because I was not used to being alone, it is so easy to make friends in the Mormon Church because everyone shares the same beliefs and that right there separates you from most of the rest of the world, thus making it hard to relate to anyone on the outside, so the only friends you have are Mormon, but after more than a year of "breaking away" (and I was lucky, because my family wasn't Mormon like Katie's was Amish), I am finally starting to make friends in the real world again, and I was lucky to have a friend like Mary Stoltzfus, though Mary stayed, my friend did not--we were baptized around the same time and left around the same time, I had someone to make the exodus with me, Katie was pretty much alone, even Peter and Lydia Miller, her Mennonite cousins, could not completely understand why she wanted to be all worldly. I would say, from my understanding of the book, that the Mennonites are that healthy balance between faith and works. Laura's life was extravagant, but that did not make her happy, it was her faith in Jesus that made her happy, but the comforts like electricity did make her life a little easier.
Laura's journals were boring and could have been left out. I would have much rather heard one of Rebecca Lapp's famous stories or even an authentic Amish recipe favorite of the author's would have been better. Katie must have gotten her strength from her biological father because Laura seemed like such a weak individual, allowing both her first boyfriend and her husband to use her. I can understand being young and naive at seventeen, but at twenty-six (when she married the dastardly Dylan), at thirty-nine (which I figured was how old she was when she passed away)? Katie was never that naive, even when she and Dan were going together in Hickory Hollow.
Katie was half fancy (by nature), half Plain (by nurture), so I suppose it was inevitable she become a Mennonite (as her beloved Daniel is Mennonite), but just as she could not see the reason why she had to wear the Amish kapp, why does she then wear the Mennonite head covering, as she says "in obedience to God and my husband"? God does not require it, just as He does not require the Amish bonnet.
Obedience to one's husband is very important in Mrs. Lewis's books, because Laura wanted to have a Bible study in her home (since she was too sick to attend church, I am assuming) but Dylan did not want those people coming over and so she obeyed, just hoping someday he would find Jesus. I do not think obeying one's husband is equal to obeying God; I think sometimes we obey God when we disobey our disbelieving husbands, and there was another thing. Ruth Stine, the girl Owen and Eve Hess (Dan Fisher's Mennonite friends), were trying to get him to see, still lived under her parents' roof, which she was going to do until she married, Mrs. Lewis makes it sound like this is what God wants for all women (and just women), but according to the Bible, the same standard should be applied to men, because a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves unto his wife, indicating he is still living at home. I do believe all girls are better off living at home (if it is a loving one) for safety reasons more than anything else, but also financial ones.
All in all, this was a consistently very good series, though a bit heavy on the preaching, a little too much telling and not enough showing in parts, but worth reading over and over again.
P.S. Not everyone has a glow about them or is suddenly happy when they get saved. When I was saved, I looked and felt no different than before, yet I have faith that I was saved. I do not need proof (I am not saying Katie did, I am just saying Christian authors try to make it sound like getting saved is that way for everyone, which may lead some people to doubt their own salvation). Christian authors need to be careful of this.
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