1867. Ruth Holtz has more blessings than she can count--a loving husband, an abundant farm, beautiful children, and the warm embrace of the Amish community. Then, the English arrive, spreading incredible stories of free land in the West and inspiring her husband to dream of a new life in Idaho. Read more...
1867. Ruth Holtz has more blessings than she can count--a loving husband, an abundant farm, beautiful children, and the warm embrace of the Amish community. Then, the English arrive, spreading incredible stories of free land in the West and inspiring her husband to dream of a new life in Idaho.
Breaking the rules of their Order, Ruth's husband packs up his pregnant wife and their four children and joins a wagon train heading west. Though Ruth is determined to keep separate from the English, as stricture demands, the harrowing journey soon compels her to accept help from two unlikely allies: Hortence, the preacher's wife, and the tomboyish, teasing Sadie.
But as these new friendships lead to betrayal, what started as a quest for a brighter future ends with Ruth making unthinkable sacrifices, risking faith and family, and transforming into a woman she never imagined she'd become....
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-08-25
- Reviewer: Staff
This lilting, image-filled first novel by poet E.B. Moore, a poet and retired sculptor, shifts seamlessly among time periods, and between narrative and letters. The present is set in 1867, on an immigrant wagon train journey from Pennsylvania toward the wilds of Idaho. The not-so-distant past comprises the seasons before, when Amish wife and mother Ruth Holtz must choose to take that journey with her beloved husband, Aaron, and their four children, despite knowing that according to the community’s Ordnung, Plain People stay separate. But Aaron’s determination to give the “littles” a chance at wider horizons compels her to make the “unseemly” choice of going with him. Moore’s lyrical writing reveals Plain ways and sensitively depicts the Holtz family’s determined efforts to find their place among the diverse wagon train trekkers. Soulful letters back home to her brother further illuminate Ruth’s slow shifting away from separateness amid births, accidents, illness, healings, and death. When misunderstanding and tragedy threaten Aaron’s dreams, Ruth must make dramatic decisions the Plain community would disapprove of. The conclusion of this slowly unfolding novel is both heart-wrenching and satisfying. Agent: Alice Tasman, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (Oct.)