By Ervin R. Stutzman
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First Person Narrative
About the Book (Backcover Blurb):
When Christian Hochstetler returns to the Amish after seven years in captivity, he finds that many things have shifted. Captured as a child during the French and Indian War, Christian has spent much of his life among Native Americans, who cared for him and taught him their ways. Now that Christian is home, his father wants him to settle back into their predictable Amish life of farming, and Christian’s budding friendship with Orpha Rupp beckons him to stay as well.
Yet Christian feels restless, and he misses his adoptive Native American family–who raised him as their own son. When faced with a life-altering decision, will Christian choose the Amish identity that his father desires for him? Or will he depart from his family and faith community yet again?
Christian’s Hope tells the story of the younger brother of Joseph and son of Jacob, whom readers have come to love in the first two books in the Return to Northkill series. Based on actual events and written by a descendant of the Hochstetler family, Christian’s Hope brings the sweeping epic of the Return to Northkill series to a soul-stirring end.
Why I Choose this Book:
I generally shy away from books that have this type of cover because a lot of time that means they’re too romantic for my tastes. Then I saw that it was written by a Mennonite guy, and that totally intrigued me, so I requested it for review.
What I Thought About this Book:
It took me a long time to get into this book. I found the style difficult and the characters somewhat annoying. THEN a friend mentioned that she liked it because she had grown up hearing the story. I asked her what she meant and was shocked to discover that the book was based on true facts, and the author was a descendants of the main characters. (Which it actually says on the back cover, but I went into the book blind cause I can’t stand spoilers.) After that the book was a lot more enjoyable.
Overall I *get* the point of the story. I can imagine that it would be really extremely difficult to deal with everything that was going on. I just wished though that the family had been more understanding of Christian. I can’t stand miscommunications and misunderstandings, and in this book several of the characters basically refused to communicate with each other, even though they were family. I wanted to see love triumphing preferences, pride, and the past, but instead most of them were so stubborn. (I do realize this is realistic and probably very close to what happened, it just bothered me a lot.)
Anna was a dear and I was so happy she was part of the story. The other characters really should have learned from her. 🙂 I also liked Christian as time went on, and he was realistic. I did have a lot of issues though with the focus. Like, Anna kept thinking, “Oh, if only Christian would like an Amish girl, then he would settle down and join the church.” And yes, I know that’s how people think, but it’s really not the correct point of view. Also, when someone was interested in being born again, basically the first questions discussed were about outward appearances and what kind of baptism they would have. That’s really not what the focus should have been on at the moment.
Although the story didn’t keep me on the edge of my seat and it was fairly easy to put down, I did get into it. I wanted to find out what happened, and grew to like more of the characters as time went on. The premiss was pretty intriguing and I kinda want to read the first two books in the series now.
I’m giving Christian’s Hope 3 out of 5 stars and 5 out of 10.
*I received this book free from Litfuse*