Thursday, January 29, 2015

Book Review: A Forbidden Rumspringa by Keira Andrews

Having grown up in the Amish community, Isaac Byler's life is filled with rules, restrictions and unanswered questions. He's always known that he's different because he is in no hurry to settle down and marry, and he's in even less in a hurry to join the church. When he receives a carpentry apprenticeship with neighbor David Lantz, his world is turned upside down. What he feels towards David is a sin in the eyes of the community, but he can't help it and doesn't want it to end.

David is currently in the process of joining the church. There is a stigma attached to his family due to an accident that occurred with his brother and two other members of the community years ago. Part of him wants to do well and take care of his widowed mother and siblings, but another part of him wants to break free from all the oppression. Isaac turns out to be a beacon of light in David's life, but also a curse.

As the two men grow closer, they must work hard to keep their relationship a secret. If they are found out, it could spell disaster not only for themselves, but also for their families.

I visited Lancaster, PA a few times as a child, and that is how I was first introduced to the Amish culture. As I've grown older, the Amish continue to fascinate me; therefore, I was very happy to discover A Forbidden Rumspringa!

Reading about all of the rules that Isaac, David and their family members had to abide by was difficult because as an "English" person I can't imagine myself in their shoes. The fact that basic things like indoor plumbing was viewed too worldly by their specific community boggled my mind. Other reviewers said they felt, at time, very claustrophobic while reading this book, and I would definitely agree with that description. The story held my attention, but there were some parts that seemed to drag and I found myself skimming over passages. That's not to say that the writing was bad, it was actually quite good.

The next book in the series, A Clean Break, will be released February 3, 2015 and I cannot wait to see how Isaac and David's lives continue to unfold.

3.5 stars
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~ M

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