Monday, February 1, 2016

Hannah's Choice A Wonderful Story of Determination & Love

Hannah's Choice: A NovelA book can be focused on singular topics or have many and that is the case with Hannah's Choice by Jan Drexler.  Hannah Yoder, our heroine, is a young Amish woman deeply committed to her faith. She and her family live along the Conestoga Creek where her ancestors settled soon after their arrival in America.      

Her Amish community has been shrinking in recent years and there are only a few families left in their district.  Adam, her best friend since childhood is Mennonite. Her sister, Liesbet is tempted beyond her years to the English world outside the confines of her faith and family.  She longs to marry an Englisher and live in a fine house in Philadelphia.  Hannah's mother, Annalise, has been gripped by depression for many years after losing three small children to diphtheria. Hannah as the oldest daughter has taken on many responsibilities to keep the home running smoothly. 
Wise beyond her years, Hannah knows that marriage to a man who is not Amish would be unequally yoked. Her father is determined to move west to Indiana where a new community of Amish people will settle. His love for his family and desire to keep them protected from the outside world is stronger than his ties to his ancestral home in Pennsylvania.  As plans develop for the Yoder family to migrate to Indiana the group for the wagon train grew as others become determined to start anew in the Indiana wilderness.  Josef Bender a handsome Amish man from a neighboring community set on making the journey, takes more than a passing interest in Hannah. The more Hannah sees Josef, she is torn between him and Adam.  She is also determined not to go with the family to Indiana, hoping they will change their minds and remain where they belong at Conestoga Creek.

I like this story for the setting of 1842 in Lancaster County Pennsylvania.  The time is ripe for an important time in the Abolitionist Movement. While Pennsylvania is not a slave state, bounty hunters felt free to come searching for escaped slaves on their way to freedom in Canada.  Adam Metzler helped many slaves to freedom, all the while exposing himself, his family and  Hannah to danger.

Up until the end of the book I wasn't sure if Hannah would go to Indiana or stay in Pennsylvania. Would she marry Adam or Josef?  Would Liesbet marry and move to Philadelphia or remain with her Amish faith?  Many thanks to Revell for the opportunity to read Hannah's Choice and the introduction to Jan Drexler's writing. I plan to look for more of her work.

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