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- ENTERTAINING AND INTERESTING! by NARITA on 9/16/13
This book centers around one of the most interesting historical religious groups I have found, the Amana colonies. Jancey Rhoder is a young, privileged, very happy young woman. The time is 1881, and although she was privileged to receive a very good education, she is content to teach at an orphanage in Kansas City Missouri. The only child of wealthy parents, she has stylish clothes, a beautiful home and a handsome young beau who wants to marry her.
Her perfect world is turned upside down when mother whose health is very bad, takes a turn for the worse. Her parents decide they want to return their home and roots at the Amana Colony in Iowa where they both were raised. She becomes torn between staying with the children and job she loves or going to be with her dying mother. Nathan Woodward, her boyfriend adds to her confusion by trying to pressure into marrying him and staying. The new development in their relationship reveals a selfish, darker side of him that Jancey had not seen before.
Her heart wins out and she moves to the Amana Colony with her parents. While it is very normal and comfortable to them, their daughter must learn to live not only in severe simplicity but with a multitude of rules and conduct guidelines. Though it is a bit of a social shock she works hard at adapting and accepting a new way of life. She is caught totally off guard when she finds herself falling in love with a young man in the colony that is everything Nathan isn’t.
Trying to live the Amana life but making decisions based on her old way of life puts Jancey in some very difficult and even dangerous situations. To complicate matters Nathan shows up to work with the Amana men and to try and convince her to marry him. Living in the colonies away from all the trappings the world she had once enjoyed, Jancey finds herself renewing her relationship with God and turning to Him for the answers she needs. I loved learning more about life in the colonies and how peaceful it was. This book has suspense, romance, mystery, and surprises! A book you WILL want to read!
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
- Wonderful Story by dgottreu on 9/10/13
A Simple Change by Judith Miller is a well written wonderful story that begins in 1881 in Kansas City, Missouri but most of the story takes place in the Middle Amana Colony in Iowa. Jancey Rhoder is very happy teaching the orphans at the Kansas City Charity Home and is more or less comfortable with her suitor, Nathan Woodward. Her mother is quite ill and the doctors cannot determine exactly what is wrong with her and can offer no hope for recovery. Her mother and father lived in the Amana Colony until they married and moved to Kansas City. Now her mother wants to return to Amana to spend her last days, and her father is agreeable to the move. Jancey is torn because she wants to spend as much of her time as possible with her mother but she does not want to leave the children she teaches. Nathan definitely does not want Jancey to move but she is not too concerned about how he feels. The family moves to Amana and Jancey finds it a very different kind of life but she is not unhappy and fits in quite well with the women in the Colony. She cannot teach in Amana for women are not allowed to teach school but she is able to help a couple of the young girls with their reading skills which helps her adjust to not being able to teach at a school. Ritt is the son of the family that owns the house where Jancey and her parents live and since he and his family live upstairs, they have many occasions to meet and they quickly become friends and find that they are attracted to each other.. Nathan shows up for an unexpected and unwelcome visit and sparks start to fly in more ways than one.
The author did an excellent job developing the characters, plot,dialogue, and all other elements of the story. The characters simply came alive on the pages of the book and by the time I finished reading, I felt as if they were friends, or at least some of them were friends. It was evident that the author did her research on the Amana Colony and it was very interesting to read about the daily life of the people living in the Colony. A very enjoyable way to have a history lesson. Descriptions of scenes in the book were very well done and with each I felt as if I were living and working in the Colony right long with the characters. The fire scene was so real that I could almost feel the heat from the flames.
I highly recommend this book to everyone that appreciates a great story with a happy ending.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.