The Outcast By Jolina Petersheim

FREE BOOK: The Outcast 

I don’t very often post fiction books, but this one looks like it’s appropriate.

*Library Journal's Best Books 2013*
*Christian Manifesto's 2013 Award Winner for Excellence in Amish Fiction*
*World Magazine's Notable Books*
*2013/2014 Christian Retailing's Best Nominee*
*INSPY Nominee*

Library Journal named Jolina Petersheim's debut novel, TheOutcast, one of the Best Books 2013: Christian Fiction. It also became an ECPA, CBA, and Amazon bestseller, was featured in Huffington Post's Fall Picks, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, The Tennessean, and garnered a starred review in Library Journal.
Raised in an Old Order Mennonite community, Rachel Stoltzfus is a strong-willed single woman, content living apart from mainstream society until whispers stir the moment her belly swells with new life. Refusing to repent and name the partner in her sin, Rachel feels the wrath of the religious sect as she is shunned by those she loves most. She is eventually coerced into leaving by her brother-in-law, the bishop.

But secrets run deep in this cloistered community, and the bishop is hiding some of his own, threatening his conscience and his very soul. When the life of Rachel's baby is at stake, however, choices must be made that will bring the darkness to light, forever changing the lives of those who call Copper Creek home.

I was not terribly excited about the subject matter of this book. This is a genre I'm unfamiliar with and haven't ventured into in the past. Knowing little about Amish and Mennonite communities, I was still happy to purchase and read because following the author's blog has been such a treat, but I wasn't sure my interest would be piqued.

I settled in for a read and was surprised at how the story instantly held my attention. I even sat the book down several times and commented to my husband, "I'm really liking this story!" I knew the writing would be well-done, as I've read some of the author's work in the past, but I was taken aback that I enjoyed the historical perspective of the book. Jolina was able to effortlessly sew in rich, cultural seeds while still maintaining a modern, relatable story line. I was impressed at the balance.

The story is a great read to curl up with before bed, and one to pass on to friends and family that enjoy a romantic drama that will keep them wrapped up in old plot favorites - lovers torn by circumstance and familial struggle. Yet it will still appease the appetite for freshness - odd language snippets to chew on and diverse religious and societal references.

You'll like this one - whether you've read this "kind" of book in the past, or not.