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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Hannah's Choice by Jan Drexler - A Book Review

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 I have a confession to make. I am that reader who sometimes, okay maybe often, takes a peek at the last chapter sometime during the first half of a book. Most often I do this during a mystery and I just have to know whether a favorite character survives to the end of the book. Then I can read on comforted or braced for the inevitable. Hannah’s Choice drove me to the last chapter because I just had to know what her final choice would be. This is the only time that I remember really regretting taking that little peek because at that time I was really disappointed in her choice, but by the time I legitimately got to the last chapter I was quite satisfied with the ending. I highly recommend this first book in the Journey to Pleasant Prairie series, but I don’t recommend peeking.
     Hannah Yoder lives with her immediate family in a dwindling Amish community in Pennsylvania prior to the Civil War. Amish families in the area are both moving west into Ohio and Indiana, and joining other Anabaptist denominations. The dwindling community poses a major problem for Hannah’s parents: How can they best keep their children true to their faith, separate from the outsiders with whom they are being surrounded. For Hannah the problem is more specific. She must choose between marrying in or outside of her faith. Which is more important marrying in her faith, and keeping her family together by avoiding the bann, or marrying for love?
     The author adds an interesting twist to the storyline that greatly enhances the story. Adam, one of Hannah’s suitors, becomes a conductor in the underground railroad. He, his family, and his friends must struggle with their consciences regarding the Bible’s instruction to obey government authorities and the belief that those authorities are going against the teachings of Christ. Which takes precedence?
     Jan Drexler is a new to me author. I would say that if you are a fan of Suzanne Woods Fisher, you will become a fan of Jan Drexler. I have! Jan, a descendant of Amish, Mennonite and Brethren immigrants, draws from her well researched family history resulting in a historically accurate story with deep characters and believable dialogue.

     I thank Revell Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for providing Hannah’s Choice for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.      

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