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Dark Road Home (Mira)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 18 February 2007
This book is unusual because it is set in an Amish farming community in Ohio. When things go badly wrong in a court case and she is being stalked, Brooke Benton a lawyer from Columbus takes refuge with her seven year old neice Jennifer, in the quiet Amish community of Maplecreek. She stays with a non-Amish woman Verna who owns a shop called the Sewing Circle, selling Amish homemade quilts and materials, and makes friends with an Amish woman Emma, and her children.

Daniel Brand is Emma's brother and the son of the community leader and preacher. He has been away from the Amish community of Maplecreek for some years. As a teenager and young man he was wild, well wild in comparison to most Amish youth. He could not accept their strict rules or doctrine and so he left in order to decide what he wanted to do with his life. Most of the Amish are farmers, but Daniel is a skilled furniture craftman, which again marks him as different.

Those of the Amish faith are not baptised until they have decided to accept the Amish way of life. Once that decision has been made and they have been baptised, if they then have a crisis of faith and leave, then they are shunned by the community and can never speak to relatives and friends again. The Amish apparently believe in the community, not in the individual. Therefore any one person does not put themselves above the others in any individual way for that is prideful. They dress Plain and do not share in the modern way of life with its many gadgets, for that is wordly, prideful and fancy, not Plain.

After a period away from Maplecreek, Daniel decides to return, to be baptised and take an Amish wife. When he meets Brooke Benton he is suspicious of her because she is a fancy, worldly woman and not Plain. However, much to his dismay, he becomes increasingly attracted to her.

On the night Daniel returns there is a dreadful accident in which four Amish teenagers out in their buggy are killed by a hit-and-run driver. One of the victims is Emma's daughter Kate. Daniel and Brooke are the nearest to the scene of the accident and find the youngsters. Emma, whose baby son has recently died, is devastated, unable to forget and get on with her life, as is the Amish way. They believe that whatever happens if God's will and if they have faith in God then they will win through.

Brooke is also devastated and very angry by the accident and wants to pursue the issue to find and prosecute the culprit. However, this is not the Amish way. They forgive and turn the other cheek. They are also distrustful of lawyers. Slowly she persuades Daniel to help her, although in this he is going against the community.

Suddenly, it seems that her stalker has found her and is posing as an Amish man. Scarey events start happening again to her and Jennifer. Added to this is the disapproval of Emma's husband and others in the Amish community.

It's a good read and the information regarding the Amish way of life and their beliefs is interesting. However, I did think that how Brooke decides who the hit and run culprits were was reaching in the extreeme i.e. putting two and two together and making five.
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