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E.B. Moore proved herself to be a top-notch historical fiction writer with her gorgeous debut, An Unseemly Wife, about an Amish woman who risks faith and family as she crosses the country by covered wagon. Now Moore is back with a stunning follow-up that is based on her Old World Amish grandfather and informed by her own childhood growing up on a Mennonite farm similar to her characters. With superb prose and magnificent setting, Stones in the Road (NAL Trade Paperback Original; October 6, 2015; $15.00) is a richly imagined historical novel where a young Amish boy ventures from Pennsylvania to California.
In 1867, growing up among the Pennsylvania Amish, eleven-year-old Joshua knows that his father is a respected church deacon who has the ear of God. But he’s also seen his father’s weakness for drink, and borne the brunt of his violent rages. In the aftermath of a disastrous fire, Joshua fears his father’s reprimand enough to run away from home. Having never experienced the ways of the English, Joshua now embarks on a decade-long journey to California, where he’s heard it’s always summer.
His mother, Miriam, is forced to take on the unusual role of head of the family when her husband is unable to recover physically, emotionally, or spiritually from the fire. As mother and son each find themselves in uncharted territory, they must draw on strength and forgiveness from within. Urged by everyone to accept her son’s death, Miriam never gives up hope of seeing Joshua again. But even as her prayers are answered so many years later, Joshua’s reunion will require him to face his father once again…
I loved An Unseemly Wife, so I was super excited to read Stones in the Road. It didn't disappoint. It was full of heart wrenching characters and experiences. This story was so incredibly gripping, I found it hard to put down. The haunting stories of this work of historical fiction are sure to stay with me. I always find novels about the Plain or Amish people to be so intriguing and E.B. Moore does a fabulous job of presenting these stories to the reader that just makes us want more!
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