Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Somewhere To Belong

Recently I received an advance copy of Judith Miller's newest novel, Somewhere To Belong. When I get advanced copies, I take them as they come in and Judith's made it to the top of the pile.

When I started reading, I noticed she had written this in the first person Point of View. We writers know that first person is harder to write than third person. That intrigued me at first, then the next chapter introduced another character and it is written in her Point of View. What a difference, two first person's. As a writer that is what I noticed first.

The second thing I saw was the story was written about the Amana Colonies in Iowa. This was new territory for me and I was more interested than ever.

Johanna Ilg has been raised in Middle Amana and is a devout believer. It is a commune where everyone works from age fourteen and up. All of their needs are taken care of. It is hard work but they believe that is the way to please God. She is a very good or gut daughter and believes no secrets are hidden in their family.

Next enters Berta Schumacher who has been raised in Chicago with big city ways and no desire to adapt to the lifestyle of work and worship. Her family had chosen to live in the community and her father is their doctor. Berta causes a lot of problems and you keep wondering what she will think of next.

Marriage is not encouraged in the community, but with the elders permission, they can marry.
This is all I can divulge without telling the whole story, but remember a pink skirt. This pink skirt is forbidden, but it plays a very important role.

Through out the book, there is a pull of good and evil. Johanna being good and Berta, well she is the other in a way. She just wants to have fun, but her fun is frowned upon with the community.
I encourage all of you to read this book. It is very good.

Judith is a master at storytelling. She has written many books, some with Tracie Peterson. I can't wait until the next, it is in only one first person. The third in the Amana Series is written again in two first persons. I'm looking forward to the next on, Judy. This was a refreshing book!

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