Friday, February 26, 2010
Somewhere to Belong - Contest
Title: Somewhere to Belong
Author: Judith Miller
From the back cover:
Johanna Ilg has lived her entire life in Main Amana, one of the seven villages settled by devout Christians who believe in cooperative living, a simple lifestyle, and faithful service to God. Although she's always longed to see the outside world, Johanna believes her future is rooted in Amana. But when she learns a troubling secret, the world she thought she knew is shattered. Is this truly where she belongs?
Berta Schumacher has lived a privileged life in Chicago, so when her parents decide they want a simpler life in Amana, Iowa, she resists. Under the strictures of the Amana villages, her rebellion reaches new heights. Will her heart ever be content among the plain people of Amana?
I love books that surprise me. :o)
This book managed to encompass so many elements at once. It is a coming of age story. One of the girls is a young woman, the other a teenager and both grow more into their "skin" as the story progresses. Thrown together because Berta needed someone responsible to train her, neither girl could foresee how much they would need each other for the trials ahead of them or how close they would become.
It is also a story of family ~ what that means and why it is important. It examines how those bonds hold us together, what can break them apart, and if they can be mended again. I can't think of a more important topic. And it's a story of romance (gotta have that) and what makes that a real love or not and how to tell. And of course the love God has for all of us.
The author pulls all of this off because she invests so much in the characters of Johanna and Berta. Although on the surface the girls may seem near opposites, neither girl is one dimensional and both are easy to love. Johanna is the obedient, responsible daughter. However she sneaks fashions magazines from her brother in from the outside and hides them in her room and she longs to visit the world outside her village borders. Berta rarely thinks beyond her next opportunity for fun and despises anything resembling work. When told she can't wear her pink skirt to work in the kitchen, she puts it on underneath the plain skirt so she can still wear it without anyone knowing (or so she plans). She does try to make others happy and cares about people's feelings far more than even she's willing to admit. She has a natural gift for cheering people up as well. Both face adversity, mystery, and being lied to by people they have trusted. Both really want to know where they fit in. How they come through the journey is something to behold.
Judith Miller has done an excellent job with this book. If you enjoy sweet romances, Amish fiction ( This isn't about an Amish settlement, but there are similarities), or just good story lines, this may be a good book for you to try. I'm going to help too. I'm going to giveaway my copy to one lucky winner. March 5th (midnight central time) is the last day to put in your name.
The normal rules apply: No entries outside of the United States, no entries where it's forbidden by law, and your odds depend on the entries. You get an entry for commenting on the book, another for becoming a follower, two if you already are a follower and another 4 if you put this giveaway up on your blog and let me know about it. You only need to comment once to let me know how many entries you deserve (unless you decide to post it later and then come back - that's fine too).
Thanks and good luck! I'll announce the winner on the 6th.
Posted by Margaret Metz at 11:20 PM