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Belonging

Review

Belonging

What happens when a young girl falls in love with a young Amish boy? If they’re both Amish, hopefully they will marry and have a happy life together. If he’s Amish and she’s not, they will have problems. And that’s what this book is about, or more accurately, that’s what this series is about.

This is the second book in the three-part Temptation trilogy, by award-winning author Karen Ann Hopkins, starring Rose Cameron and Noah Miller. They are both young when they meet, but they both feel they are meant for each other, regardless of their backgrounds.

"I enjoyed reading the book as I have am interested in learning more about the Amish way of life...All in all, though, this is a good read."

In this book, Rose decides to leave her “English” family and join the Amish community. That’s the only way she and Noah will be given permission to marry. Since Rose isn’t Amish, she can’t simply step into the Amish way of life and expect to be accepted. She must prove that she is ready to make a commitment, not only to Noah, but to the hard-working life of the Amish.

Of course, with every romance comes problems, and this one is certainly no exception. Acturally, this romance probably has more problems than most, and the couple is faced with them in an almost endless succession. Rose was a typical American teenager living a typical American life when she met Noah. She had unlimited access to TV, the Internet, cell phones, etc. as well as modern appliances such as microwave ovens and automatic washers and dryers. Now she is living without any electronic gadgets and no modern appliances. She has access to a washing machine, but it is an old wringer-type that requires a lot of work. And she is cut off from nearly all access to her old friends and even her family (her father and her two brothers) have limited visiting rights.

If all that weren’t enough, she must cope with a language barrier as the Amish speak their own language, which she doesn’t understand; very long church services that are upwards of three hours while sitting on a hard, wooden bench; long days filled with chores, chores and more chores; constant scrutiny, not only by her new Amish “family,” but by all the other members of the Amish community and most importantly, the Bishop; the cold shoulder given by Noah’s former “love interest;” and a run-in with an Amish teenager with mental issues. She and Noah can’t even be an official “couple” until she is accepted into the church. Needless to say, this feisty, spirited American teenager finds it difficult to curb her impulses and live with so many rules and regulations

Alternate chapters tell the story from three different points of view, those of Rose, Noah and Rose’s brother, Sam.

I enjoyed reading the book as I have am interested in learning more about the Amish way of life, but I had a couple of issues with it. Sometimes I was frustrated with the continual barrage of barriers that are thrown in Rose and Noah’s way. It didn’t seem realistic that so many things could go wrong. I also didn’t read the first book in the series, so I’m still uncertain as to how Rose and Noah actually met in the first place. The author provided a good bit of back story that was woven throughout the narrative, but I don’t remember reading anywhere how they actually met.

All in all, though, this is a good read. If you’ve already read the first book in the series, you will most certainly want to read this one to keep abreast of the continuing saga of Rose and Noah. If you haven’t read the first one, I would advise you to do so before starting this one, as I’m sure it would give you a fuller grasp on the history between the two seemingly star-crossed lovers.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on May 17, 2013

Belonging
by Karen Ann Hopkins