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Monday, June 14, 2010

Somewhere To Belong by Judith Miller

In Somewhere To Belong, the quiet and very conservative village of Amana is turned upside down with the arrival of Berta Schumacher.  

Accustomed to big city living, Berta thinks that she’s just visiting Amana with her parents.  When the realization hits her that she’s going to be living there  – Berta intends to make her parents pay.  Sassy, strong willed and impulsive, Berta sends the plain people into a tailspin with her forward behavior and rude manners.   

Amana resident, Johanna Ilg and her family have the unfortunate responsibility of housing the Schumacher family.  When Johanna is put in charge of training Berta in the ways of the plain people, it proves to almost be too much of a task to control the very wily, rebellious newcomer.  With tricks up her sleeve and a mischevious spirit, Berta is difficult to get along with.  Add to that her meddling ways, eavesdropping and lying and you begin to understand why Johanna’s patience is tested to the brink in this fun, fast moving story.

This book is different from other “plain people” fiction that I’ve read in that the families live in a “co-op” type setting and are “Inspirationists”.  (For more background you can visit

I liked that the plain ways were interwoven into the story very naturally and yet this novel did have some contemporary feel to it.   Berta is a far more rebellious character that you usually see in typical plain people fiction which made it very entertaining to read.   

I really enjoy historical fiction that piques my curiosity and this book did just that.  The people of the Amana Colonies are not Amish – although very similar.  

If you’d like to read further about these colonies, visit:     

For the historical background on how the colonies were started and what the name “Amana” means – visit:

How fun to read about a real place that is still in existence today!  

Purchase Somewhere To Belong HERE

From The Back Of The Book:

Johanna Ilg has lived her entire life in Main Amana, one of the seven villages inhabited 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 the community. But when she learns a troubling secret, the world she thought she knew is shattered and she is forced to make difficult choices about a new life and the man she left behind.

Berta Schumacher has lived a privileged life in Chicago, and when her parents decide they want a simpler life in Amana, Iowa, she resists. Under the strictures of the Amana villages, Berta's rebellion reaches new heights. Will her heart ever be content among the plain people of Amana?

This book was provided free for review by Bethany House Publishers

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