Hannah's Choice, by Jan Drexler
Book 1 in the Journey to Pleasant Prairie series
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: ♥♥♥ three hearts
Hannah Yoder loves her quiet life on the banks of Conestoga Creek. In 1842, this corner of Lancaster County is settled and peaceful- yet problems lurk beneath the placid facade. Hannah strives to be the one person who can bind the threads of her family together in spite of her father's worries, her mother's depression, and her sister's rebellious ways. But her world threatens to unravel.
When two young men seek her hand in marriage- one offering the home she craves and the other promising the adventure of following God's call west- Hannah must make a choice. Will she stay true to the faith of her family or defy her father and abandon her community?
Description from the back cover
To tell you the truth, I'm not really into Amish fiction. Don't get me wrong- I haven't read that many, and the ones I have were very well written. That being said, I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this Amish tale, Hannah's Choice, was actually pretty interesting.
The story was written in a way that, while a bit depressing in the beginning, drew me in. I wanted to find out what would happen next. Maybe it was the way it was put together, or the fact that the story was set in the 1800's, but I did enjoy it. While the title is Hannah's Hope, the point of view switched continually to quite a few different characters, six or so to be exact, and while this can be confusing in some stories, I thought it was pulled off really well. Also, I felt that this novel portrays things realistically, showing that not everything goes perfectly in life.
Mrs. Drexler's characters were engaging as well, although I did not like one of the main characters. He/she just seemed really arrogant. And I wished said character had been in it less. I felt the same about several of the other characters as well. I did like Hannah, though, as she attempted to do the right thing and please God.
In spite of all the good qualities the story contained, it was not without it's flaws. The argument about some flaws in the Amish thinking were raised, but I felt never settled. However, the biggest thing I disliked was the ending. It was NOT a satisfactory ending for me, and I felt it should have been done differently. Not that the ending was suspenseful or anything like that- it just did not end the way I thought it should have. For this reason alone I don't have much of a desire to reread the book again anytime soon. There are some who may not agree with me, some who may love the ending, but for me, I did not.
Overall, however, the story was written well, as were the characters. I'me glad I got to read it and have my opinion of Amish fiction changed, although I still felt the story's potential was destroyed by the ending.
Note: I got this book free from Revell in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own.