Brightest and Best
The collapse of a schoolhouse puts pressure on Amish families and their long-held educational values. Ella Hilty anticipates marrying Gideon Wittner and becoming a mother to his children. In a whirling clash of values, Ella seeks the solid ground that seems to have slipped away. Margaret Simpson, an English schoolteacher, wonders if she is losing her last chance at love. As the local authorities draw lines in the sand, Margaret puts romance at risk one final time. All eyes turn to Ella to make a sacrifice and accept a challenge that can bring unity to the Amish and understanding to the English.
Published August 1st 2015
Shiloh Run Press
Olivia Newport and Shiloh Run Press has released the third installment in the Amish Turns of Time series. The setting for this story is Geauga County, Ohio in 1918.
When this book arrived I thought it had a beautiful cover and the description about the story looked good. I opened the book and was immediately swept away.
Ms. Newport introduces us to a community that is divided. The war is winding down in Europe and this quiet community is getting ready to face a war at home between the Amish and the English government. This is a story about the separation of church and state.
The Amish have sent their children to a public school for years, but has had input in what was taught to their children. Unfortunately Ms. Coates, the school teacher, has called a meeting about the dilapidated conditions of their school house when the unthinkable happened, one of the walls collapsed. The superintendent and school board have decided to not rebuild the school, but bus the children from outlying areas to the school located in town.
The Amish people are distressed that their children are not exempt from the rules and regulations handed down from the board. Not only will their children be exposed to the English world with no control, but they must also attend school until the age of 16. They are a peaceable community and look for ways to work through their differences. When no resolution is forthcoming they do what they think is best for their children.
I was drawn to the character of Margaret Simpson. She is a teacher at the consolidated school and seeks to understand the differences between the Amish and the English community. She is a true peacemaker, but sees trouble as the result of her actions of trying to do the right thing.
I really enjoyed this story.
I was drawn in immediately to the plot line and the characters. It was like watching a good movie in that it was hard to stop or put down. I would recommend it to anyone who loves Amish stories or a good historical story. I received this story from the publisher for a honest opinion without bias or outside influence as stated above.