Friday, July 8, 2011

High Treason - Samuel Oakes

Publisher:  Horizon Books (Oct.1, 2011)
Pages:  320
Source:  I received an ARC for review
Genre:  Amish political thriller

Let me say two things right off the bat.  One, this is not your typical Amish fiction.  Two, this is a must read.  Imagine the world as you know it now.  Suddenly the world finds itself fighting an epidemic.  Vaccines become mandatory.  Without it you will not be treated.  Imagine that rumors surface that the government is behind these problems.  You have now been introduced to the beginning problem of this story.  Now mix in two main characters that are from different worlds.  One is a female pastor, Regina, who feels it is her job to take care of the ill no matter what those in charge say.  She feels inadequate enough to do, what she knows can get her in trouble, secretly help those who need help.  Add in a second main character, Enos, a young Amish man waging a war of his own.  His father has decided they will not accept the Englishe'rs vaccine even as he watches his wife die and his children become sick.  Their bishop has given them the go ahead but he still refuses.  Enos disagrees with his father and takes the vaccine.  His father pretty much disowns him.  When his future plans are ripped from his hands he lets hate take over.  He sees no way back for himself.
This book is different because we usually see Amish fiction as love stories,  feel good stories that always paint the Amish in a good light.  This book paints the Amish in a true light.  This of course is my opinion.  We know the Amish are human like those of us who are not Amish.  They feel anger and hatred, etcetera.  What is different is that often we act on those feelings, and usually they don't.  We are led to believe through Amish fiction that they never get real angry or act on these feelings.  Since their community is closed to most English people we never really know.  This book brought  out several questions about the Amish and made you wonder what would really  happen in a situation like the one in the book. Both of the main characters were well developed.  They were believable in their thoughts, emotions and their beliefs.  I thought it wonderful that we see the way Enos struggles with his beliefs and the way he feels he is lost to God forever.  We all feel that way at times.  It is great to see the message of forgiveness.  This was a wonderful book.  I look forward to reading anything else this author puts out.  It is now in my top 10 favorites of 2011.  There are going to have to be some really great books published to knock it out of that spot.

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