“Christian’s Hope” by Ervin R. Stutzman

Stutzman

When Christian Hochstetler returns to the Amish after seven years in captivity, he finds that many things have shifted.

Captured as a child during the French and Indian War, Christian has spent much of his life among Native Americans, who cared for him and taught him their ways. Now that Christian is home, his father wants him to settle back into their predictable Amish life of farming, and Christian‘s budding friendship with Orpha Rupp beckons him to stay as well.

Yet Christian feels restless, and he misses his adoptive Native American family—who raised him as their own son. When faced with a life-altering decision, will Christian choose the Amish identity that his father desires for him? Or will he depart from his family and faith community yet again?

Christian‘s Hope tells the story of the younger brother of Joseph and son of Jacob, whom readers have come to love in the first two books in the Return to Northkill series. Based on actual events and written by a descendant of the Hochstetler family, Christian‘s Hope brings the sweeping epic of the Return to Northkill series to a soul-stirring end.

Christian’s Hope is the most fascinating Amish coming-of-age book I’ve ever read!  Setting an Amish story in the past is rare, and this one, happening just after the French and Indian War, is even more unusual.  I loved the time period, the clear descriptions of life, gender roles, and household tools.  Stutzman excels at bringing the setting to life.

That’s not all, though.  The time of the French and Indian War was a hotbed of drama for many, and for others, stereotypes abounded.  While others were focused more solely on survival, those on the frontier often bore the brunt of isolated attacks.  This position comes through loud and clear in Christian’s Hope, as does the mix of attitudes and reactions to during the war’s aftermath.  Stutzman does a fantastic job of detailing each position while keeping the story realistic and interesting.  This was my favorite part – the way that Stutzman depicts the gradual change in Christian’s attitude to one of growth and maturity.

This book stands alone, but it’s so interesting that I can’t wait to go back to read the first two in the series.  Based on a true story and written by a descendant, I definitely want to know more about this event in history.  I think you will, too.

Click here to read other reviews in this bloggy hop or here to purchase your own copy now.

Ervin R. Stutzman is author of Jacob’s Choice, Joseph’s Dilemma, Tobias of the Amish, and Emma, A Widow Among the Amish. Born into an Amish home in Kalona, Iowa, Stutzman based the Return to Northkill series on the life of his ancestor, Jacob Hochstetler. He has been featured on TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are?

I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.

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