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After her mother’s untimely death, a twenty-year-old Amish woman has a difficult decision to make: Make a break from the Amish church and her boyfriend…or live in the English world permanently.
Rachel Hershberger wants to get away from her Amish home in Fields Corner, Ohio. For a year she’s been trying to fill her mother’s shoes by taking care of her father and siblings. She quit her job at the bakery so she could have more time to clean and cook at home. Before her mother died, Rachel was positive she wanted to marry Samuel Weaver, but now she can’t think about wedding plans. She blames her father for her mother’s death. If they had installed a phone in their barn or a shanty, her mother might have received medical help in time to save her life. Her mother’s death has made Rachel question if she should be baptized and join the church. She wonders if non-Amish women live longer and have less stress. Maybe her forty-four-year old mother would still be alive had she left the Amish lifestyle like her sister Carrie did.
When her Aunt Carrie invites her to go to the beach, Rachel decides the time away will help her to decide whether to join the Amish church or to live in the English world. She is conflicted because she loves Samuel and her family. Instead of a relaxing time away, several disturbing events happen while Rachel’s in Florida. A photographer snaps troublesome pictures of Rachel because of her famous senator uncle, and a handsome and charming college student falls in love with Rachel.
Fields Corner, Ohio
Rachel Hershberger took a deep breath, realizing she had to tell her boyfriend, Samuel, what he definitely would not like to hear from her lips. While standing in front of the farm he’d just bought, she thought how it meant one thing. He wanted to make wedding plans, but it was not possible right now. How could she set a date for their wedding when she needed to leave Fields Corner? Before her grandparents and mother died, all she wanted in life was to marry Samuel Weaver and have children.
But things changed when her mother suddenly died at age forty-four. Losing her dear mamm had put a huge emptiness in her heart and spirit.
He pulled her next to him. “What do you think? You’ve been quiet about me buying this
land. Do you like it for us?”
She looked into his blue eyes and saw he was eager to hear her opinion. She needed to ease into telling him about her aunt’s request. “It’s perfect. I love the row of pine trees.”
“We can build our house by the tree line. The property’s the right size for me. I don’t
need more than thirty acres. It’s enough to raise our own feed for livestock. I’ll still have time to help my daed with his farming and take furniture orders.”
Her wonderful Samuel had everything figured out for their future when she was so unsure now about her life. I better speak up and tell him about Aunt Carrie’s letter. She fingered her kapp’s string. “I have something to tell you.”
He grinned. “You decided to join the church. You need to hurry talk to Bishop Amos so you can start your classes, and we can get married in November.”
She understood what he meant about not waiting any longer to talk to the bishop. Before having an Amish wedding, both needed to be baptized and to become church members. There were usually nine special instruction classes before being allowed to join the church. “I can’t join the church yet. I received a letter from Aunt Carrie. She wants me to visit her next week while Violet’s on spring break from college.”
“Is Adam going to be home too? I could go with you. He invited me to visit sometime.”
Samuel had met both of her cousins when they came for her grandparents’ funerals. Then two months later, the Robinson family came again for her mother’s funeral. Unfortunately, the media got news of her Uncle Scott, the U.S. Senator from Kentucky, attending her mother’s, but waited to film until after the ceremony. For both somber occasions, her aunt and uncle left in an Amish buggy to blend in with the rest of the funeral processions. Adam and Samuel enjoyed each other’s company even though one was English and other Amish. “Adam isn’t going to join us until later at the beach.”
He frowned. “What beach?”
“It’s such a pretty day. Why don’t we sit by the creek to talk?”
“You sound serious. We better get comfortable. I’ll grab the Pepsi I brought for us.” He left her side to walk to the buggy. She watched him as he bent down to pick up a brown bag. It didn’t matter that he was dressed in the usual Amish garb of black pants, dark blue shirt, and suspenders; he looked handsome and special to her. At six foot, he towered over her petite height of five-three. She loved gazing upward at his gentle face.