Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Litfuse Review: The Bargain by:Stephanie Reed

 The Bargain
About the Book:
It's 1971, and Betsie Troyer's peaceful and predictable life is about to become anything but.

When their parents flee the Amish, nineteen-year-old Betsie and her seventeen-year-old sister Sadie are distraught. Under the dubious guidance of a doting aunt, the girls struggle to keep the secret, praying their parents will return before anyone learns the truth--a truth that may end all hopes of Betsie's marriage to Charley Yoder.

Worse still, Betsie must learn a trade while she boards with a dysfunctional Englisher family: Sheila, a twelve-year-old desperately searching for a friend and in dire need of her mother; the free-spirited mother, who runs off to "find herself" on the stage; the angry father whose structured life crumbles; and Michael, a troubled college dropout nearly killed in the Kent State Massacre.

Thrust into the English world, Betsie must grapple with the realities of war and miniskirts, pot parties and police brutality, protests and desertion. Can she help the Sullivan family and find peace in her new surroundings, or must she forget the bargain she made and seek refuge back in Plain City with protective and reliable Charley?


About the Author:
Stephanie Reed lives on the outskirts of Plain City, Ohio, site of a once-thriving Amish community. She gleans ideas for her novels from signs glimpsed along the byways of Ohio, as she did for her previous books, Across the Wide River and The Light Across the River.

My Review:
 Feeling somewhat betrayed by her parents as they choose to leave the Amish church, Betsie feels like her heart is being ripped from her chest. Her parents gave her and her sister the option of going with them or staying under the rule of the Amish church. Choosing to stay was their choice, Betsie's largely because she feels that her future with Charlie Yoder hangs in the balance. You can feel the strong emotion in the words that the author is trying to convey.

 But poor Betsie doesn't really have that much time to linger over the thoughts and feelings she is secretly having to endure because she has been assigned a task to take care of her cousin's store while he is deployed something that won't prove to be too easy. Partly because of the secret she keeps and partly because it is a store among the Englishers.

 The author has included discussion questions if you would like to use them in a book club or group type setting. And to top it off she has included a recipe in the back of the book.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from Litfuse Publicity.