“In 1738 Jakob Hochstetler and his family immigrate to America, seeking sanctuary from religious persecution in Europe and the freedom to live and worship according to their nonresistant Anabaptist beliefs. Along with other members of their church, they settle in the Northkill Amish Mennonite community at the base of the Blue Mountains, on the frontier between white and Indian territory. They build a home near Northkill Creek, for which their community is named. For eighteen years, the community lives at peace with its Indian neighbors. Then while the French and Indian War rages, the Hochstetlers’ way of life is brutally shattered. On the night of September 19-20, 1757, their home is attacked by a war party of Delaware and Shawnee Indians allied with the French. Facing almost certain death with his wife and children, Jakob makes a wrenching decision that will tear apart his family and change all of their lives forever. Northkill is closely based on an inspiring true story well-known among the Amish and Mennonites. It has been documented in many publications and in contemporary accounts preserved in the Pennsylvania State Archives and in private collections.” ~from Goodreads.com
Author(s): Bob Hostetler and J.M. Hochstetler
Genre(s): Christian/Historical Fiction
(for a teenager)
(for an adult)
Romance Content: This book contains scenes containing Amish courtship scenarios as often portrayed in Amish fiction books. These include attraction between teenage boys and girls, holding hands, and one kiss. There is also a somewhat veiled discussion on the marital relationship.
Recommended age range: I personally do not feel that this book is appropriate for a teenager that has committed to a Biblical courtship. Also, some of the Indian scenes are fairly graphic for young people to be exposed to.
This book is a well-written fictional account taken from a historical event in Pennsylvania during the French and Indian War. It follows the lives of one Amish family as they struggle to survive in that wild land surrounded by Indians.
The central theme of the book is the father’s conviction of nonresistance and how that affects the entire family. The author does a great job of showing different family member’s perspective; the reader is certainly drawn into the story, feeling what the characters feel. The climax of the story is centered around an Indian raid, which is described very realistically and somewhat violently.
Overall, this book is interesting and informative, showing the reader who comes from a non-Amish background a different perspective of pacifist views. The authors also give us insight into the religious beliefs of the main character, Jakob Hochstetler, in many different sections. One example of this is when the book says, “All his adult life, he had struggled… to earn God’s favor and pardon by doing what was right.”
My main reservations on this book that lowered the rating are the small amount of romance and the level of detail in the Indian raid as described above.
Review written by Jen G, Leona’s mom.
**I received a copy of this book from Interviews and Reviews in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a favorable review.**