Thursday, January 17, 2013

Still Life in the Shadows

Author: Alice Wisler
Publisher: River North
July 2012
ISBN:  978-0-8024-0626-2
Genre: Contemporary/ex-Amish

It's been fifteen years since Gideon Miller ran away from his Amish community in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He left when he was fifteen.  Gideon arrives in the Smoky Mountains town of Twin Branches and settles in at the local auto mechanic's garage. He meets a host of interesting characters -the most recent acquaintances are Kiki, an autistic teen, and her sister Mari. Known as the "Getaway Savior" he helps other Amish boys and girls relocate to life in modern America

One day the phone rings. On the other end is his brother Moriah calling from Florida. Of course Gideon welcomes his brother to stay with him and offers him a job. But Moriah is caught in a web which ends in his death and forces Gideon to return to the town of his youth, with his brother's body in the back of a hearse and Mari and Kiki at his side. He must face not only the community he ran away from years ago but also his own web of bitterness. Will he be able to give his anger over to God and forgive his father? 

STILL LIFE IN THE SHADOWS is inspired by the TV series Mose Gingerich of  the TV series, Amish: Out of Order, STILL LIFE IN THE SHADOWS is a story that depicts the other side, the negative side, of Amish life.

The characters are kind of flat, not really developed well, and the romance in this story flat-lined. But the story is very vividly described. Readers can see the fried vegetables that is the only meal Mari makes, and see the longing of the young girl, Kiki, to eat something else. (But yet—Mari knows how to bake pies… I’m curious why she can read a recipe for pies, but can’t for anything else.)

 Fans of the romanticized Amish life might not enjoy this book as much as those who are very much anti-Amish. If you are looking for a different sort of Amish book, or a book talking about the bad side of Amish life, then STILL LIFE IN THE SHADOWS is a book to consider. $14.99. 304 pages. 

No comments: