Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Stranger

The Stranger 

Paperback, ebook

December 1, 2017

by Linda Maran

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Pelican Book Group 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611169546

When Kristen Esh loses her mom in a tragic accident months before her 18th birthday, she suddenly finds herself among Amish relatives she never knew she had. The dramatic change from the Jersey Shore to remote upstate New York is difficult enough, but abiding by the Amish rules and lifestyle is a challenge unlike any other. 

When anonymous notes begin to arrive for her to go back to where she came from, Kristen longs for her past life and her mom. As she discovers secrets that unravel her true identity, she finds an unlikely ally in John Wagler, the step-son of her aunt. He lessens Kristen's fears and encourages her faith. 

Interwoven with gradual revelations is the growing love between Kristen and John. One that encourages forgiveness and helps seal Kristen's fate.

My thoughts: THE STRANGER is Ms. Maran's debut novel, and fans of Amish fiction will likely love it. Kristen is English and when her mother dies, she is basically sent to live with Amish relatatives that she never even knew existed! Culture shock set in, as Kristen is an ultra-modern teen from the very upscale Jersey Shore and upper state New York is about as far from that as you can get culturally.  

John is Amish, and is about the only one accepting of Kristen at first. He befriends her, and helps her as she tries to unravel the mystery, and discover her ancestry. But what will Kristen choose? Will she return to her known and loved world? Or stay in the one she's been thrust into and comes to love? 

I've been Ms. Maran's critique partner for years and watched this story go from it's beginning rough drafts to this well-written polished version that you will find at your favorite bookstores. 

A coming of age story for Kristen, mixed with a light romance and a mixing of mystery, this is a book that  Amish fiction loves will flock to. The Amish setting in the story is a real life area only about an hour and a half from Ms. Maran's vacation home, so she visits the area often. You can feel her familiarity with the areas in the style of writing.  

I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.  


Linda Maran said...

Thanks for reviewing my novel, Laura. :)

Marilyn R. said...

Congratulations to Linda Maran on her debut novel. A lovely review that draws this Amish fiction reader to add The Stranger to my TBR list.

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