Series: Plain City Peace (Book 1)
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications (September 19, 2013)
The Bargain takes place in 1971, a time when America was still involved in the Vietnam War. We meet a young Amish woman named Betsie Troyer, who's life is turned upside down when her parent's “find Jesus” and leave the community. On top of trying to keep it a secret from the community, she is also starting a new job with an “Englisch” family, running the harness show her cousin bought from them while her cousin is away in the war. Betsie tries to distance herself from the family, but finds herself becoming attached, particularly to young Sheila. Without meaning for it to happen, she also gets close to Sheila's older brother, Michael, a hippie and known protester of the Vietnam War who comes and goes as he pleases, wears his hair long, and dresses in a way completely opposite from Amish men. Betsie begins to find herself torn between her Amish life and this new Englisch world she's been thrown into.
I haven't yet read an Amish story in this time period, so I thought it quite interesting. I was really interested in Betsie's parents and their new faith in Christ. The Amish are all viewed as so religious, yet when confronted with the truth, many, like Betsie, want nothing to do with it. She is afraid her parents are now going to hell for leaving the community, yet she herself is unsure of what she really believes. I'm really looking forward to reading book two to see what happens next, as the story really leaves you hanging!
Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers