When Leora Ebersole sees the small plane crash in her Old Order Mennonite community, she has no idea it’s a foreshadowing of things to come. When the young pilot, Moses Hughes, regains consciousness, they realize his instruments were destroyed by the same power outage that killed the electricity at the community store, where Englischers are stranded with dead cell phones and cars that won’t start.
Moses offers a sobering theory, but no one can know how drastically life is about to change. With the only self-sustaining food supply in the region, the Pacifist community is forced to forge an alliance with the handful of stranded Englischers in an effort to protect not only the food but their very lives.
In the weeks that follow, Leora, Moses, and the community will be tested as never before, requiring them to make decisions they never thought possible. Whom will they help and whom will they turn away? When the community receives news of a new threat, everyone must decide how far they’re willing to go to protect their beliefs and way of life.
Review of The Alliance by Jolina Petersheim
he Alliance by Jolina Petersheim is the story of an Old Order Mennonite community in Glacier Falls, Montana and its surrounding Englischer world that’s about to collide. When Leora Ebersole witnesses a small plane crash in her Mt. Hebron community she is desperate to aid the injured pilot. Laura calling for help assists a small group of Mennonite men that pull the pilot, Moses Hughes, from the plane. Upon awakening in Laura’s kitchen, Moses discovers that all power, electricity, cell phones and cars are dead in the surrounding area. Believing an EMP is responsible for the power loss he deduces most likely all the northern hemisphere has been affected. He informs the Mennonite community of his theory along with his fears of what’s to come. He warns that once surrounding communities realize that power will not be restored and food supplies start running low, people will begin to leave their towns and cities in search of safety, food and water. It will be a survival of the fittest scenario where good and decency will take a back seat to fear, desperation, greed and evil.
Facing the possibility of an outright war for survival, Moses and several stranded Englischers in the community form an Alliance with the Mennonites. The Mennonites can maintain their peaceful ways and give aid to refugees and hungry travelers as long as Moses and his men can defend them, by force if necessary, should angry gangs become a threat. As the two worlds unite to survive, one to protect, the other to provide the Community’s worse fears become a reality. At this pivotal moment in time Laura finds herself finding solace in Moses while being pulled between two worlds, Moses’ and the family she loves and is desperate to protect.
I really liked this novel for several reasons. First and foremost the characters that Jolina Petersheim has created are so real and heartfelt. Laura is strong and brave, but vulnerable at the same time. Moses is likable from the start. A man with a deeply troubled past tries to maintain calm and peace with the community while preparing for the worst. His attraction to Leora is sweet and protective but fragile. The Alliance is filled with a variety of characters all sewn together to make a perfect patchwork community that gives the novel strength and intensity. Second, the book made me think. I found myself wondering what I would do in a similar situation. Would the desire to share what I have with others be outweighed by the desire to protect and secure my own family’s needs? Would I stay and fight or take my family and run to an isolated but safer place. Would I be able to play with a different set of rules that go against everything I’ve been brought up to believe? Third and last is the ending that took me totally by surprise. At first I was not sure I liked the ending. There was so much more that I wanted to know and I wanted the story to continue. But upon further consideration (without giving anything away), I decided that the ending was exactly as it should be. I only hope that Jolina Petersheim one day continues this story as I was reluctant to let Leora and Moses go.
If you like stories of faith, courage and love then The Alliance is for you. If you like a good Christian romance or compelling Amish fiction you will not be disappointed. This novel will stir your conscience and haunt you long after the last page is turned.
I appreciate being given an advanced copy of The Alliance by Jolina Petersheim from Tyndale House Publishers via NetGalley for a fair and honest review. Book Matron
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