Saturday, July 09, 2016

The Alliance - Book Review

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.




My Thoughts
When I started writing book reviews back in 2013 Jolina Petersheim's The Outcast
was my very first book to "critique."
I remember feeling nervous and excited all at the same time.
Nervous about not writing the book review properly
and "upsetting" the author if I did not care for his/her writing style,
and excited that I was going to receive books {one of my loves}
in exchange for my honest opinion.
So when I received a copy of The Outcast
I was instantly captivated by Jolina's story-telling.
I remember thinking that if all the books I reviewed were as good as The Outcast
than hot-diggity-dog it would be smooth sailing :)
Anyway, I went down this rabbit trail for a reason and that reason it this:
since Jolina Petersheim's The Outcast was the first book I ever reviewed
I was delighted to once again be able to review a book written by her 
since she had so impressed me.
It was with great anticipation that I opened the pages to The Alliance. . .

On the back of the cover Erika Robuck said this,
"Readers will not want to leave the world portrayed in The Alliance,
even as it falls apart around them."
I whole heartedly second those thoughts.
The Alliance is centered around a quaint Mennonite community
and when everything stops working the Mennonites and the English stranded in the community
must form an alliance in order to survive.
And speaking of surviving,
the question is often on the surface of everyones mind,
how far would one go in order to survive. . .

The Alliance was an enjoyable book,
but I must confess that it was somewhat slow reading material 
though not in a bad way.
While it was slow it was still good and captivating.
I think it was set at a slow pace because the author was setting the foundation
for the second book in the series.
While I love a fast-paced book with lots of twists and turns
I can understand why the first book was reigned in, if you know what I mean.

I enjoyed the main characters
and I am already looking forward to reconnecting with them in the second book.
Leora is the main female character and she carries a lot of emotional "baggage."
There were several times when the author did such a great job of portraying her emotion
that I could almost feel the sadness and heartache.

"The night I knelt, providing comfort to the woman 
who had previously done everything in her power to comfort me,
I glimpsed beneath the layers and could see that she was not unshakable.
Instead of loving her through her vulnerability,
I judged her for it.
My heart aches with memory and with the wish that I could turn back time.
But I cannot go back.
Regardless of what the future holds,
I must go forward."
{ The Alliance - pg. 223 }

If you enjoy apocalyptic-type novels or Mennonite history than this book is for you.
Although I am not a huge apocalyptic fan and I still enjoyed The Alliance
so maybe I should just say that if you enjoy well-written novels than this book is for you :)
There is no fowl language or suggestive moments between couples
which is very refreshing.
And as the people face uncertain times their faith begins to grow and flourish
which to me was an encouragement.
God has a way of drawing us close when we face trials
and that is what you will see throughout the story.

It was truly amazing to read of what could happen 
when the world as we know it stops functioning.
Times and people will change. . .

"Decades seem to have passed between then and now,
and I cannot even remember the person I was in comparison to the person I've become.
I am less of a butterfly freed from her cocoon,
and more of a predatory bird free-falling from the safety of her nest."
{ The Alliance - pg.314 }

I am giving The Alliance 4 stars.

** I was provided a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers
in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received. **

About the Author
Jolina Petersheim is a best-selling author
whose unique Mennonite heritage originated in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
A transplanted southern belle,
she now lives on a farm with her husband and two young daughters
in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin.
Follow Jolina's blog at

9 comments:

Terra Hangen said...

Your review makes me want to read this book. I do like stories where people must band together in the face of menace. Terri Blackstock wrote a great series on this theme.

Gypsy Heart said...

Thank you for sharing!

xo
Pat

KimM said...

Looks like a great read. Thank you!
xxx

mamasmercantile said...

Certainly looks like one to read.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning dearest Stephanie! I am a day late since we spent the entire Saturday out in the beautiful sunshine!

It's always fun to not only read your opinion about the book you've read, but also to read your PROCESS of entering into the book, what your adjustments are in order to critique it objectively.

Come and visit my blog when you can. I just posted.

Blessings on your Sunday!

Tamago said...

I like fast-paced book with twists and turns, too, but the book sounds pretty interesting. Great review!

Melanie said...

Thanks for the review. The book sounds intriguing.

Jolina Petersheim said...

Thank you, Stephanie, for this wonderful review of my third book baby, The Alliance. I sure appreciate you spreading the word. Blessings!

Barbara Neubeck said...

.. sounds like a good book ....I'd like to read it..., I like to read a book series.. xxxxHugs... Barb xxx

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