Review of Amish Snow by Roger Rheinheimer

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About the Book:
At the tender age of sixteen, Amish youngsters can choose to partake of the world’s pleasures during their infamous Rumspringa (literally, “running around”); fast cars, drugs and wild sex. About half of these naive, sheltered kids recklessly fling themselves into this church-sanctioned wildness, but almost ninety percent give it up and rejoin the comfort and security of the rigid Amish way of life.

The rest never look back.

The vast majority of Amish are hard-working, God-fearing, family-loving citizens. But within the closed Amish community there are abusers, virtually unknown to the outside world. In this Über-Religious, ‘husband-is-the-head-of-everything’ secretive sect, they usually go unchallenged and unpunished.

Fifteen-year-old Ezra Neuenschwander finally reaches his breaking point. He strikes back at his violent, alcoholic father, knocking him down to the ground, an unforgivable sin.

Ezra flees to Philadelphia on the midnight bus, totally unprepared for the chaotic streets of 1964 Philadelphia. Smart, young, now ex-Amish, he must learn fast or perish.

About the Author:
Roger spent the first eighteen years of his life in northern Indiana. His father was the only doctor for a small town of 1200, and had a hitching rail on a side street by his office for the Amish patients. His father bought an eighty acre farm, and Roger and his older brother worked it, raising cattle and growing crops.

While he was still in high school, Roger learned woodworking skills from Elmer Schlabach, his Amish mentor. They built houses in the old-fashioned tradition, from hand-mixing the concrete for the foundations to hand-nailing the shingles. The only phase they did not do was the electrical. To this day, Roger enjoys using his wood crafting skills, making acoustic guitars and furniture.

Roger earned an undergraduate degree in Behavioral Psychology from a small private college in the Shenandoah Valley, took a Creative Writing class, loved it, and published a short story called “My Brother.” He was a regular contributing writer to the college newspaper.

After nearly thirty years living in Austin, Texas, watching it grow into a large city, Roger and his wife Ginny moved to a small farm in the Pacific Northwest.

My Review:
Wow. This book is not your typical Amish novel. Or atleast, it wasn’t to me. It’s not that romantic type of Amish love story filled with laughter and love. But it is an Amish book that I won’t soon forget. It is a raw and emotional novel of the Amish’s Rumspringa stages. I say it is raw and emotional, because, when you think of Rumspringa, you think of the Amish teens doing their running around years experimenting with cars and drinking and hanging out with their English friends, haivng their feel of the real world and then returning home to their families to settle down and live a happy Amish filled life, but in Amish Snow, Roger Rheinheimer brings us to a different kind of running around years…one filled with crime, and drugs, and gangs. One that isn’t so pleasantly filled with the loving open arms of family.

When I started out reading this, I was shocked. This author has true amazing talent. But, don’t think for a minute that this is the normal Amish story that we are used to reading. I liked this book because it brings a different perspective on the running around years and what comes of them some times.  The author adds history from long ago and how the Amish came to be, making this book filled with lessons and historical bits.
Though, I am a HUGE fan of Amish novels that are sappy and love filled, I still would recommend that you read a copy of Amish Snow. It is well written by a very talented author. I give Amish Snow 4 stars.

To purchase a copy of Amish Snow, please visit Amazon.com here.

Please visit the author’s website here.

*A copy of this book was provided for review, courtesy of the author*

17 February, 2010
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1 Comment

  • Reply Mark 17 February, 2010 at 6:36 pm
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