BOOK REVIEW: The Divide by Jolina Petersheim

In this gripping conclusion to The Alliance, nearly six months have passed since Leora Ebersole's Old Order Mennonite community fled to the mountains for refuge after an attack destroyed the power grid and altered life as they knew it. Since then, Leora has watched and waited for news of Moses Hughes, the young Englischer pilot who held off invading looters long enough for everyone to escape. Unsure Moses even survived, Leora has begun to warm to the affections of Jabil Snyder, who has courted her patiently. But she struggles to see herself as the bishop's wife, especially when she learns that Moses is alive and has now joined a local militia.

An unexpected encounter in the woods deepens Leora's crisis, as does a terrifying new threat that brings Moses' militia into the community's shaky alliance with the few Englischers left among them. When long-held beliefs are once again put to the test, Leora wrestles with the divide between having faith and taking action. Just how much will her shifting landscape change her?

I was so ready to jump into this story.  The first book, 'The Alliance' crept in and hooked me.  I need to find out more. Back with the Old Order Mennonite Community from Mt. Hebron as they are settling into their new camp up the mountain.  I'm sad that this is set to be the conclusion of this short series and am wondering how I can finagle the idea that it can, and should, continue.  I know luck is most likely on my side but ya know, a girl can dream.  Forget the end of the world as we know it (that song totally ran through my head as I typed it).  Could you survive without electricity?  Or the internet?  Or coffee?  I mean, Leora and her community do just fine without the first two but the last...

OK, enough about my plea for another installment, let's talk about the book.  I'm gonna start, as always, with the eh moments.  There's a lot that happens in this story.  A LOT.  With those things there were opportunities to bring depth to the situations and characters that was missing.  Depth of emotion and feeling.  Depth of even spiritual conflict when it comes down to making choices that involve the tenants of personal faith.  The love triangle shaded into rather annoying as well.  They are hard to write successfully and hard to love (at least for me).  This one got petty and I didn't love it.  Finally, and literally finally, the ending was just too neat.

But, there was so much good as well.  Leora truly grew as a person.  And Seth.  And Charlie (yes even that cranky Englisher grew - in my opinion).  And Moses.  And Jabil.  They evolved due to their situation, their faith, and the idea of what the future may hold.  I have to wonder, for Leora, what her crisis of conviction regarding the tenants of her faith will lead her.  It's not completely addressed in this story but you can't make the hard choices she made (in a split second mind you) and not have long term ramifications on your convictions.  I grew to love this community and these characters.  I'd love to see them again.  I'd love to see how the end, or the beginning depending on how you look at it, plays out.  I still don't know the extent of the EMP.  I'm telling ya, there's so much more here to explore...

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley.  I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review. 

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The Divide (The Alliance #2)

About Jolina Petersheim 
Jolina Petersheim is the bestselling author of The Alliance, The Divide, The Midwife, and The Outcast, which Library Journal called “outstanding . . . fresh and inspirational” in a starred review and named one of the best books of 2013. That book also became an ECPA, CBA, and Amazon bestseller and was featured in Huffington Post’s Fall Picks, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and the Tennessean. CBA Retailers + Resources called her second book, The Midwife, “an excellent read [that] will be hard to put down,” and Booklist selected The Alliance as one of their Top 10 Inspirational Fiction Titles for 2016. Jolina’s nonfiction writing has been featured in Reader’s Digest, Writer’s Digest, Proverbs 31 Ministries, and Today’s Christian Woman. She and her husband share the same unique Amish and Mennonite heritage that originated in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but they now live in the mountains of Tennessee with their young daughters.

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