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The Miting: An Old Order Amish Novel by Dee…
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The Miting: An Old Order Amish Novel

by Dee Yoder

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I am familiar with a lot of Amish fiction. You know the kind, all romance and sometimes mystery. There is almost always a happy ending. I am also familiar with books that talk about people leaving the Amish lifestyle for various reasons. My former daughter-in-laws grandmother was Amish until she was shunned. Living in Sarasota, Florida I see everything from Mennonite to all levels of Amish. Knowing all of this made this novel seem so dark. Unfortunately from people I know, I understand that there are Old Order Amish that go through situations like this all the time.
A lot of young Amish kids go through a Rumspringa, where they try out the Englisher world. This is done before they decide whether they want to join the church or not. Leah wasn’t that type of kid. At age 17 she loved God so much she wanted to know more about him. In her order she was only allowed to read the German Bible, which she had difficulty understanding. She also didn’t understand why her order had certain rules that were extremely strict compared to other orders. She learned very quickly that you didn’t voice those questions aloud. She also learned that you didn’t read an English Bible and you didn’t question what more God had for you. To do so in her order was considered being disobedient to her family and her bishop. The consequence of this was to be counseled. Unfortunately this wasn’t the type of counseling we might go through. The counselor could put her in a hospital and treat her with drugs and other things against her wishes. It didn’t matter if she was 18 or older. They would take it so far as to keep her prisoner until the counselor would arrive. Anyone trying to rescue her would be kept away. In Leah’s case her boyfriend Jacob stood by her side. Other members of the order stood guard in the barn and around the property to make sure there was no rescue attempt.

I could identify with Leah. Their belief system reminded me of a time in Catholic history when Bibles were chained to the pulpit and people were kept illiterate so they couldn’t read the Bible for themselves. They could only believe what they were told. When my mom became a Christian I was five years old. She had no one to guide her in her walk so she decided to err on the side of right. She got rid of all board games because they contained dice and since people used to shoot craps with dice then games with dice might be a sin. Dancing became a sin. The worst spanking I ever received was because my cousin and I were pretending to be ballerinas. Most TV shows were a sin. I had to wear dresses most of the time because to wear pants to church was a sin. You see where I am going with this. Sometimes rules and regulations can become more important than God’s word. I applauded Leah for wanting to have a personal relationship with God. This is a book I would recommend to everyone whether they like Amish fiction or not. ( )
  skstiles612 | Jul 5, 2015 |
I won a copy from LibraryThing. The opinions expressed here are my own.
I am familiar with a lot of Amish fiction. You know the kind, all romance and sometimes mystery. There is almost always a happy ending. I am also familiar with books that talk about people leaving the Amish lifestyle for various reasons. My former daughter-in-laws grandmother was Amish until she was shunned. Living in Sarasota, Florida I see everything from Mennonite to all levels of Amish. Knowing all of this made this novel seem so dark. Unfortunately from people I know, I understand that there are Old Order Amish that go through situations like this all the time.
A lot of young Amish kids go through a Rumspringa, where they try out the Englisher world. This is done before they decide whether they want to join the church or not. Leah wasn’t that type of kid. At age 17 she loved God so much she wanted to know more about him. In her order she was only allowed to read the German Bible, which she had difficulty understanding. She also didn’t understand why her order had certain rules that were extremely strict compared to other orders. She learned very quickly that you didn’t voice those questions aloud. She also learned that you didn’t read an English Bible and you didn’t question what more God had for you. To do so in her order was considered being disobedient to her family and her bishop. The consequence of this was to be counseled. Unfortunately this wasn’t the type of counseling we might go through. The counselor could put her in a hospital and treat her with drugs and other things against her wishes. It didn’t matter if she was 18 or older. They would take it so far as to keep her prisoner until the counselor would arrive. Anyone trying to rescue her would be kept away. In Leah’s case her boyfriend Jacob stood by her side. Other members of the order stood guard in the barn and around the property to make sure there was no rescue attempt.
I could identify with Leah. Their belief system reminded me of a time in Catholic history when Bibles were chained to the pulpit and people were kept illiterate so they couldn’t read the Bible for themselves. They could only believe what they were told. When my mom became a Christian I was five years old. She had no one to guide her in her walk so she decided to err on the side of right. She got rid of all board games because they contained dice and since people used to shoot craps with dice then games with dice might be a sin. Dancing became a sin. The worst spanking I ever received was because my cousin and I were pretending to be ballerinas. Most TV shows were a sin. I had to wear dresses most of the time because to wear pants to church was a sin. You see where I am going with this. Sometimes rules and regulations can become more important than God’s word. I applauded Leah for wanting to have a personal relationship with God. This is a book I would recommend to everyone whether they like Amish fiction or not. ( )
  skstiles612 | Jan 1, 2015 |
I started out expecting to enjoy the standard Amish romance novel but I soon was pleasantly surprised to find that this book rated well above my expectations!

I very much appreciated Ms. Yoder's deep understanding of the Old Order Amish life and faith and how she entwined that knowledge into a story depicting the search of Leah, a young woman searching to find God.

Strong faith based values and Biblical scripture can be found throughout this book and God's gift of salvation clearly outlined in a gentle loving way.

I was captivated by this story and elated to find that The Miting contained richly developed characters, strong Christian values. The plot was fresh, engaging and it wouldn't let me go till I read the last page! ( )
  mrsrenee | Jun 3, 2014 |
The Miting by Dee Yoder is the most enlightening Amish novel that I have ever read. Leah Raber is torn between her Amish beliefs and her desire to read the Bible which is forbidden by the Old Order Amish Church. She has no desire to go through rumspringen as many of the Amish teenagers do, she only wants to be free to read her Bible, to understand her relationship with God, and to attend a Bible study conducted by an ex-Amish couple. She does not understand how so many of the Amish “rules” are not in the Bible so she asks questions and this causes her family and the bishop to call her rebellious. Leah’s best friend Martha is also Amish but her family and the church do not prevent her from being abused by a family member. This and all the other unanswered questions cause Leah to finally leave the Amish life. She adapts well to the Englisher world but she is suffering greatly from homesickness. She finally goes back to her family but the miting/shunning is extremely severe and very painful but if she will give up reading the Bible, the miting will be lifted. Leah also wonders if everything that is happening to her will prevent her from having a lasting relationship with Jacob Yoder.

I have read many Amish novels but none has ever explained shunning so well. I knew what shunning was but it had never really registered with me how devastating it could be to the individual being shunned. I was surprised at the large number of things that the Amish are not allowed to do, many in my opinion seem ridiculous. Dee Yoder did an outstanding job in the development of this story. Every character in the story came to life and I felt as if I knew them. Many I loved and several I could barely tolerate. All the scenes were so realistic that many times I was in tears as I was reading, and if not in tears then sometimes fighting mad. There were a few twists and turns in the story but they added to the suspense of the story. Would Leah stay Amish or become English and will Jacob become part of her life? After reading this story, I have great respect for those who want to leave the Amish life for the freedom to read and study the Bible and to accept Christ as their Savior. I never realized how very hard that could be. I definitely hope that there will be a sequel for I want to know more about Leah and Jacob and would also like to know if Martha ever found happiness.

I very highly recommend this book to all who would like to know more about the Amish while reading a very enjoyable story that will touch the heart.

Kregel Publications provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. ( )
  deanna13 | May 23, 2014 |
I really enjoy reading Amish fiction, and especially did this book. Not that I would want Amish people to have problems, but the idyllic life portrayed in many books is only showing one side of their lifestyle. This book actually addresses questions I have wondered if Amish youth might struggle with.
Seventeen year old Leah loves the life she leads, the closeness of family and community, and traditions. Her friend Martha was in her rumspringen and using that time to experience many sins the world had to offer. Her desire was to leave the Amish permanently. Leah on the other hand had no desire to explore the English world or leave her home. Her rumspringen was one of a spiritual nature.
The Old Order Amish she was a part of were very strict. Until reading this book I was not aware that the Bishop could set rules for the community he was over. Leah’s Bishop was extremely strict. The only Bible they could read was the German one and she didn’t understand it. Dark purple curtains were only allowed in windows, reflective triangles on buggies were sins, yet sexual abuse within a family was dealt with lightly. It wasn’t that way in other Amish communities and Leah wanted to know the “why” behind all the rules.
After secretly attending a Bible Study at the home of an ex-Amish couple, Leah’s eyes are open to the gospel of Christ and the way of salvation. She accepts Christ as her Savior. She realizes following the Ordnung and being a member of the church will not get her to Heaven. She hungers to learn more about God and read His Word. She tries to be open with her parents but they see desire to grow as rebellious and sinful.
The Bishop advises her family to treat her as if she were shunned to give her a wakeup call. Torn between the love of her family and following Christ she feels forced to leave her home. She moves in with the ex-Amish couple and becomes a part of the English world. While she finds it exciting at first she truly misses her family. How can she remain honest and not denounce her true salvation? Homesickness wins out. Leah returns believing God can work in her family’s hearts and she live Amish yet still read her Bible and be true to her new faith.
Her homecoming is a painful shock. Her family still rejects her. The Bishop insists she must give up her Bible. I will not reveal the ending but I learned of the extreme and harsh measures the Amish will take to keep a member from disobeying. The ending is a special surprise!
The book was excellent. It truly made me think about situations all over the world where people are forced to choose between Christ and those they love the most. The story is a beautiful example sacrificing all to take a stand for Him.
I received this book free from Kregal Publishers. The opinions I have expressed are my own. ( )
  Moonpie72 | May 21, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0825443008, Paperback)

Leah is seventeen and Amish. Like many her age, she has lots of questions, but the temporary flight of freedom known as rumspringen is not the answer for her. She does not desire Englisher fashion, all-night parties, movies, or lots of boyfriends. Leah is seeking to understand her relationship with God, to deepen and broaden her faith by joining a Bible study hosted by an ex-Amish couple. She wants to know why Amish life is the only lifestyle her family accepts, why the church has so many rules, and . . . most disturbing, how godly men can allow her best friend to be abused in her own home.

In the pressure-cooker environment of church and family, Leah is not allowed to ask these questions. When finally she reaches the breaking point, she walks away from the Old Order Amish life that is all she has known. Though adapting amiably to the Englisher world, Leah is tormented with homesickness. Returning to the community, however, entails a journey of pain and sorrow Leah could never have imagined.

The miting—shunning—that will now be Leah’s unendurable oppression every day is beyond her most devoted attempts to believe or understand. All the bishop and her family ask is that she abandon her practice of reading the Bible. Is that a price she is willing to pay?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:42 -0400)

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