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The Sound of Distant Thunder (The Amish of…

The Sound of Distant Thunder (The Amish of Weaver's Creek) (edition 2018)

by Jan Drexler (Author)

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2721585,984 (4.1)None
Title:The Sound of Distant Thunder (The Amish of Weaver's Creek)
Authors:Jan Drexler (Author)
Info:Revell (2018), 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Amish fiction, Civil War, pacifism, romance

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The Sound of Distant Thunder (The Amish of Weaver's Creek) by Jan Drexler



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is a very unusual historical fiction. Many of the Amish steadfast beliefs are well known and one of those is non-resistance concerning military service. Any form of violence even self-defense is avoided. The story is centered around the time of the Civil War. When men in Jonas’s community were drafted the elders received permission to pay $200 per man to excuse them from fighting. Twenty year old Jonas has been hearing a lot about the war on slavery, even sneaking newspapers to learn more. His heart becomes conflicted between the principles his faith holds dear and what he believes God would have him do. His brother, Samuel, boasts that if he were drafted he would not pay the fine because it would be contributing to the war. You guessed it, his name is drawn. His bravado turns to fear. Not only would he have to leave his wife and children, but if he went to fight he would be shunned. Jonas having settled what he should do tells his brother he will take his place.
Jonas has no doubt he is doing the right thing, but his sweetheart Katie is heartbroken. All that stood between them being married is her 18th birthday and him finishing their home he is building. As with any man going to war it is horrific for his family, but in this case the family is even more distraught because they believe the young soldier is sinning against God.
I admired Jonas’s courage not only to go battle but also facing his family’s disapproval to do as he felt God led him. The historical detail was incredible. What had a great impact on me was seeing the eyes of not only the world but war’s horrific experiences through the eyes of an innocent, sheltered young man. My heart ached for Katie, waiting at home, fearing the worst and facing some battles of her own without her beloved Jonas. I saw both of them grow up quickly in many ways. There are also unexpected twists and turns you won’t want to miss. A wonderful heartfelt read. ( )
  Mizroady | Jan 11, 2019 |
It’s exciting to start reading a new series, knowing the story or characters you’re being introduced to will continue, in some way, in more books down the line.

In The Sound of Distant Thunder (which is a great title, btw) I’m introduced to Katie Stuckey and Jonas Weaver. Memorable characters. I don’t believe I’ve read an Amish story with a Civil War era setting.

I was drawn into the mid 1800s fairly easily, and the Amish language was scattered throughout—just enough to give it flavor without muddying my ability to follow the story. I don’t read a lot of Amish stories, but I enjoy the soft, nostalgic feel and the ‘purity’ it offers.

The romance is sweet, the damage of war is evident, and there are a few surprises. I enjoyed this book and cared about the characters, but there were a few bumps. I feel I didn’t get enough information on Katie’s history and why she held onto particular fears. There were also a few plot happenings that I felt should have resurfaced later in the story but were never fully explained.

Overall, this is a good Amish story with a unique historical setting. I hope to revisit some of these Weaver’s Creek characters in upcoming stories of this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was under no obligation to post a review.
#TheSoundOfDistantThunder ( )
  Nicnac63 | Oct 27, 2018 |
The Sound of Distant Thunder is Drexler's first book in her The Amish of Weaver's Creek series. Set during the Civil War, Drexler tackles the theme of dealing with warring moral values. While Jonas Weaver was committed to the Amish view on nonresistance and living separate from the world, he also abhorred the institution of slavery and longed to do something to help those held captive by it. Having not yet been baptized into the Church, Jonas had fewer restrictions and responsibilities than his older, married brother. Wanting to spare his brother who had been drafted into the Union Army, Jonas took his place.

Katie Stuckey had long loved Jonas Weaver. Her frustration with her father's insistence that they wait until she turned eighteen to marry turned to loneliness and worry as Jonas left to join the army. Her worry was amplified by her memories of something that had transpired several years prior, worries that logic could not shake.

A secondary story line in The Sound of Distant Thunder, one that is still grappled with today, is the conflict within the church between those who advocate for change and those who value a slow approach to change, and then only once the change is proven to stand in the light of God's Word. Many denominations today still struggle in this area, including my own.

I recommend this book not only to fans of Amish fiction, but also to Civil War era fiction fans as well as to those who like to examine social themes that span the decades. I thank NetGalley and Revell Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review, and received no monetary compensation. ( )
  claudia.castenir | Oct 26, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I am not very familiar with this author so I was excited to read this book. It has some promising things in the book which kept me reading. I did have a very hard time connecting with the story at times though. I did like that it was set during the Civil War. It was interesting to read about the Amish during this time. Most books about Amish are not set during the Civil War.

Jonas is a good character with a few flaws. He is in love with the starry eyed Katie who only wants to be his wife. He on the other hand, has dreams of something else. Although Jonas shows signs of thinking of marriage I got the impression he was going to do something very seldom done by Amish.

He gets an opportunity to right a wrong by standing up for something he believes in. Slavery during this time was prevalent but Jonas does not condone it. I liked that he took his brother's place in the service. It was very courageous and I hoped being there would help him decide what he wanted to do with his life. During his service I enjoyed reading about what he went through and how war can cause emotional scars.

Poor Katie is distraught when Jonas leaves and I could feel her desperation. Was she worried about Jonas or that they hadn't married before he left? The best part of the story for me was the correspondence between Katie and Jonas as he is serving in the army.It reads like poetry and you can feel the depths of their passion for each other. Overall I have to say at the end of the book, I became a fan of the author. I love her writing style and ability to draw readers in with descriptions of Amish life and their commitment to each other.

I received a copy of this book from The Early Reviewers Program of Librarything. The review is my own opinion. ( )
  Harley0326 | Oct 25, 2018 |
An old-order Amish community, making every effort to keep itself separate from the world, finds it cannot escape the distant rumblings of war. We view the Weaver’s Creek community mostly through the eyes of young Katie and Jonas, who hope to wed but are slowed by their youth and the worldly changes that intrude even upon those who would ignore them.

War is such a divisive subject in any era. In the United States, the Civil War was arguably one of our most contentious as it divided friends and families and our nation itself. Then add to that, the idea of an Amish man considering joining ranks of the volunteers, and the incredibility of the situation just skyrockets. Indeed, the Amish of Weaver’s Creek believe they can look the other way until conscription begins...and names on the list include Englischers and Amish alike.

What didn’t I like about the book? It made me think. I couldn’t find any easy answers. I wanted to vilify one character (and his choices) or the other. The black and white lines blurred into gray and blue... and red. Red for loss of life, loss of a way of life, loss of innocence and standing apart from the world.

A wise quote for today: “Labeling folks with ideas different from your own as “them” and calling yourself “us” is the surest way to create division.” Hm... I do believe many, many groups today could profit from this bit of wisdom.

What a heart-warming, yet heart-wrenching family-centered novel about one of the darkest times in our nation’s history.

I gratefully received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and the publisher. This in no way affects my opinions, for which I am solely responsible. I was not required to leave a positive review. ( )
  Becky_L | Oct 15, 2018 |
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