When Christian Hochstetler returns to the Amish after seven years in captivity, he finds that many things have shifted. Captured as a child during the French and Indian War, Christian has spent much of his life among Native Americans, who cared for him and taught him their ways. Now that Christian is home, his father wants him to settle back into their predictable Amish life of farming, and Christian’s budding friendship with Orpha Rupp beckons him to stay as well.
Yet Christian feels restless, and he misses his adoptive Native American family–who raised him as their own son. When faced with a life-altering decision, will Christian choose the Amish identity that his father desires for him? Or will he depart from his family and faith community yet again?
“The thing long expected takes the form of the unexpected when it finally comes.”
This novel is the third and final in the series of the Return to Northkill. I hadn’t read the first two in advance of reading this one. I’ve learned that the first book, Jacob’s Choice, told the story from the Amish points of view those of Jacob and his daughter Barbara and the second book, Joseph’s Dilemma, took the story in a different direction. This book, the third in the series, Christian’s Hope, tells of his return to Northkill. The Hochstetler family were real people who lived during the French and Indian War. The book is based on actual events and written by the author, Ervin R. Stutzman, who is a descendant of the Hochstetler family.
The strong characters in this book are Christian and Joseph Hochstetler who were taken as prisoners of the Native Americans when their home was attacked. Lizzie the mother and 2 daughters were killed at this time.
Christian Hochstetler who after seven years in captivity is forced to return to his Amish family. He had spent most of his life being cared for by the Native Americans and had learned their ways. Now he is home and his father has remarried. His father Jacob wants his son to return to the Amish lifestyle of farming but Christian misses his Native American family and their way of living. Christian has two voices in his head telling him what to do. His older brother Joseph returned home and has settled into the Amish lifestyle and now is planning to be married soon. Jacob does not understand why his son Christian will not do the same.
Why does Christian not want to attend the Amish Church with his father and stepmother? Why is Christian so restless? Will Christian choose the Amish lifestyle or return to his beloved Native American family? This wonderful story has great history lessons.
Ervin R. Stutzman is Executive Director for Mennonite Church USA. He also served for nearly 12 years as Dean and Professor of Church Ministries at Eastern Mennonite Seminary. He holds master’s degrees from the University of Cincinnati and Eastern Mennonite Seminary and received his Ph.D. from Temple University.
Ervin was born a twin into an Amish home in Kalona, Iowa. After his father’s death a few years later, his mother moved the family to her home community near Hutchinson, Kan. Ervin was baptized in the Center Amish Mennonite Church near Partridge.
Find out more about Ervin R. at http://www.mennomedia.org.
I received a copy of this book without cost from the publisher through the litfuse bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.